Saturday, January 26, 2008

Rock Boat

Ok, if you've spent more than 30 minutes with me in the last three years, it's more than likely that you've heard me talk about the Rock Boat which is a Carnival cruise produced by Sixthman. The Rock Boat, to summarize, has dozens of rock bands on board to perform shows throughout the cruise. This year, I got a fantastic little surprise!

Several of my friends agreed to meet for dinner in the formal dining room on the second night of the cruise. Three of them were more than fifteen minutes late, and the rest of us were starving. So, we went on without them. As our first course was delivered to the table, Mary Ann finally found us and explained they were late because they stopped to listen to a bluegrass band in the hallway. My ears perked up because I love bluegrass. "What was the name of the band?" I asked. "The DeWight Brothers," she said unsurely. "You mean, the DeWayn Brothers?" I asked, disbelieving my ears. "Yeah, that's it." "No way! Shut up! The DeWayn Brothers?" I challenged her for confirmation. She answered, "Yeah, there's a girl with a really strong voice...." and before she could finish describing, I cried out, "That's them!!! It can't be. Can it be?!?" And for the rest of the meal, I could hardly sit still and finish that REALLY LONG dinner. I was anxious to verify that my favorite little bluegrass band from Emporia, Kansas, was truly on the Rock Boat!
And, yes, they were!
As it turned out, not only were they my fantastic little surprise, they were a Rock Boat surprise altogether. Oakhurst, another rock/bluegrass band, was invited on board by Sixthman as one of the official line-up. As Oakhurst had additional room, they invited the DeWayn Brothers to join them as guests. The DeWayn Brothers, not being an official Rock Boat band, planned to play in the hallways and in the elevator banks. One of the Sixthman staff heard them play and added them to line-up to at the Promenade stage (a small venue near the casino that gets alot of foot traffic). No matter where the DeWayn Brothers played, they always drew an excited crowd. And everywhere I went, people were commenting about the DeWayn Brothers and how they were really cool.
I was loving it! This was a little band that I've seen play in dumpy little bars in very small Kansas towns with only a handful of people in the audience. The first time I saw them play in Emporia, Kansas, I thought they had something very special and wished that more people could see them. Now, here they were on the Rock Boat. Three years ago, I sent them a photo of me wearing one of their band t-shirts and hot-tubbing with my friends on the Rock Boat. I never would have thought that I'd actually get to see them play on the best rock music cruise. You know.... I can't help but feel a little proud that I saw them "way back when," and I hope they, too, were glad to know that at least one person out of the thousands on the boat knew who they were.
But the secret's out now! My best wishes to the DeWayn Brothers, who will be traveling with Oakhurst this Spring. I hope to see you guys on Rock Boat Niner!