When Steve Moakler, our first-ever Café con Siete performer sat on our couch, and started with, “Siete, are you ready? Such a good time, I can feel the confetti,” his charm lit up the room. It was as though he was speaking to us from the comforts of his own living room.
We met Steve previously, on a trip to Nashville, and got to know each other over a home-cooked dinner, Siete style. (Think: Jalapeño Mac & Cheese, Mexican Hot Chicken, and Roasted Banana Pudding with Mini Buñuelos.) Afterwards, he proposed sharing a performance with us in kind, sometime down the road. Come October, his arrival could not have been more perfect. Brought to us in part by the Hometowns & Campgrounds tour, a trusty airstream trailer, and that timely thing we call fate, Steve was right on time for our first Café con Siete.
We invited him to sit down and stay for a while, play for a while. Smack in the middle of the cafe’s couch, he felt like familia. His first song, “Slow Down,” answered, “Some people just feel like home I guess, I can’t tell you why.”
Now, without a precedent, our vision for the first Café con Siete existed mostly in our minds. But then, three things happened when Steve visited that brought our ideas to life:
First, one of Steve’s guitar strings broke at the end of his song, “Hard Not to Love It.” He played through it, and joked afterwards that guitar strings break when you are playing from the heart. Do everything with love, we say.
Second, he expressed his fondness for his Italian grandma, and her spaghetti meatballs. We immediately related to the way cooking food and sharing meals brings family together, and creates lasting memories.
Lastly, he told us the story about the genesis of his favorite song, “Riser.” He set the scene, recreated the characters, and ultimately shared a tale of humility, passion, and courage--three values that underscore our familia. “We knew we loved this song and it meant a lot to us… millions of people have heard it, but this is my version of it—my favorite song that I almost didn’t even get to write.”
In these moments especially, we felt the unifying effects of good company, good food, and good, old fashioned storytelling. Our vision unfolded before our eyes; and so, the first-ever Café con Siete was a success. Steve is the first of many musicians we hope to welcome to Siete, but his visit marks the special beginning in a new chapter of our family historia.
Happy trails, Steve! We hope to see you again down the road, but will keep you within earshot until then.