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Published: January 30th 2016
...and The Zydeco Hellraisers
There are people who feel music deep into their soul. We consider ourselves part of that collective. The melodies seep through a portal and then you experience not only the music itself, but the very emotion created by the artist. Are you one of those? Do you hear the beat? Can you feel the vibe? Do you sense the rhythm? Does music stimulate emotion in you? Are your memories tied to songs?
“The history of a people is found in its songs.” – George Jellinek
The lights are dim in the Showroom at the Sea theatre as we move in and take our comfortable seats inside this impressive venue on a huge ship as we watch several blues legends walk on stage to take their seats. They truly seem to enjoying joking around and being together. They don’t get to be around one another very often, and seemed to embrace the moment to be part of a panel discussion about “The Chicago Blues.”
The stories about the blues legends of past decades was like a graduate course in Chicago blues with an all-star faculty. This particular morning was a talk session hosted
by the editor of Blues Magazine and the chat is about Chicago Blues—all these blues men had interesting tales to tell. A lot of talent, a lot of music and a lot of history sitting on that stage.
Most of the musicians we’ve chatted with love their life but it is hectic. Playing gigs, planning gigs and traveling to gigs. The Legendary Blues Cruise brings a group of amazing musicians; many Grammy Award winning. Now they are all in one location and this amazing week cruise gives them plenty of downtime to talk with others in the industry….some they see often and some they don’t. On this cruise there is a venue where of the pros get together and jam with other musicians when they are not performing with their group.
We’ve jumped from venue to venue all week listening to artists perform their amazing craft. It’s almost hard to believe how many types of blues music there are. Many of these performances have taken our breath away or made the hairs on the back of our necks stand on end
The quote used, as our blog title was a statement
British Virgin Islands
Stopped by Norman Island
made by the Grammy award winning harmonica v-i-r-t-u-o-s-o Sugar Blue. That comment spoke to us, it resonated with our musical soul and became the title for our week.
Blues music expresses songs of injustice, lost loves, jobs or money, a need to express longing for a better life. When you hear a blues chord it will grab you and hold on to you.
As you walk around the ship you’ll run into people that you saw on the last cruise, you may or may not remember their name, but everyone is friendly and chat in the hallways and in the elevators comes easy. They will tell you about an artist they just saw to make certain you don’t miss them.
Often the conversation turns to how many Blues Cruises you’ve been on? There have been 26 Legendary Blues Cruises in all and many people have been on 20+ cruises. This trip is not about the cruise but about the music. Yearning for the blues can only be remedied by one thing and this boat is like the cure…….the blues abound and you still can’t get enough.
Blues Cruisin’ with the Dancing Duo was a extraordinary
This week we were excited to have Dave’s brother Bob and his wife Lois with us. An amazingly quick and fun-filled week.
A week on the Blues Cruise is invigorating. It can be tough getting on this ship…especially the January trip as they allow each person on the trip to make a reservation for the next trip. Until someone declines you have to be placed on a wait list. We placed our reservation last year. Dave invited his brother along and we were thrilled a few months ago to learn he was given a spot on the ship.
The Daves – last year our good friend Dancing Dave and his lovely wife Denise were along on the trip with us. We certainly missed them this year and spoke of them frequently. An idea germinated with Dancing Dave last year to gather a group of guys named Dave for a photo on the back deck. This came about because we’d run into a few guys named Dave and certainly a bit of alcohol had nothing to do with the plan.
Dave, now known as Dangerous Dave, sought to fulfill this mission on this cruise, because tradition without any plausible reason….is usually fun! With expert assistance from Bob and MJ, we went around the ship putting up signs for the Daves photo op. Although within a few days we noticed that some of the signs were taken down to perhaps highlight Bonnie Raitt’s new CD. Nonetheless, we are pleased to announce that we got 11 Daves! One Dave arrived after our photos, but he made it- so we took a few more photos and will photoshop him in later. After all….this is now officially a tradition.
We could not possibly do justice to simply comment on all the artists, but here are a few comments about a couple of our favorites. Until last year’s trip we had not heard of Mr. Sipp. He and his band have become one of our favorites and we hope to see him at the Bern Blues Festival in March. Their music blows the roof off the place. Once again this year he had the ship up on their feet dancing.
This trip introduced us to two other
artists who knocked our socks off – Albert Cummings and Kenny Wayne Shepard. Kenny has a unique blues style and also has the ability to channel Jimmie Hendrix. His guitar solo stopped the show. We can’t tell you how much we love Albert Cummings and look forward to seeing him perform again. A good stage presence coupled with his abilities. He does things with a guitar that will remind you of Stevie Ray Vaugh and yet he has his own amazing style.
We enjoyed seeing Elvin Bishop perform and spoke to him many times in the hallways when he was walking to the next venue with his guitar in hand. Seriously, he’s like a fella just strolling down the street, just happens to be a legend.
For us going on the Blues Cruise is truly about the music and not the locations but we did get off the boat. The cruise line owns a private island in the Bahamas so we got off and took a stroll around. In St. Croix, we went snorkeling and in Tortola we took a sailboat ride on a catamaran. Norman’s Island is a nice place to let the
day go by……
Link to the Blues Cruise- LegendaryBluesCruise
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