Photo by Michael Weintrob
Mark Brown ("The man" - Jam
Cruise, Cloud 9
1. Having a conversation with Michael Franti on the pool deck before their
sail away show from the Grand Cayman islands and hearing him pretty much free
styling our conversation into one of his songs. It was a perfect show with the
sun shining as we sailed away. Also loved the shoutout/standing ovation he gave
to the Clean Vibes crew who worked their asses off making sure all bottles and
cans from the cruise were being recycled.
2. Speaking with Brownie this past summer about his idea of a special project
for Jam Cruise and seeing the Brain Damaged Eggmen come to fruition late night
on the pool stage. The Beatles set blew us all away. What a fun show of Beatles
tunes done in an Umphrey's McGee/Disco Biscuits style and followed by an awesome
set of Floyd.
3. We received request from a few artists to have a stage setup specifically
for spontaneous jams. This idea sounded like a natural especially with over
100 talented musicians onboard. This room turned out to be a huge hit and every
time I walked in, amazing collaborations were taking place. Really one of kind
shows sometimes with over 15 players on a tiny stage in front of intimate crowds
loving every second of it.
Michael Franti & Spearhead - Photo by Dave Vann
Matt Hogan (SCI Fidelity)
Jake Cinninger, Jeff Coffin & Jen Hartswick
Photo by Dave Vann
1. Umphrey's McGee Pool Deck, Monday January 9th
If we're taking everything that goes into a concert experience into account
music, location, vibe, friends, etc this was quite possibly the
greatest rock concert I've seen in my entire life! After spending a restful
day in Jamaica (where an amazing beachside massage helped to recharge my batteries),
the Umphrey's boys took the energy of that entire ship and sent it into another
stratosphere. These were two, flat-out DIRTY, rocking, poignant, funky-ass party
sets from UM, and the "Tell Me Something Good" (Rufus feat. Chaka
Kahn) cover with Jennifer Hartswick & Jeff Coffin was just unbelievable.
The show kept rolling until around 4:30 a.m., and people were still thirsting for
more!!! Umphrey's Muthafuckin' McGee!
2. The Jam Room
This was by FAR the best addition to Jam Cruise this year. A plethora of
instruments were left in The Cabaret, where a revolving door of musicians were
able to sit in to create spontaneous magical musical moments. If, at any point
on the cruise there was a moment of down time, you could always say, "let's
see what's going on in the Jam Room," where you would inevitably find some
of the world's greatest musicians tearing it up with each other. I can't really
remember many of the exact lineups, but hopefully some tapes will start circulating,
so you can hear for yourselves. Steve Kimock, Eric Krasno, Ron Johnson, Brad
Houser, Rodney Holmes, Adam Deitch, Jason Hann, Papa Mali, Karl D., Cheme, the
guys from New Monsoon, and pretty much every other musician on the boat spent
some time killing it in the Jam Room, which also turned out to be the latest-running
party each night. Simply incredible!
3. Costa Maya, Mexico
It seemed unanimous that this was the best port Jam Cruise has ever visited.
As the last stop on the trip, Costa Maya gave cruisers a chance to check out
some beautiful Mayan ruins, and still have plenty of time to relax on a beautiful
white sandy beach, which was in eyeshot of the MSC Lirica. Those of us who opted
to lounge around the beach all day long were treated to a rainbow sighting over
the boat, crystal blue waters, a super-relaxed vibe, and some of the BEST fish
tacos & guacamole I've ever tasted! And oh yeah, the TEQUILA!!!
just 3? In that case, honorable mentions have to go to Brain Damaged
Eggmen (WOW!!!), DJ Williams (he's a guitarist, folks! Incredible sit-ins everywhere,
and his solo acoustic set gave me chills!), Gomez, Digable Planets, Bassnectar
(DJ Lorin) and the Blue Room Disco, Michael Franti & Spearhead, the steam
room, sunrise, and the entire staff of Jam Cruise 4! To everyone who was on the
boat, y'all rock, and I can't wait to do it again next year!!!
Photo by Dave Vann