One of our major activities while crusing was making music at popular cruiser hangouts. We also sought out local musicians wherever we went and found some very talented people.

Gary & Stali playing in Venezuela

Latcho & Andrea (The Blond Gipsys) are undoubtably the most gifted and successful musicians we met during our many years of cruising. They are immensely popular with the cruiser community in the Banderas Bay (e.g., Puerto Vallarta, Mexico) area they call home. There is also constant demand for their performances at many of the upscale local restaurants and hotels, as well as private parties, weddings…any event where their lively music and great talent is required.

Los Pablos are two brothers and musicians living in Ecuador. During our long stay in that country, I became good friends with one of them, Nicolás Pablo. As far as I know, their only commercial CD has never been available outside of Ecuador. I'm hoping that, with a little publicity on this site, I can change that. Click their link to learn more about them and listen to their music.

Cruiser Guitar 101 is a single-sheet, two-sided, handout of basic instructions on learning to play the guitar. During our travels I met countless cruisers who had a guitar stowed aboard with every intention of learning how to play it…someday! For all too many of them, that day kept getting put off. I decided that all most of them needed was a brisk jump start.

So, I began giving my "Cruiser Guitar 101" seminars, and created this handout. To keep it manageable, I limited the handout to a single sheet and packed into it as much info as I could that I thought would be useful for beginners. Perhaps most valuable are the chord charts included on the verso side of the handout. Experienced guitar players will recognize that those chords include all the related chords derived from the diatonic scale for each of the most popular (and easier for a beginner to play) keys. I omitted keys that involved many barre chords.

My seminars turned out to be a big hit and were very well attended. In fact, I know of at least one of my early "students" who went on to a serious study of the guitar and, when I last saw him, was able to play as well as, if not better than, I can. That was highly gratifying. (Are you still playing, Bill?)

My Music CD, entitled Live at Philo's, was recorded at Philo's Restaurant/Bar in La Cruz de Huanacaxtle, Nayarit, Mexico, during the 2004 cruising season. I was performing regularly at Philo's on less busy days in an attempt to increase his number of customers.

Philo decided to record my performances. Initially, I didn't like the idea because there are always mistakes made during live performances. I would have preferred a studio situation, where I could do multiple takes and correct/eliminate the "roadbumps." However, Philo insisted and, at the end of the season, gave me a set of CDs with all of the raw recordings he had made.

Months later, I sifted through the recordings and managed to pull out enough decent tracks to put together a music CD. Yes, the musical gaffes were there, but not as many or as bad as I'd feared. My main complaint was that everything—voice, guitar, dogs and customers in the background—were all on a single track, despite Philo's assurance that at least the voice and guitar would be separate. But, that's what I had to work with. When all was said and done, I think it turned out pretty well.

Street Guitar in Ecuador is a small image gallery and slide show of me playing guitar on the street in Bahía de Caráquez, Ecuador. In every Latin country we've visited, a guitar assures you can quickly make friends, never go hungry, and always find a place to sleep.