January 10, 2010

Jam Cruise Journal: Reality Bites

Re-entering the real world after Jam Cruise 8 has been fairly painful. Luckily, all of the memories from the trip have kept me smiling. The weirdest part has been the “land legs” sensation that makes me feel like I’m still on the boat. Thursday, the final day of the cruise, continued the trend of amazing music and fantastic “only on Jam Cruise” experiences aboard the MSC Poesia.


[All photos by Dave Vann]

The day started bright and early with a set of funk on the Pool Deck from Johnny Sketch and the Dirty Notes that was lightly attended. By this point of the cruise, most folks were sleeping in – but that didn’t stop Marc Paradis and his band mates from delivering a fun set. Shortly after noon, the beautiful and angel-voiced Liza Oxnard showed off her solo songbook on the Solar Stage under the bright sun. When Hot Buttered Rum kicked off their second set of the weekend on the Pool Deck at 1:30 most Jam Cruisers had woken up, so the area was filled with revelers ready for some tasty bluegrass. Hot Buttered Rum gave the people what they wanted and everyone on deck was dancing the afternoon away.

Zach Deputy, who won the “Up All Night” award later in the day, was the second solo artist to play the Solar Stage on Thursday. Deputy mixed originals and fun covers throughout the set, continuing to impress with a hearty smile that could brighten the darkest day. The next set came from Steve Kimock’s Crazy Engine on the Pool Deck which ended with a gorgeous cover of the Grateful Dead’s Stella Blue – just one of many misty-eyed moments of the final day. Melvin Seals’ sparkling organ runs mixed so well with Kimock’s searing guitar tone, I was glad to finally get a chance to see this ensemble in such a beautiful location. Guests for this set included Robert Walter, Skerik and a rapper who I couldn’t identify.

READ ON for more on the final day of Jam Cruise 8…

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