The romantic, never look back idea of island living is, to some, the perfect backdrop for constant creative expression. This is true in the hands of the hammock maker, the mural artist and the musicians. Isla has that deep attraction to two of our local celebrities, that I’m lucky enough to call my friends. And then there is also my favorite mariachi group that are always ready to have a little fun when the camera is out!
Meet John Cain. Originally from Long Island, John and wife Katie made Isla their home 8 years ago. Listening to John’s interpretation of songs will evoke memories past, unfold layers of your history and convince you to just sit and stay awhile. When asked why he chooses certain songs, John smiles and says “there are decades of great music and a good song is a good song," and that says it. John’s acoustic guitar skills influence his “good song” choices from Peaceful Easy Feeling, Wasted Days and Wasted Nights to Marvin Gaye’s classic, What’s Going On. I enjoy John’s musical gift on Monday’s at Javi’s Cantina while digging into a crunchy, grilled shrimp wedge salad or their famous parmesan crusted grouper. John can also be found at El Patio on Hidalgo or as a part of the Sol Rockers every Saturday at a local island hangout, The Joint. Thank you John for sharing your musical gift with this lucky island.
Now meet Walter. Walter came to the island 50 years ago from his birthplace of Chiapas. With him, his still stunningly crafted xylophone (xilofone is spanish). On this wooden marvel, eighty-eight year young Walter, delights visitors to beach side Luna Grill with traditional Mexican favorites like El Rancho Grande and the most frequently requested La Bamba. I enjoy Walter’s smile and talents, burying my toes in the sand, while I dine on a fresh caught boquinete (hogfish) prepared by Chef Mario and sous chef Julio. Careful prep and a hot grill makes this local catch a delight every time. I’m so fortunate to have a friend like Walter.
Then there’s Hernan, Francisco and Manuel, my favorites of all the local mariachi groups and whom you have read about before in my post The Magic of Mariachi. The other day we decided to have a little photo fun between their musical strolls. They humor me with my poising directions and in the end are happy with the results!
So there you have it. Friends, great musical talent and an island cuisine attracting foodies from near and far. With the backdrop of turquoise water and the sounds of the shore.. why ever look back? -E