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Columns > Annabel Lukins - Both Sides of the Rail

Published: 2012/03/15
by Annabel Lukins

Jam Cruise Forever

There’s our beautiful lady, the MSC Poesia.

So really, check out the look on John Oates’ face. He had the same smile all week long. “This is the best thing ever, Annabel!” But getting him on board is part of the fun of the story. I met him at the Belly Up in Aspen, CO last winter when he was sitting in with Umphrey’s McGee. “You’ve GOT to come on Jam Cruise, John.” Months later, I tried to convince my boss to let him on. Then I came up with a great twist that would make more sense. Umphrey’s and the New Deal have an awesome side project called the Omega Moos that we booked since both bands were to be on board. I figured it would make sense to have John Oates play a few of his own Hall & Oates tunes with them since they were already part of the repertoire. BANG! John confirmed and he absolutely ROCKED it with the Moos as well as various other bands on board. You should check out the Omega Moos show and the other Jam Cruise sets on

This photo is so cool. We have various theme nights throughout the cruise and the passengers get WAY into them. Creative costumes flow everywhere including this amazing one during green night of a group of grapes!

When I say my boy Logic stepped up to the plate, it’s an understatement. Here’s what happened: we had an artist cancel last minute so we were left with a 2-hour main stage slot to fill. A month or so before the cruise, Logic asked me if he could do a “Logic and friends” set on board. Now mind you, this was asked after we announced the schedule. “Logic, you gotta bring these things up to me BEFORE crunch time of the event.” Unbeknownst to me at the time, he had planted a seed. So when I was scrounging to fill this prime spot on board, the first thing I thought of was LOGGGICCC!!! So I grabbed him and said, “ok buddy, this is your chance, you’ve got two days to put together a Logic & Friends set – it’s 2 hours long on the pool deck, do NOT let me down.” Let me tell you folks….he ABSOLUTELY CRUSHED IT – tons of special guests, incredible jams, all improv, NO rehearsal, just on the spot great music….I was SO impressed that I took the mic when the set was over and told the crowd the story and praised the HELL out of my good friend. Bravo Logic…and i love the photo that Dave Vann captured. We love each other very much….

Ah Toots…the legend. A little ball of energy with a spirit that rocks Jam Cruise.

I can’t even believe how great this photo came out with my little point and shoot. I had to include it. It’s Toots behind Toots!!!

I’ll try not to get teary while writing about this one. Ivan is one of my dear friends, let’s start there. So when I asked him to do an Atrium piano set on board, he gladly obliged. But I expected a whole lotta funk from his set. Nope, that wasn’t even close to his theme. He was all about wearing his heart on his sleeve…he told stories, he even cried while talking about what Jam Cruise means to him, life experiences he has had, losses of people he loves and more. And the music…completely unexpected…Rasberry Beret, In Your Eyes, Landslide and more. Pure emotion. Totally real and vulnerable. Tears were flowing everywhere. Thanks, Ivan. I love you more than ever.

One of the greatest creations ever. And I can’t really call him human. He’s a little bit higher than a normal human. But his heart is very human and very big. Col Bruce has become a true staple in my life and I am very grateful for his friendship. Plus having him on board every year just makes Jam Cruise that much more special.

Karl’s my boy…plain and simple. Friends since 96, played my wedding, stayed at my house, countless dinners, endless phone calls about life, Jam Cruise every year, the list goes on…I wrote him an email the other day telling him that I wanted him as a friend for the rest of my life. Shouldn’t be too hard…

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