Picking up the tres guitar

As I mentioned yesterday, Cam is a pretty damn fine musician. In fact, he’s just recently cut his first CD, “The Grace and the Grit” (which you can hear samples from by going here). Anyway, we walked along the waterfront back to La Terraza, the very cool little restaurant that was one of Hemingway’s favorites and where he often went in the afternoon to buy a round of beers for the fishermen in exchange for them telling him stories about their adventures out on the ocean.

It was from one of these tales (or perhaps a combination of several) that Hemingway got the idea for The Old Man and the Sea, the book generally recognized for bringing the Nobel Prize in Literature to Hemingway in 1954. Hem was at Finca La Vigía when he learned that he’d won the Nobel, which he’d long coveted.

“This prize belongs to Cuba, since my works were created and conceived in Cuba, with the inhabitants of Cojimar, of which I am a citizen,” Hemingway said when he placed the medal at the foot of the Madonna del Cobre near Santiago de Cuba.

We walked in to La Terraza and in the bar was a son band playing to a group of Scandinavian tourists. We sat in the back by an open window that faced the harbor so we could catch the fresh breeze. As we were ordering a round of Cristals, the son band came into the back room and started playing. I could see that Cam was particularly fascinated by the lead singer who was playing an instrument he’d never seen before. He asked me if I knew what it was. I told him it was a tres guitar, so named became it uses three pairs of strings instead of the usual six. When the band stopped playing, we called the leader over and asked if we could look at his tres. He was happy to show it off. He handed it to Cam who tried to pick a few chords. The guitarist took the guitar back and showed him how to play it. Cam studied him intently. For the rest of the story, you really need to just watch the video as I captured the scene live. I figure that some day when Cam is the next Eric Clapton, this video will be famous.

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