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Saturday, February 28, 2015

Michael McCloud Sings the Key West Blues...

Nettled alongside the waterfront in the Historic Key West Seaport is the Schooner Wharf Bar. It's often described as rustic, charming, laid back, and as the "Last Little Piece of Old Key West".

In any event I got to thinking about that open-aired popular tourist destination the other day after having loaded some tunes into my CD player.

For ya' see, I had purposely avoided listening to Jimmy Buffet or anything else that might perhaps even remotely remind me of Key West after having set sail and leaving that place in my wake. Eight months of Key West and of its so-called frivolity can have that kind of an effect on a fellow.

Nevertheless I did eventually relent and tune in some Michael McCloud, Live As I Can Be into my CD player. This after having sipped on a few cold beverages a weekend or so ago.

Now Michael McCloud, for the unenlightened, is a fixture at the Schooner Wharf and routinely performs in the early afternoon. This troubadour is what others might describe as your "quintessential musical storyteller" whatever that eight syllable word might mean.

And while I'm thinking about it, Michael's songs come across as humorous yet at the same time as rather mournful. They all seem to be tinged with insightful melancholy of unfulfilled dreams and of a wasted youth.

Buffet's songs on the other hand will have ya' believing that Key West is all about frivolity and about sipping on margaritas while chowing down on cheese burgers in paradise every day which ain't the case at all. Unless of course you happen to be a tourist as apart from being a local.

Here are a few of his more memorable songs and lyrics along with some of my gratuitous commentary.

Conch Republic Song... National Anthem
I'd Rather be Here, Just Drinking a Beer, than Freezing My Ass off in the North.. This island is the life I choose. She's freezing her butt off while I'm wearing cutoffs...

Peace and Quiet...
I ain't bothering nobody who don't want bothered... nobody's bothering me.

Closin' the Bars... 
Somebody take him home, he won't make it alone out there on his own, somebody please take him home.

Billy's Bayou Barroom and Backyard Barbecue...
*delightfully entertaining*

Today's the Day...
*A mournful tale about furtively searching for offshore sunken treasures.*

She Gotta Butt...
*funny as all get out and about a fat waitress with attitude whom nobody liked*

Waitin' Tables...
She's ten years on and ten years gone, lessons of life serving drinks, and waitin' tables.
*A decidedly mournful song that epitomizes the working struggles of your typical service industry worker while she serves up beverages to party revelers.*

Just Came Down For the Weekend Thirty-Five Years Ago...
*Key West is indeed the End of the Road where some folks just came down for the weekend and never left. And Michael will also be the first to tell ya' that he was burning at both ends of the candle and then some in the middle.*

Chasing the Wind... I'd rather be chasing the wind than to do anything on the land.
"Any of you folks have any romantic illusions about living on a boat? Well don't you do it! The average life expectancy of a boat is about forty years. So odds are it's gonna' sink with you in it. So don't you do it. So if someone wants to show you how cool their boat is then go see it. Go sailing, go diving, go snorkeling, go fishing ... but don't you buy no boat!"

*A funny intro before Michael launches into his song which brings to mind a quote that my lady-friend is fond of reiterating, "If it flies, floats, or f****, then rent it!"

I suppose that I could go on and mention a few more of his tunes but I've reminisced enough for now. In any event, some life experiences are definitely not to be repeated. Oh well.