Jamaican sunsets, sunrises and yoga sessions with my girl Sunshine, sippin on steamy cups of Blue Mountain coffee and chugging refreshing Red Stripes on the cliffs was our daily events in Jamaica.
Need I go on?? I have been to Jamaica 5 different times and this may be the best time I have ever had. Well I guess I say that everytime. Indeed, each time it is different and very special. But Jamaica 2009 was so divine.
Snake Oil had our own Jamaican cottage at a resort called Citronella.
It was called the Cove House and it was situated on the cliffs of Negril with a spectacular view of the Caribbean Sea. Everyday we all swam and drank tons and tons of coffee. Our place was deemed the coffee house. We easily brewed 8 pots a day. And the coffee makers are real slow in Jamaica. No problem mon. It was a great way to practice patience. We discovered that we really enjoyed putting coconut milk in conjunction with table milk into our steamy cups of joe. Table milk is like sweetened condensed milk or Betty.
We stayed really close to one of our favorite places to eat. Ras Rody’s Vegetarian Shack. He has been feeding the West End side of Negril Vegetarian delights for decades. Rody is going to have a cook book out soon. Our friend Shonna volunteered her time one afternoon to cut veggies and learn from the master. She had a wonderful time making festeval and pudding. A Jamaican cornbread sweet potato veggie thing. Hard to describe but delicious.
Laura Reed and Deep Pocket had a house on one side of us and Josh Phillips Folk Fest was on the other side. A glorious musical compound with the sounds of musicians everywhere. If a musician wasn’t jammin then they were jumping off the cliffs into the sea. Sunshine and Paul Diaz of Tree Sound Studios hung with us as well. Sunshine’s Dad, Obe Sweetwater visisted with us and snorkeled and had a great time. He is such a sweetie pie.
One of my fave things to do was visit the sea-grotto showers. I loved rinsing off in an outdoor shower after swimming and jumping off cliffs in a salty sea . What a special treat.
Deep Blue Ripple (Libre and Allana) who have brought us down to Negril for seven years, kept us busy playing concerts, taking part in a kid’s fair, celebrating Chinese New Years, socializing with locals and visiting a children’s orphanage.
The Chinese New Years celebration was at Half Moon Bay where the bands did a nice acoustic jam. The Overtakers, Laura Reed and Deep Pocket, Josh Phillips, Acoustic Syndicate and us all got to play and sing together. It was so magical.
The Kid’s Fair was fabulous.
Nicole Potter headed up the art station, Mel Mac Pink had set up the hula hoop land and the musicians played for the children and allowed them to experience playing the instruments.
One night we performed a concert at Alice’s Restaurant. They claimed that you can get anything you want there except for bananas. Snake Oil backed up The Overtakers. Laura Reed and Deep Pocket played and so did local guy named Crazy Knocka.
The Big Time Jammy At Negril Escapes was amazing. All the CHNY bands played on a big stage there as well as the band Little Feat. Nice electric sound on a stage with the sounds of the waves crashing nearby.
On Thursday, we loaded up 2 busses and drove through rural Jamaican mountains to do a Concert at West Haven Children’s Home for the Disabled and played music for the orphans.
That touched everyone’s hearts. There were lots of hand holding and hugging from all the children. The musicians paraded around the property and went into each of the homes so all the children could experience the joy.
So many smiles and happiness from the children, musicians, and staff. Some of the kids dressed up in their Sunday best because we came to visit. I cant wait to see pics from this spectacular day. Laura Reed and I were talking about this event on the way to the airport and we discussed that as musicians this is something that we have to do. We are ambassadors and we need to spread the gift of our music to all. I feel blessed up.
My last night in Jamaica, I attended a locals Reggae Pon Di Rocks at Love in the Yard. Now this is a locals style partay. Huge ass speakers and many Rastas just standing on the side of the road dancing and of course smoking their spleefs. It is an amazing cultural experience. The music is so loud that you really can’t hear your friends.
Well folks what a blessing and true one love feeling that I felt down in the West Indies and I plan on keeping Jamaica and her lovely people in my heart. Start planning now for next year to come with us. Stay warm.