Carnival Time On Jam Cruise 19: Day 4 Recap – Lebo, Dumpstaphunk, Doom Flamingo & More

Dogs In A Pile, Fruition, Everyone Orchestra and The Lil Smokies are more of the acts who shined aboard the MSC Divina on Thursday.

By Scott Bernstein Feb 10, 2023 11:46 am PST

Jam Cruise 19 continued on Thursday with a full day at sea aboard the MSC Divina. The theme for Day 4 was “Mardi Gras,” which was celebrated both by cruisers decked out in beads and fleur de lis, as well as multiple performances from New Orleans-based musicians such as Dumpstaphunk, Galactic and George Porter Jr.. It never fails to amaze how creative attendees get in coming up with the perfect costume for each theme. The people-watching on the ship is top-notch.

Thursday was an absolutely gorgeous day weather-wise. The full slate of Pool Deck performances began with a guest-heavy set from Dogs In A Pile. The Jersey Shore-based jam quintet brought out guitarist Daniel Donato (Trouble No More) and keyboardist Scott Hannay (Mihali) for a cover of the Grateful Dead’s “Mr. Charlie” and then welcomed Mihali and drummer Adrian Tramontano (Twiddle/Mihali) to contribute to a jammed out take on Ween’s “Voodoo Lady.” Jager Soss (Baked Shrimp) and Mike Dillon also made guest appearances.

Jam Cruise organizers Cloud 9 Adventures do a fantastic job making the most of the ship when it comes to venues. One such unique space is a stage set up near a swimming pool at the back of the Divina. Dan “Lebo” Lebowitz (ALO) hosted a magical Lebo & Friends set on the “Garden Stage” as it’s called. Lebo started the performance with a stellar rendition of “Don’t Think Twice, It’s All Right” backed by Fruition’s rhythm section (bassist Jeff Leonard and drummer Tyler Thompson). He then told the story of and performed “Two Silver Linings,” a song he wrote during the dog days of the pandemic.

Leonard and Thompson had to get ready for Fruition’s Pool Deck set, so Lebo recruited drummer Cliff Porter and bassist Dan Kelly (Neighbor) for the remainder of his set, after teaming with Fruition’s Mimi Naja on “Can’t Find My Way Home.” Kelly had never played with Lebo previously and due to internet issues the pair had to exchange notes via clandestine airdrops. “I felt like a spy,” Lebo said. Kelly held it down impressively on the ALO classic “Try,” the fitting Ricky Nelson number “Garden Party,” the Dead tune “Althea” and ALO staple “I Wanna Feel It.” Kelly’s Neighbor bandmates joined in the fun as keyboardist Richard James added to “Althea” and “I Wanna Feel It,” while the latter also featured guitarist Lyle Brewer.

Jam Cruisers can always count on the Everyone Orchestra set as a highlight of each trip and Thursday’s performance in the Pantheon Theater was no exception. Founder Matt Butler conducted a heady mix of JC vets and rookies that included vocalist Kanika Moore (Doom Flamingo), The Horn Section (formerly of Turkuaz), Little Stranger, keyboardist Jason Crosby and others. The all-improv set saw the vocalists work in clever references to the multiple time zones crossed as the Divina stayed on course with delightful weather.

Fruition took the Pool Deck stage in the late afternoon. The Americana quintet showed off their incredible songwriting skills with originals “Dawn” and Lebo returning the favor on “Labor Of Love.” Fruition closed out their set with a tribute to the late David Crosby in the form of a powerful take on the CSN gem “Suite Judy Blue Eyes.”

The evening Pool Deck sets were devoted to the music of NOLA via impressive sets from Dumpstaphunk and Galactic. Both acts swapped guest spots and the Dumpstaphunk horns led a Second Line Parade into the audience between sets. Galactic’s current vocalist, Anjelika “Jelly” Joseph has a dynamic style that fits the band’s music nicely. Joseph was showcased on Professor Longhair’s “Go The Mardi Gras” and material from their forthcoming studio EP, Tchoupitoulas.

Over in the Black & White Lounge, guitarist Joe Marcinek and a crew that included George Porter Jr. and Tony Hall presented a “Dead Funk Summit” set of Meters classics, Grateful Dead live staples and more. Marcinek, a Jam Cruise regular, drew a big crowd to the small room and did a good job letting his bandmates shine.

The members of The Lil Smokies dressed to impress for their Pantheon Theater set on Thursday. Fiddler Jake Simpson noted it was the group’s first time playing in the large venue and thanked fans for swinging by. The Lil Smokies have three fantastic vocalists that each bring a completely different style to the music. Simpson, dobroist Andy Dunnigan and guitarist Matt “The Rev” Rieger each had multiple turns in the spotlight. Highlights included a performance of beloved original “California” encapsulating Huey Lewis & The News’ “Power Of Love” and a cover of Guy Clark’s “Rain In Durango” featuring special guest Daniel Donato on guitar.

Doom Flamingo closed out the Pool Deck with a memorable 90-minute performance. The Charleston, South Carolina-based band worked through each and every song from their debut studio album, Peaches & Bobbi, which came out today, as well as other live favorites. Kanika Moore entranced the crowd with both her vocal talent and winning stage presence. She has been the Queen Of Jam Cruise 19 thus far.

Jam Cruise 19 visits Grand Turk on Friday. Follow the action via JamBase’s Instagram page.

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