Day Two of Jam Cruise consists of a “day at sea” which essentially means music morning, noon and night. You’d think one would get sick of so much music, but with all the creature comforts of home and a slew of the most talented musicians on the planet, you will never run out of bands to see.
[All photos by Dave Vann]
The day started with a Ryan Montbleau Band set on the Pool Deck. Montbleau and his ensemble won themselves plenty of new fans thanks to a high-energy performance that featured most of the classic songs in the band’s repertoire and a bouncy cover of Bob Marley’s Bend Down Low. Keyboardist Jason Cohen took full advantage of the stage’s Hammond B3 and Larry Scudder tore many strands on the bow he was using to play viola because he was jamming so hard.
Zach Deputy joined the Montbleau Band for a tune before rockin’ his own set on the Solar Stage which is essentially a small stage near the Pool Deck. The afternoon brought a couple of once-in-a-lifetime workshops with Robert Randolph leading the Slide Workshop and Maceo Parker fronting Sax Syntax. Who did Maceo invite to play Sax Syntax with him? How about Stanton Moore, George Porter Jr., Jeff Coffin and Karl Denson. Now there’s something you don’t see everyday.
Later in the afternoon came an amazing trifecta of Railroad Earth > Brock Butler > The Motet plays the Talking Heads. Keith Mosley of String Cheese Incident filled in admirably for bassist Johnny Grubb during Railroad Earth’s bluegrass-tinged set as Grubb played his last show with RRE on New Year’s Eve. Butler performed a heady mix of covers on acoustic including a tender The Golden Age (Beck), Fool In The Rain (Led Zeppelin) and Helpless (Neil Young). READ ON for more from Scotty on Day Two of Jam Cruise…
One of the coolest aspects of Jam Cruise is the interaction with the artists. I was able to walk up about a foot from Brock during his set and he took requests from anyone who would ask. I really wanted to hear him play a Paul Simon song, but I just didn’t want to yell it out. Up next was perhaps the best set of this adventure thus far in the form of The Motet plays the Talking Heads. Dave Watt led a talented ensemble that included Fuzz and his wife Carrie, Liza Oxnard, Joey Porter, Kyle Hollingsworth and Jans Ingber through a lengthy set of TH covers. Ingber’s vocals were right on and Fuzz brought an intensity to this music that was most necessary.
From 8 to 10 is usually a break in the action, giving attendees a chance to hit up the sit-down dinner. There’s nothing like ordering whatever you want from a menu with a group of your buddies at a fine-dining establishment. Don’t like the entree you got? Just order another. There’s no worries on this boat as the staff is ready, willing and able to allay any concerns you may have.
I caught OHMphrey next and look back a few posts for my review of that stellar set. I was beat after 140 minutes of metal, but I persevered and caught a bit of STS9 and The Word’s second sets of the trip. Before I went to bed I made the wise decision to check in on the Jam Room. I came across Matty from the Montbleau Band on bass, Brock Butler and Zach Deputy on guitar and a drummer I didn’t recognize playing a killer I’ll Take You There. There weren’t many people in the Jam Room, so after they finished I yelled “Paul Simon.” The guys on stage were happy to oblige and delivered a gorgeous Diamonds on the Soles of Her Shoes. Brock has such a distinctive style that worked so well on this tune. Ryan Montbleau jumped up to add some vocals putting the finishing touches on one of the most amazing moments of my trip thus far.
At this point it was 4AM and I knew it was time for bed. I hit the hay with the biggest smile and my face and woke up five hours later ready for more. I don’t want to waste much time on this boat sleeping, I’ve got all weekend for that. The action continues today and I’ll aim to get up another report tomorrow at 5PM.