Jam Cruise 9 | Review | Pics

Jam Cruise 9 All-Stars

There was no lack of talent on the boat, in fact, it’s nothing but pros and future pros. But over their many guest turns these three musicians showed themselves to be a reliable source of inspiration to their compatriots in multiple, varied setting on top of being hugely able soloist and massive talents due an extra measure of props this year. One trait they all shared is the gift of under-playing when all around them noodled mightily. I raise my glass to all three and promise to buy their first drink if we wind up on the boat together again.

1. Nigel Hall
Pipes from Heaven, major keyboard kung-fu and a nice chap to boot. When you see Nigel step up you know it’s about to get good, every single time.

2. Jennifer Hartswick
Pipes also from Heaven, charming stage presence, trumpeter extraordinaire. She’s someone you want on your team no matter what game you’re playing.

3. Anders Beck
He makes the dobro sing and cry, weaving into spaces missed by other musicians, stirring strong feelings without a single word. Time will likely show him to be an advancer of his instrument, someone who pioneered new possibilities for the dobro and inspired others to take the path less traveled.

10 Thematic Cover Song Suggestions For Jam Cruise 10

Cover tunes are a big thing on the boat. Bands break out new ones especially for JC, and sea/ocean themed numbers always go over great. With that in mind, here’s a few ideas for artists to tackle next time.

1. Roger McGuinn’s “Jolly Roger”
2. Procol Harum’s “A Salty Dog”
3. Bob Dylan’s “Boots of Spanish Leather”
4. Styx’s “Come Sail Away”
5. Robert Plant’s “Ship of Fools”
6. Little Feat’s “Sailin’ Shoes”
7. Kansas’ “Point of No Return”
8. The Blues Image’s “Ride Captain Ride”
9. Jefferson Airplane/Crosby, Stills & Nash’s “Wooden Ships”
10. Fred Neil’s “The Dolphins”

5 Humble Lineup Suggestions For Jam Cruise 10

1. Clutch
A bit outside of JC’s usual comfort zone but actually a superb fit given their range into dub, psych and blues. Clutch would provide a welcome splash of heaviness, and they could also do a set as their jazz-inflected instrumental alter-ego The Bakerton Group, which dovetails nicely with prior JC vets like Garage A Trois and Go-Go Jungle. I think they would be a major surprise for Jamcruisers.

2. Living Colour
Lead singer Corey Glover was on the boat with Galactic this year and dug the heck out of the cruise. Next step is to bring him back with his own band, who are playing better than ever, to flip lids. Who doesn’t want to see Vernon Reid in the Jam Room?

3. 7 Walkers
Bill Kreutzmann clearly had a great time this year and George Porter Jr. is a staple of the cruise. That just leaves Papa Mali and Matt Hubbard. This quartet is stunning live, working some of the best lyrics Robert Hunter has written in 20 years and weaving a deeply Southern kind of voodoo.

4. Chris Robinson Band
With The Black Crowes taking a long hiatus, Chris is embarking on a solo band in 2011. They plan to stick to the West Coast for the most part so it would be a treat for folks to catch them on JC 10. Chris thrives in environments like Jam Cruise. As he said to me at last year’s High Sierra, “If there’s a bunch of loose, barefoot people getting down to my music then I’m in the right place.”

5. Chuck Brown
A late night chat with Robert Walter this year brought up the idea of some quality D.C. Go-Go for the boat, and who better than “The Godfather of Go-Go”? I foresee many hands in the air with Chuck making the pool deck bounce.

Continue reading for Chad Smith’s Jam Cruise 9 photo gallery...


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