Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Sultans of Swing

Muscat, Oman
Muscat beach at dusk
Our final performance on the Rhythm Road was one to remember. The setting was the Grand Lawn of the Crowne Plaza Hotel, sitting high above the seaside beaches, rock cliffs, and mangroves. The stage was set up with our backs to the west so as the sunset and the crescent moon rose above us, we all agreed that this had to be the most beautiful setting we had ever performed in. The cool evening breezes and warm welcome from everyone helped make this an absolute perfect ending to our experience in the Arabian Peninsula. Little Joe selected songs that seemed to sum up the evening and his playing was inspired. The crowd numbered in the hundreds and US Ambassador Schmierer and his wife were great hosts, welcoming everyone to this final cultural exchange. Some of the dignitaries that were in attendance at our previous concert also came out for the big outside show, enjoying an evening of Blues music under the stars. After the concert the crowd slowly dispersed and many folks stayed to enjoy the last drop of this fantastic

Bernesto with US Ambassador Schmierer, his wife, and the Spanish Ambassador to Oman

We then had a lovely post-concert buffet dinner at the Hotel where the conversation drifted to the complications of our return flights back home to Tulsa tomorrow. We were scheduled to travel through London to Dallas and we learned that all flights into and out of London remain canceled. Public Affairs Officer Robert Arbuckle assured us that we will be able to depart within a day or two, rerouting through Abu Dhabi and New York or something like that. The news here is full of accounts of people attempting to travel back to the UK and being stranded for days in all sorts of difficult situations. I can think of a lot worse places to be waiting in than in beautiful Muscat, Oman! This past few weeks on the Rhythm Road has been the most enriching and rewarding experience of my life. Words fail me when I trying to describe my thoughts and feelings. I will bring back a wealth of information and stories about the people and places of this wonderful part of our world. More on our return adventure tomorrow as it unfolds.

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