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Published: 2009/01/09

Jam Cruise 7’s Final Wakes

Jam Cruise 7 began its disembarkation at around 8:30 AM this morning,
shortly after Thursday night’s musical festivities came to a close. STS9’s
David Murphy officially closed out the traveling festival’s offerings with
a PA set alongside DJ Rootz that included a fitting remix of Lionel
Richie’s ‘All Night Long’ as the sun began to peak out over the MSC
Orchestra. Concurrently, a handful of musicians in the guerilla-style Jam
Room gave the electronica pair a run for their money in the late night
endurance department, including the unlikely trio of Brock Butler
(Perpetual Groove), Russell Batiste (PBS/funky Meters) and Nick Daniels
(Dumpstaphunk) who offered a jammed out take on Neil Young’s ‘Helpless.’
The early morning swan song closed out an already packed final day at sea
that began with a pool deck by the Lee Boys with special guest Marco
Benevento. The Lee Boys’ sacred steel gospel segued into a
series of semi-acoustic poolside performances by Martin Sexton, Brock
Butler, Michael Franti and Jackie Greene, the latter of whom recruited his
Skinny Singers collaborator Tim Bluhm and ALO’s Zach Gill, Steve
Adams and Dave Brogan as an ad hoc backing band. In addition
to bandmates Carl Young (Spearhead) and J Bowman, Michael Franti also
invited Butler and a group of fans to take the stage during his set.
With Jam Cruise at sea at all day, many fans also busied themselves with a
range of activities, including a tennis tournament hosted by the New Deal,
a treasure hunt led by the artist Lebo and a greening discussion that
featured Bill and Jillian Nershi. Stanton Moore, Robert Walter, Marco
Benevento, Russell Batiste, Brian Stoltz, Big Sam, Ivan Neville and
Lettuce’s Eric Krasno, Erick Coomes, Ryan Zoidis and Adam Deitch all
participated in a loose jam-session that explored the connection between the
ship’s two largest music contingents, New Orleans and New York. Despite
hailing for Tulsa, OK, Reed Mathis also participated on bass for a few
selections, before Deitch shifted the musical discussion to the
Washington, DC go-go scene.
Earlier in the evening, Relix’s Cold Turkey team of Mike Greenhaus and
Benjy Eisen hosted the second installment in the ship’s talk show, Cruise
Control. The episode’s house band was a four-piece band led by ALO’s Dan
Lebowitz that featured his ALO bandmates Dave Brogan and Steve Adams, as
well as Umphrey’s McGee’s Joel Cummins. The program also boasted
performances by the ship’s magician and dance troupe, a jugging routine by
Keller Williams, interviews with Skerik and Marco Benevento (as well as an
appearance by Benevento’s baby daughter Ruby) and a live podcast with the
New Mastersounds. At the end of the show, the New Mastersounds’ Eddie
Roberts, Simon Allen and Joe Tatton all took the stage with Adams for a
brief set, which included backup vocals from the four musicians’ wives and
girlfriends. Lebowitz then rejoined the combo for a cover of
Bachman-Turner Overdrive’s ‘Takin’ Care of Business.’
Meanwhile, Robert Walter led the cruise’s official super jam on the ship’s
pool deck. Throughout his 90-minute set, Walter brought out a ‘cavalry’ of
musicians from the jazz and funk realms, including Stanton Moore, Karl
Denson, George Porter Jr., Pete Shand (New Mastersounds), Ivan Neville,
the Bonerama horns and countless others for a set of highly improvisational
music. Many passengers remained by the pool for a Mardi Gras parade led by
Stanton Moore and his Midnight Disturbers that led into Jam Cruise’s
annual award ceremony, which features such highly sought after titles as
‘Passenger with the highest bar tab,’ ‘Passenger who got the least amount
of sleep’ and ‘Ship wookie.’ Jam Cruise Director of Marketing & Artist
Relation Annabel Lukins also awarded Bonerama’s Mark Mullins and Craig
Klein the ship’s highly sought after ‘sit-in award’ for their busy onboard
schedule. Without wasting time to celebrate, the two musicians and the
rest of the Bonerama horns then jetted downstairs to play with the New
Mastersounds in the Savannah Bar.
From there things began to wrap up with final festival performances by
Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe, Bustle in Your Hedgerow and Keller Williams
with Moseley, Droll and Sipe. Galactic, who Lukins described from the
stage as the closest thing Jam Cruise has to a house band, then closed out
the ship’s pool deck festivities with a two-hour show that opened with a
cover of Led Zeppelin’s ‘Kashmir’ and included guest turns from Mike
Dillon, Trombone Shorty, Big Sam, Walter ‘Wolfman’ Washington and Adam

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