I was lucky enough to sit in on a couple of these intimate Cayamo sessions. The onboard Bliss Lounge was set up like a cozy living room that just happens to have top-notch headlining and supporting musicians from the cruise’s extraordinary roster doing their favorite classic covers like Lucinda Williams covering Gram Parson’s “Hickory Wind” and Kacey Musgrave covering fellow Texan Buck Owens’ ‘Love’s Gonna Live Here.’
Buddy loosely conducts the sessions in his genial way, as the event takes on more of a open jam than a staid studio session. You’re left with the impression that the live and loose sound will make it’s way to the finished mix. As it did in Nikki Lane and Buddy’s cover of Porter Wagoner and Dolly Parton’s classic “Just Someone I Used to Know.”
The album will be released on on New West Records a couple of days before the fan and artist friendly 9th Cayamo, A Journey Through Song sets sail January 31, 2016 from Miami to St. Maarten and Tortola. As you might imagine it’s already sold out.
from the release: “For one week each year, some of the best songwriters in country, Americana, folk and roots music set sail on a musical adventure called Cayamo. Over the last few years, award-winning guitarist, singer, songwriter and producer Buddy Miller set up a recording studio on the ship and recorded and played with everyone from veteran songwriters to emerging artists. Buddy Miller & Friends’ Cayamo Sessions At Sea, due January 29, 2016 on New West Records, collects 11 of the best of these once-in-a-lifetime musical moments recorded on the 2014 and 2015 voyages with Kris Kristofferson, Lucinda Williams, Kacey Musgraves, Richard Thompson, Lee Ann Womack, Shawn Colvin, Nikki Lane, Brandi Carlile, The Lone Bellow, Doug Seegers and more.”
“From bow to stern, port to starboard, on top deck and down below, artists – some old friends, some just acquainted - come together in fits of spontaneity and create unique musical collaborations all around the ship. It’s for this reason that Cayamo has become one of the most sought after cruises for artists and music lovers alike, selling out year after year. In 2012, Miller decided to try to capture a few of these special maritime moments and brought along some recording gear and set up a studio in the ship’s library where he and co-host and lifelong friend Jim Lauderdale recorded episodes for their SiriusXM Outlaw Country Buddy & Jim Radio Show. They ended up recording their debut episode with Lucinda Williams. Miller thought the radio show recordings sounded great so, in 2014, he brought more gear, an engineer and some stellar musicians and set up a temporary recording studio between the lanes of a bowling alley. For two days and nights, a who’s who of artists came to record while lucky fans watched on. He had so much fun that he did it all again on the 2015 cruise.”
Of the collaboration Nikki Lane tells rolling Stone Country: “I’m in it for the long game. This is great, and the past year has been wonderful. But what am I going to do when I am 50? You don’t want to be the person sitting in the corner of the coffee shop who wrote that song. You want to be someone like Buddy Miller, who has found a way to position himself in a really creative industry. Because long game is the only way you can really call yourself an artist.”
Track list for Buddy Miller & Friends’ ‘Cayamo Sessions at Sea’:
1. After the Fire Is Gone – with Lee Ann Womack
2. Love’s Gonna Live Here – with Kacey Musgraves
3. Sunday Morning Coming Down – Kris Kristofferson
4. Just Someone I Used to Know – with Nikki Lane
5. Hickory Wind – with Lucinda Williams
6. Wedding Bells – with Richard Thompson
7. If Teardrops Were Pennies – with Elizabeth Cook
8. Wild Horses – with Shawn Colvin
9. Come Early Mornin’ – with Jill Andrews
10. Take the Hand of Jesus – with Doug Seegers
11. Angel from Montgomery – with Brandi Carlile and the Lone Bellow
So, as one of the paying Cayamo passengers who signed up for the cruise to see Buddy Miller but were disappointed because he spent most of the crew recording this album, do I at least get a free signed copy?
It was two afternoons. Not most of the cruise.
I’m looking forward to it! Have been on 3 of the cruises. Music as always great and Buddy is EVERYWHERE on that ship.
Last year, we ran into Lucinda when she was headed to the bowling alley to do her recording. She stopped and chatted with us until her tour manager shut it down saying they were already late to the recording. Off they went.
Anyway, the first comment on this article is like a troll. You don’t expect them on Cayamo, you know?