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Published: 2008/01/11

The News from Jam Cruise

The MSC Lirica returned to Ft. Lauderdale on Wednesday morning, bringing Jam Cruise 6 to a close. This years boat included such artists as Warren Haynes, The Funky Meters, Michael Franti & Spearhead, Yonder Mountain String Band, Galactic, Grace Potter & The Nocturnals, The Dark Star Orchestra, Soulive, The Motet, Toots & The Maytals, Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings, Perpetual Groove, Lotus, Toubab Krewe And Such Special Guests as Col. Bruce Hampton, Al Schnier, Karl Denson. As with past years, special sets and collaborative performances abounded.
In many respects the Everyone Orchestra encapsulated the nature of the voyage. The core of the EO included conductor Matt Butler along with Jeff Coffin, Steve Kimock and Jon Fishman. From here the line-up varied over the groups two performances. The first also included George Porter Jr., Ivan Neville, Jamie Janover, Tanya Shylock, Jans Ingber, Dave Markowitz (The Bridge), and Chuck Morris (Lotus). The second drew in Al Schnier, Grace Potter, Brock Butler, Garret Sayers (The Motet), Dan Lebowitz (ALO) along with Toubab Krewes Justin Perkins and Luke Quaranta. The latter performance featured Jon Fishmans public debut on sax, while some of the conducting duties fell to Cruisers who had won a raffle.
In addition to such open-ended, multiple artist improvisation, the Cruise also featured two performances from Warren Haynes. His four sets offered compositions from Govt Mule catalog as well as those he reserves for his solo sets. In addition, Haynes invited some of his fellow performers to join him, including: Steve Kimock (Stella Blue), Grace Potter (Gold Dust Woman), Ivan Neville (It Hurts Me Too, Ain’t No Sunshine), Karl Denson (Tastes Like Wine, Into The Mystic, Endless Parade and Sad and Deep As You) and Rob Barraco (Patchwork Quilt, I Shall Be Released, To Lay Me Down and Soulshine). Haynes also closed out the second set of his first gig with a version of Wild Horses that drew in Kimock, Potter and Neville.
The five days at sea featured numerous well-received performances. Galactic mixed in some of its classic funk material with more recent MC-abetted songs. Yonder Mountain String Band delivered a bonus pool deck set, as well as a guest appearance by Jeff Coffin during its theatre set. The Motet devoted a show to Jamiroquai covers, just as it had done during 2007s Halloween run. New Monsoon brought out a number of guests, including Denson (Double Clutch), Schnier (Southern Dew, Bottle of Red Win), Haynes (Dont Let it Bring you Down, One Step Ahead of Blues) and Lebowitz (Alaska, Traveling Gypsies). Perpetual Groove closed out its own poolside set with a stirring rap medley that featured some Rage Against the Machine material.
Finally, the Jam Room presented a number of musicians coming together in an open-ended, low-key setting. One grouping included Potter and bandmate Scott Tournet along with Porter and Sharon Jones. A second featured members of the Motet and New Monsoon along with Porter, Kimock, Lebowitz and Fishman. A third offered a core of Dark Star Orchestra members (with Rob Barraco moving to bass at some point) and Ivan Neville among the guests.
Pre-booking is now underway for Jam Cruise 7 in 2009.

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