Liveaboard Tunes

October 2016 Feature Brady L. Kay

As we all know, there is an unlimited amount of activities that can be done from your houseboat, including one that I’m guessing is not quite as common as cornhole. For New York-based guitarist/keyboardist/vocalist Sal Cataldi, his houseboat has not only been his home for 11 plus years, but it’s also been his recording studio.

“I moved on to it after my divorce with my son Anton and naturally I had time on my hands so I loaded the place up with a recording studio, where I cut an album of instrumentals and acoustic vocal tunes called, ‘Sketches of Spam,’” explains Cataldi. “Minus the final mixing and mastering, the disc was written and recorded entirely on the waves.” 

Not bad for a guy who says he didn’t have much boating experience before deciding to live full time as a liveaboard.

“I didn’t have any real prior boating experience, just a passenger on boats, but I became intrigued with houseboats when I visited Amsterdam in the early 80s,” recalls Cataldi. “Actually stayed on one and thought it would be a very cool way to live.”

It’s a little known fact that some areas right outside of the New York City limits are a bit like Sausalito in some places, home to some small communities to houseboaters and floating homes.

Cataldi’s houseboat is moored in Port Washington at Tom’s Point Marina, which is roughly 36 minutes from Penn Station and his New York City office. The boat was named [Garlic Knot] by his then 8-year-old, pizza-loving daughter Bettina and his recently recorded album is getting a lot of great buzz and national airplay.

“It’s a really genre-spanning collection, from very electric and world beat inspired instrumentals to gentle acoustic songs shaped by life’s experiences,” says the artist. One notable tune is the uniquely slow cover of The Beatles’ “Ticket to Ride,” which has enjoyed airplay all over the country.

He credits living on the water—which includes surviving two hurricanes—for his inspiration and motivation to release “Sketches of Spam,” the 16-track, 69-minute, genre-surfing debut release from Spaghetti Eastern Music.

“The best thing about living on the water is access to nature, the beautiful views and the relative quiet,” explains the liveaboard. “The sounds of the night, the birds, the sail lines whacking on the masts of the boats here, for me it’s very peaceful. I can leave my job in mid-Manhattan and basically be out in a peaceful place in a little less than an hour. I think living on top of the water is very calming.”

Enjoy a free listen at the artist’s website,

Photo by Ivan Singer

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