By Paul T. Mueller
Award-worthy moments from Cayamo 2016:
The Press On Regardless Award – The Black Lillies, who played a series of great sets on Cayamo 2016 with borrowed instruments after having most of their gear stolen less than a week before the cruise.
The “They Must Be Clones” Award – (Tie) Daniel Walker (keyboards and accordion, John Fullbright) and Chojo Jacques (fiddle and mandolin, Slaid Cleaves), one or both of who seemed to be a guest performer at practically every set all week.
The “I’ll Sleep When I’m Dead” Award – Cruz Contreras (The Black Lillies), who was still playing as the Pearl pulled into the Port of Miami.
The Boogie Shoes Award – Mingo Fishtrap, whose late-night funk-rock shows kept the Atrium hopping.
The Dead Will Live Again Award – American Babies, “house band” for the Grateful Dead tribute show.
The Let’s Duet Award – Slaid Cleaves, who sang the Dewey Cox classic to passengers late one night in the Great Outdoors dining area.
The Fish Out of Water Award – Chris Stapleton, who seemed somewhat perplexed at the idea of playing for quiet audiences.
The “How Can You Be Two Places at Once When You’re Not Anywhere At All” Award – every Cayamo passenger who found him- or herself desperately wanting to attend two shows at the same time.
The Bandleader Generosity Award – David Bromberg, who in at least one show insisted that almost every band member and guest take a solo – and then kept saying, “Play it again!.”
The Throwback Award – Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit, for their excellent rendition of the Rolling Stones’ “Can’t You Hear Me Knocking” at the sailaway show.
The Bless Your Heart Award – Angaleena Presley, for her very funny song by the same name, which became an oft-repeated catch phrase around the boat.
The Keepin’ It Clean Award – The Washy Washy Duo (Norwegian Cruise Lines employees Redelick on guitar and Komang on vocals and hand sanitizer spray bottle), who daily serenaded passengers entering the buffet with such classics as “Washy Washy, Happy Happy,” “I Wanna Wash Your Hands” and “Spray You, Spray Me.”
The Best Dressed Male Award – Robert Ellis, who apparently brought along steamer trunks filled with fashionable suits and accessories.
The Best Dressed Female Award – Rainey Qualley, for the beguiling black dress she wore at her Atrium show.
Parents of the Year – Paul “Hammy” Hamilton (Foy Vance’s drummer) and his wife, for cruising with a couple of very young kids.
Honorary Uncle of the Year Award – Foy Vance, who was often to be seen playing with his drummer’s young sons on the pool deck.
The Most Valuable Player Award – the crew of Sixthman, the Atlanta-based company that produces Cayamo.