Music at Philo's, Latcho and Andrea, and Ana Banana's
That Thursday night then, after getting the inverter fixed, we decided
to head to the open jam at Philo's. In a way, this is when our visit
to La Cruz really began. I had fun jamming on the beach in Chacala
and had heard that Philo's and La Cruz were good places for musicians,
but I really had no expectation that our visit here would turn into
a kind of musical paradise.
At this point I need to interject a small side story, involving
Louis and Laura from CIRQUE, whom we had met in Tortuga Bay and
with whom I'd done a little juggling at the Baja-Ha-Ha beach party.
They were really nice people and we connected quickly, but
we kept near-missing them thereafter, finding their boat card
on our cockpit table in La Paz as we were leaving, and then
seeing them come into the marina in Mazatlan, once again,
just as we were leaving.
So, as much as we wanted to get together, we kept experiencing
these near misses.
It turns out, as they told us the story, that somehow a rumor got started in La
Paz that I was going to play at one of the bars there. A guy
named Anthony on MANDALAY had told them so. He must have been
confused after enjoying a few tunes that PK and I had played on
RHAPSODY while at the dock, and started a well intentioned but
misguided rumor, which apparently snowballed. Louis and Laura gathered
15 or so people, went to the bar, where somehow my name was on
the marquee, and they were mightily disappointed when I didn't show up
Of course, I knew nothing of it, and in fact was on Isla Espiritu Santos
at the time!
So that Thursday, here in La Cruz, when we saw them coming into the
marina, we greeted them with shouts of joy and helped them tie off
as they pulled into one of the slips near us. They told us the
tale of the gig-that-wasn't and how they had chanted "Patrick, Patrick" at the
bar to no avail, and then virtually demanded that they get to
see me play at Philo's that night. So it was with Louis and Laura,
and their friends Dan and Alene, that we made our way to the bar.
It began innocuously enough with Philo and his band doing a set
at about 8:30 pm. With Carlos on drums, Peggy on Bass, Oscar
on Sax, Hock on spoons, and Leon on the washboard, they soon had
the crowd up and dancing. Philo has a set of songs that he does
which include a couple of great originals and bunch of good covers.
After that set, Philo turned the stage over to the various musicians
that had congregated for the jam. Peggy graciously said I could use
her amp, and I brought my Carvin 5 string bass to the stage.
I ended up playing bass on stage the rest of the night, backing all
the other musicians that got up. Rusty got up and did some classic
old folk/country tunes, then Oscar switched from sax to guitar and ripped
up on some Doors tunes and some Mexican rock ballads. Hock switched
from spoons to acoustic guitar and did a few of his originals, which
are unusual crowd pleasers, to say the least. Russ, who mans the Rib
Wagon and cooks up a storm, got up on harmonica, with Philo and a nice Canadian
named Brad on guitars and we did a blues set. By the third set it seemed
like Philo was calling "Tequila por la Banda por favor" (Tequila for the Band, if you please!)
after every song, and things got a little fuzzy for me at that point.
I do remember having a great time, getting lots of compliments
and Philo inviting back to jam "anytime". I remember ending the
night, on the way back to the boats with Laura and Alene
(Louis and Dan having gone home earlier, leaving the womenfolk with me lol),
with us all singing Christmas Carols in the wee hours on the streets of La Cruz.
Then, the next night, after finding the post office (described below)
, we went to a restaurant called the Black Forest to see this
flamenco guitar duo, Latcho and Andrea. We were the guests of
Christian, the marina manager, at his table, with some of his
friends from the area. Without expecting it, once
again, we were turned on to some great musical work, with Andrea
pounding out rythms and Latcho ripping up on lead. They were
formerly members of the Gypsy Kings, an internationally famous
act, and we got to
drink with them and a gentleman ex-pat named Tequila, real name Dudley,
who we would get to know even better in the days to come.
Once again, somehow the Tequila started flowing, and I don't
really remember how it ended, but I was sure I had a good time.
The next morning I got an email from Andrea saying that she had
seen my website (I gave her a card), and wondering if I could help
her with a technical issue regarding a new tape recorder she had
purchased. I said yes, of course, and we made an appointment for
Monday. Meantime, I nursed my second hangover in as many days
and spent most of Saturday just recuperating, as now I knew that
on Sunday there would be ANOTHER open jam at a place called
So on Sunday, I gathered up my acoustic guitar, electric bass,
and even took my battery powered amplifier to shore for the
jam. Barry at Ana's organized the jam, and gave me a slot
somewhere in the middle. And once again, the music took on
it's own momentum.
Some of the same musicians from Philo's showed up, so I remember
backing Hock on a set of his music, and Peggy playing bass behind
Rusty on his set. Bill (who also plays great
Classical guitar) did a set of blues. Mike on guitar and CC
on bass did a set with some more folks. I remember meeting several more
drummers and bass players and many guitar players. I did
a set of Dead tunes with Brad on guitar which went over well.
I also got to back a super neat older lady, Bobby Lee, who, at 75 or
so, tore the house down with her versions of "Old Time Rock
and Roll" and "Land of a Thousand Dances".
Tequila (Dudley) was there, as was Mike from
another guitar player on the boat right next to ours.
Many of the cruisers that we had met once again showered
me with compliments about the music. Once again, I got
a bit drunk, as the Tequila and Beer were flowing,
but my overall impression is that we got to meet
many many nice people and I got to play a ton of music.
The last wild jam included a guy named Nicholas who played some
tasty guitar, and who told me that he had been sailing thru too,
and had decided to just stay in La Cruz once he ran into this music thing.
In fact, Nick told me, he and Hock had a paying gig on New Years
Eve and he asked me if I'd be interested in playing bass for them!
You Bet! Double Wow!
So, in our first week in La Cruz, from a musical
party perspective, I got to attend and participate in two
hard core jams, saw one world class musical act, got seriously
drunk three times, and after all was said and done,
ended up getting invited back to Philo's, as well as
to a paying gig on New Years Eve! Is this
a great place or what?
Music and New Friends in La Cruz