The weather in New York City over the past few months has been unseasonably mild, but that changed earlier this week when a cold front came through and knocked temperatures into the teens. Everyone around me looked miserable as the cold bit through their layers of clothing, yet I carried an obnoxious smirk on my face. Tonight I leave for sunny Florida where I’ll spend a few days with family, and catch an Umphrey’s McGee show, before departing on my third Jam Cruise this Monday. The cold weather only served to get me more excited for the trip that lays ahead.
My first Jam Cruise took place in January 2010 and believe it or not I was a bit worried that by Day Three I’d want to jump overboard. I had this image in my head of schwilled out wooks and terrible jams filling the boat. Reality was a completely different story as within an hour of boarding the MSC Poesia I realized that I’d entered a musical and social utopia. I had so much in common with everyone I met and one person was nicer than the next. Musically, I was blown away by most acts and truly appreciated all of the interaction between bands. When I walked off the boat I was a changed man. Jam Cruise had brought out the best in me and for days afterwards I walked around NYC introducing myself to random people and caught as much music as I possibly could.
Jam Cruise 10 departs from Fort Lauderdale on Monday and I’ll be describing my experience in what I hope will be daily Jam Cruise Journal posts. Some of the bands I’m extremely excited to catch are Perpetual Groove with “new” keyboardist Matt McDonald, Umphrey’s McGee’s first Jam Cruise appearance since I started going, Bruce Hornsby’s sets, the Tribute to Sly Stone, Omega Moo’s surefire mix of ’70s and ’80s covers, the final “final” New Deal shows and the possibility of sunrise Brock Butler set(s). We’ll still have a full schedule of Hidden Track posts next week in addition to my reports from the boat. New York I Love You, but I’m so ready to leave this city.