Hope you're doing extraordinarily well and having a superb week so far! I'm still recovering from the phenomenal time I had on my first Jam Cruise!! I still feel like I'm rocking on the ship sans music, though. It was definitely one of the best weeks of my life and worth every penny!!
Anyhoo, everything about Jam Cruise was as good or even better than I expected and my expectations were rather lofty!!
* All the music was jaw-droppingly good - highlights of the highlights for me were:
* The Motet's all-Talking Heads show had even better musicianship and more energy than the Stop Making Sense film, which is my favorite concert on film or video;
* Galactic in the theater - they had a huge horn section of Karl Denson, Jeff Coffin, Skerik, Corey Henry, Trombone Shorty and his two sax players, plus George Porter, Robert Walter and Ivan Neville sat in
*George Porter all-star jam w/ about the same folks and then some
* Trombone Shorty's sail-away show had me wondering if anything might top it, but as Vince Herman says, "Just when you think it can't get any better, it does!"
* Honorable mentions, roughly in order, but who's counting?:
* the last late night Jam Room show
* Dragon Smoke w/ Stanton Moore, Robert Mercurio, Eric Lindell and Ivan Neville
* Maceo Parker
* Fantastic Four (Adam Deitch, Robert Walter, George Porter, Eric Krasno) + another five or so
* Railroad Earth's best show that I've seen
* Lotus's theater show
* Hot Buttered Rum, but what else is new?
* KDTU - ditto
* The Word - 1st time I saw them and Robert Randolph, John Medeski, Luther and Cody Dickinson didn't disappoint
* Oodles of the best musicians on the planet sat in on virtually every set
* Ran into most of the musicians in the cafeteria, restaurants, halls, elevators, venues, bars, airport
* Food was available 24 hours a day and it was better than it had been reported; I certainly didn't expect lobster, which I thought was better than some folks' opinions; pizza was great and most pasta dishes were good; breakfast (eggs, bacon, little sausages, bagels, muffins) is breakfast and is nice at 5 a.m. after the festivities
* Got three nights of rather good sleep in a comfortable bed and wasn't awakened by the sun, heat, yapping dogs, music or loud wooks as in a tent @ every other festy
* Relaxed in a perfect-temperature jacuzzi (could have even listened & seen bands from two of them) for several hours on two days w/ the nicest peeps
* Aside from some feedback at a couple of shows, the sound was excellent
* Fabulous light shows and stage decoration
* Aside from light rain one night, none of the shows were too hot or cold despite the crowds at a couple of indoor venues
* Venues were 5 minutes or less from one another
* No problem at all getting right up front for every set no matter when I got there or which venue
* Almost every set started on time
* No sand, dirt, mud, gravel, uneven grass to wear out my feet
* Could actually sit at every venue now and again and be close to the stage or even see it!!
* The entire ship and venues were extremely trippy
* Full bars with good beer, reasonable prices and very little waiting
* Hot, private shower w/out a long walk and no waiting
* Private, clean bathroom always stocked w/ toilet paper minutes away from wherever I was w/ no waiting (rather than porta-toilets w/ the contrary)
* Bunches of cool costumes
* I didn't even get off the boat at either Jamaica (woke up at 2 p.m. & it poured that day) or Cayman Islands (got up at 1 p.m., had to take a boat to get there and heard snorkeling wasn't happening anyhow b/c the water was too rough and murky) - those were the days I sat in the jacuzzi
* Weather could have been much nicer, as it was windy, cool and overcast most of the time, but I was glad it wasn't real hot and humid
* Sunsets on Wednesday and Thursday during the MOFRO and George Porter pool deck sets were two of the best I've ever seen and I took a few dozen of the best pix I've ever taken to prove it!
* Everyone made me feel like I'd been on the cruise for years - exceptionally cool, hard-partying, late night JCers!! Wish I could have spent more time w/ all my friends who I hardly ran into, but a bunch of folks on Facebook and the JC Forum were real nice meeting in person
NEW JAM CRUISE PHOTOS (http://www.musicphotographics.com/jam_cruise_2010_photos.htm
Exactly 1800 pix came home with me from the 5 days on the cruise! That's a new record for me! At least 90% of those will end up on my site. These are listed in the order of the sets, although I haven't posted many sets yet. Some sets have more than one page of galleries - do yourself a HUGE favor and check out ALL the pages for each set!!!! The pix are in the order I took them (as usual) and way more often than not the best pix are on the last pages. Also, you or someone you know may be on any of the pages. I eventually take pix of people I know but I also take plenty of pix of people I don't know individually or in groups, so you or someone you know are likely in some photo somewhere! If someone is at a set, their photo will be included in that gallery. If they're somewhere other than a set, the pix are in the Random Shots galleries.
* TROMBONE SHORTY (POOL DECK)
* DARK STAR ORCHESTRA (POOL DECK)
* MACEO PARKER (THEATER)
* MOTHER HIPS (ZEBRA)
* THE WORD (POOL DECK)
* JAM ROOM
* RANDOM SHOTS 1/3/10 & 1/4/10 (PEOPLE OTHER THAN @ SHOWS & TRIPPY SHOTS AROUND THE SHIP)
* RYAN MONTBLEU (POOL DECK)
* SLIDE WORKSHOP (KIMOCK, RANDOLPH, L. DICKINSON)
* TOUBAB KREWE (POOL DECK)
* SAX WORKSHOP W/ KARL D, MACEO, COFFIN, STANTON, PORTER, BERNARD (THEATER)
* RAILROAD EARTH (POOL DECK)
* THE WORD (THEATER)
* ERIC KRASNO & CHAPTER 2 (ZEBRA)
* KYLE HOLLINGSWORTH BAND (THEATER)
* LOTUS (POOL DECK)
* KYLE HOLLINGSWORTH & JOEL CUMMINS (ATRIUM PIANO - there were about 15 people)
* MOFRO & ABSOLUTELY DROP-DEAD GORGEOUS SUNSET (POOL DECK)
* ZAPPA PLAYS ZAPPA (THEATER)
* GEORGE PORTER (w/ EVERY FUNK MUSICIAN ON THE SHIP) & ANOTHER ABSOLUTELY DROP-DEAD GORGEOUS SUNSET (POOL DECK) -
* AWARDS (POOL DECK)
* KARL DENSON'S TINY UNIVERSE (THEATER)
I'll post all the pix from the whole cruise on my site B4 I post some from each show on Facebook. Hopefully I'll be done by Wednesday.
I'll send out another Update as soon as I post the rest of the JC pix. It'll have a complete rundown of all the musicians I can name who sat in on every set I went to. The only bands I missed altogether were Sound Tribe, Mike Dillon's Go-Go Jungle, Everyone Orchestra, John Brown's Body (heard them from the jacuzzi), Pretty Lights, Josh Phillips Trio, Brock Butler and a couple of Jam Rooms.
Pretty please a million times over e-mail this link (http://www.musicphotographics.com/jam_cruise_2010_photos.htm
) to all your Jam Cruise and jam band friends and everyone else who might be interested in checking out the pix. Lots of your friends are likely in them and there are LOTS of excellent pix of almost every musician and, as I mentioned, absolutely the most drop-dead gorgeous sunset pix I've ever taken. It takes an incredible amount of time for me to take the pix, crop and post them. I honestly do all this primarily for the benefit of my friends and people who go to the shows and love seeing pix of themselves, their friends and the musicians having a helluva great time. It's only worth the time and effort for me if an inordinate amount of people check them (and my site) out because I LOVE (in letters that stretch to the next galaxy) the music, the scene, the musicians and everyone I've met in the jam band community and want to get as many peeps as possible even more involved in it than they are and expose even more people to all of it. It kinda irks me that relatively few people do actually ever see any of the pix or get on my site considering how many hundreds of thousands of people are into jam bands and go to shows and festivals. Anyhow, I hope YOU enjoy them as immensely as I do!!!
NEW SHOWS (http://www.musicphotographics.com/live_music_calendar.htm
* MONTE MONTGOMERY
* MUMBO GUMBO/DAVID JACOBS STRAIN (on my b-day!)\
* MAMA'S COOKIN' FUNKY MIRACLE (all Meters!)
* ENGLISH BEAT
* FISHTANK ENSEMBLE
* JESSICA FICHOT/HOBOHEMIA
That's it for now! No rest for the weary, as this year's concert season in Reno and Tahoe is starting a month and a half earlier than it typically does in March. On Sunday JGB is kicking off a dizzying number of insanely great shows in the next two months at the Crystal Bay Club (Galactic, New Monsoon, Dirty Dozen, N. Miss. Allstars, Mutaytor, BTS, ALO, Maceo, KDTU, Tea Leaf, MMW, Infamous Stringdusters, Funky Miracle, Vinyl, Pimps of Joytime, Mumbo Gumbo). Umphrey's McGee and Cornmeal are kicking off jam band shows at the new Knitting Factory in Reno that night! I'd like to be optimistic that the "Knit" will get an even somewhat regular line-up of jam bands in Reno for a change but I'm not gonna hold my breath. The Devil Makes Three and Trampled By Turtles (another of my five favorite bluegrass bands) are also at Cal-Neva in Crystal Bay next week!
Have a fabulous week and go out and enjoy some more live music!!! "Feel good music in your soul, makes your body wanna rock 'n' roll!!!"
Peace, love and hippieness,