On Tuesday evening, Jam Cruise 17 set sail from Miami, FL to begin a newly-expanded, six-day floating musical excursion that stopped in Belize on Thursday and Cozumel, Mexico today and will continue on to Progreso, Mexico tomorrow before returning to Florida on January 21st.
The “Pink”-themed port day featured performances by ALO, Hot Tuna Electric with Steve Kimock, Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe, Dragon Smoke, Chris Spies, Jennifer Hartswick & Nick Cassarino, Matador! Soul Sounds, Khruangbin, The Cleaners, Andy Frasco & The U.N., DJ Soul Sister, a George Porter-hosted Jam Room, and much more.
You know the drill—there’s too much cool shit happening on this boat at any given moment to catch everything, but we managed to catch a lot. Here’s just a few of the memorable moments from the third day of Jam Cruise 17. (You can also head to Live For Live Music‘s Instagram and Instagram stories to follow along in real time).
ALO Celebrates Their 11th Jam Cruise With A Sunset Sailaway Featuring Members Of Fruition
After the Jam Cruise faithful enjoyed an afternoon of exploring in Belize City—including the Positive Legacy Day of Service—ALO kicked off the evening’s music schedule with a sunset performance on the Pool Deck. The band celebrated their first set on their 11th Jam Cruise with a thoroughly appropriate performance of the Grateful Dead favorite “Ship of Fools”, and welcomed Jay Cobb Anderson and Mimi Naja of Fruition, “the hardest-working band in show business,” to tag-team vocals on a cover of Joni Mitchell‘s “Woodstock”.
Chris Spies Recruits A Steady Stream Of Singers In The Atrium
After ALO finished their set, Chris Spies (Matador! Soul Sounds) took over The Atrium for a solo piano set. After working through instrumental tributes to Dr. John and James Booker and joking about his favorite Jazz Fest drinking game (take a shot every time you hear that token NOLA piano fill), Spies welcomed Jennifer Hartswick—who had just hopped on the ship in Belize an hour before—to sing a rendition of Allen Toussaint‘s “Brickyard Blues”. After, Kim Dawson stepped to the microphone for a rendition of “Miss Celie’s Blues”, she, Hartswick, and Adryon de León came together for a performance of “Until You Come Back To Me (That’s What I’m Gonna Do)”, written by Stevie Wonder, Morris Broadnax, and Clarence O. Paul and popularized by the Queen of Soul herself, Aretha Franklin. Later, Spies welcomed Matador! drummer Alan Evans to sing lead on a cover of Frank Zappa‘s “Uncle Remus”.
Dragon Smoke Hosts A Fire-Breathing NOLA Throwdown On The Pool Deck
Dragon Smoke, the Jazz Fest-born supergroup comprised of New Orleans heavy-hitters Ivan Neville, Stanton Moore, Robert Mercurio, and Eric Lindell, took over the Pool Deck to take Jam Cruise day 3 into the midnight hour. A rare appearance for the all-star crew outside of Jazz Fest, Dragon Smoke’s packed Pool Deck set brought the magic of the Crescent City to the high seas. After welcoming Big Sam, Skerik, and Mike Dillon to fill out the NOLA sound, Dragon Smoke brought out young guitarists Marcus King and Brandon “Taz” Niederauer in quick succession to add some extra firepower to the already smoking set.
Khruangbin Gets Wavy In The Stardust Theater
After a busy Wednesday that saw them usher in the sunset on the pool deck and keep the party going late into the night with an after-hours DJ set, Khruangbin took their smooth and eclectic sound to the Stardust Theater for their final performance on the boat. The theater noticeably rocked back and forth in the waves as they spun together yet another fantastic set, a notion that was not lost on guitarist Mark Speer. “Y’all feeling wavy tonight?” he inquired. “I’m gonna presume the people feeling the most wavy could not answer that question… That’s alright.”
The Cleaners Spray Down The Pool Deck With Help From A Crew Of Guests
After making their Jam Cruise debut on Wednesday night in the Spinnaker Lounge, The Cleaners—the all-star squad comprised of guitarists Marcus King and Eric Krasno, drummer Duane Trucks (Widespread Panic), keyboardist Deshawn “D-Vibes” Alexander (Marcus King Band), and Kevin Scott (The Invisible Whip)—took their talents to the Pool Deck to close out the day’s main stage schedule. Once again, the potent core of talented musicians put on a performance to remember, featuring a number of Allman Brothers Band and Grateful Dead jams, a steady stream of guest Cleaners, including Turkuaz and Sister Sparrow Horns, vocalists Mary Corso and Leslie Mendelson, keyboardists Chris Spies and Joey Porter (The Motet), and more. The guest parade reached its climax as Brandon “Taz” Niederauer joined in for Neil Young‘s “Ohio”, Krasno graciously moving over to the keyboards to give the two young guns, Marcus and Taz, space to do their thing.
Andy Frasco Welcomes F*ckin’ Everybody For An Epic Musical Shitshow In The Stardust Theater
You may hear better music than this set on the boat, but you sure as shit won’t see a better party. Andy Frasco & The U.N., the self-proclaimed “punk rock band of the jam band scene,” pulled out all the stops for their Stardust Theater set, then added a few more stops just so they could pull those out, too. Frasco—sporting pink kickboxing trunks a bandage around his head from a party-related battle wound the night before—led his band and 10+ special guests in a clinic on musical debauchery.
From Sammi Garett (Turkuaz) on drums to Steve Kimock on guitar, Frasco and Co. made their collaborative intentions known early—but that was just the tip of the iceberg. A pink suit-clad Big Sam joined in next, followed by Becca Bisque (The Sweet Lillies), some Turkuaz and Sister Sparrow horns, and guitarists Matt Jalbert (TAUK) and DJ Williams (Karl Denson). The insanity only increased as the set went on. Galactic drummer Stanton Moore dropped in for a “guitar solo” (a.k.a. drumming on the neck of The U.N.’s Shawn Eckles‘ guitar as he played). Michelangelo Carubba joined in for a “three drummers, one kit” battle with Moore and The U.N.’s Andee Avila. A marching band drumline wandered in at one point. The list goes on…
Oh, and Andy crowd surfed from the stage to the top of the theater and back again. With a head full of stitches. On a stiff cocktail of codeine (doctor’s orders), mushrooms (Andy’s orders), booze, adrenaline, and whatever else fans in the front row happened to hand him. Rock and roll…
When the set finally finished, the stage trashed and Frasco covered in streamers, he had one last bright idea: Second line out of the venue and invade The Spot, the after-hours picking party on the deck outside the theater. They did just that. Chaos ensued. Check it out below. You need to see this shit for yourself…
View this post on Instagram
When @andyfrasco crowd surfs all the way to the top of the theater and back to the stage with a head full of stitches from the night before, then ends his set by leading a second line out of the venue and out to The Spot. What a party… @jamcruise #liveforlivemusic #jamcruise17 #jamcruise