I thought for sure our research was going to show we didn't really start bringing guitars until later, but there is photographic evidence that we brought at least one axe on the very first trip in 2004.
Regardless, it did not take long for music to become an essential part of camping for us - right up there with pitching a tent or building a fire for everybody else. And instruments get much higher priority space in the boats than other canoe clubs probably give them, if they do at all.
That includes the Washtub Bass, which could have had its own spot in the RRCC Top 25. Our luthiers did excellent work when it was first built it in 2005, but it didn't really acquire that distinctive, rich sound it is so famous for until it flew out of Kirly's truck bed and bounced down the interstate coming back from the Elk River.
Gravel bar music is not just for the evening hours anymore either. Gospel hour always sounds good in the mornings. And sometimes we've been known to pull over just to "drink beer and hurl hillbilly songs against the woods' stillness" (Goodbye to a River, p. 64) right in the middle of the paddling day. Because we feel like it.