Blues…”from mouth to hand and man to man”. Sugar Blue

Published: January 30th 2016
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Dwayne DopsieDwayne DopsieDwayne Dopsie

...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
Stanley, Mr. Sipp, DaveStanley, Mr. Sipp, DaveStanley, Mr. Sipp, Dave

Bluesing the high seas
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 made by the Grammy award winning harmonica v-i-r-t-u-o-s-o Sugar Blue. That comment
British Virgin IslandsBritish Virgin IslandsBritish Virgin Islands

Stopped by Norman Island
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.

Last year 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
Stephanie, Debbie, Terry, DebbieStephanie, Debbie, Terry, DebbieStephanie, Debbie, Terry, Debbie

Fun to be had on this cruise.
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.
A legendA legendA legend

Elvin Bishop
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-


Additional photos below
Photos: 62, Displayed: 26


Dave, Bob, MJ & Mr. Sipp and the groupDave, Bob, MJ & Mr. Sipp and the group
Dave, Bob, MJ & Mr. Sipp and the group

The Mississippi Blues Child
Steve WillisSteve Willis
Steve Willis

Elvin Bishop Band
1st stop1st stop
1st stop

Wandering off the boat
Carib BeerCarib Beer
Carib Beer

Tortola, British Virgin Islands
Reverend RavenReverend Raven
Reverend Raven

...& The Chain Smokin' Altar Boys
Toronzo CannonToronzo Cannon
Toronzo Cannon

Left handed Chicago Bluesman
Albert CummingsAlbert Cummings
Albert Cummings

Jamming the Crow's Nest
Corey DuplechinCorey Duplechin
Corey Duplechin

Tommy Castro Band
MJ & DebbieMJ & Debbie
MJ & Debbie

Blues Cruise friend
Wild Ones Party OnWild Ones Party On
Wild Ones Party On

One hot momma
Kenny Wayne ShepardKenny Wayne Shepard
Kenny Wayne Shepard

Channeling Hendrix
Pool DeckPool Deck
Pool Deck

Dave and Bob groovin'
Dave & StanleyDave & Stanley
Dave & Stanley

Drummer for Mr. Sipp

30th January 2016

Great commentary and pics. Loved seeing them!! Aren't you on your way to Lebanon, Egypt etc. soon? My niece (married to man from Beirut who's mother lives in Cairo) is still trying to get some suggestions from her husband for me to pass on to you. I know you will have already been briefed on the normal sights and activities in those places but was hoping to be able to turn you on to some interesting and less touristy spots. I'll keep trying. Always love hearing about your travels. We don't have any exotic trips in the near future, just several "inside US" trips to see family and friends. Love, Sonja
30th January 2016

Hello Sonja,
Glad you continue to follow our adventures. We leave on Wednesday for Lebanon and then on to Egypt. We will be available via email so if you get us any information please send it along. Hopefully you'll get to Florida to see us. Thanks for commenting. chat soon.
30th January 2016

Blues Cruise
Enjoyed reading about your blues cruise again this year. The photos are great. Your next trip sounds very interesting too! I have an upcoming Ptrip to NOLA to spend a few days and also see Kinky Boots. Then it is off to Seattle to visit the grandsons (and their parents). In the Spring I will go on a Seine River cruise Paris to Normandy. Happy travels to you two! Marsha
31st January 2016

Blues Cruise
So glad you are reading along with us Marsha. We enjoyed the trip again and will go back. We love music and this is a way to get a solid injection of the blues.
30th January 2016
Looking for Dancing Dave

Boo hoo hoo
What can I say? Gutted...selfish I know...yeh gutted. Seeing you guys with Stephanie & Debbie, Mr Sipp, Tommy Castro, Samantha Fish, Danielle Nicole, even Derrick! Then with some we have not yet seen...Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Mighty Mo Rodgers, Ruthie Foster, Elvin Bishop. But where was Ralph, the Mayor of the Lido deck? And what about our 5 a.m to the smell of bacon gigs in the Crows Nest...surely you did not foresake those 'cos your dancing partners were not there? Somewhat cheered by your smiling faces...but gutted we couldn't be bathing in the blues with you this year.
31st January 2016
Looking for Dancing Dave

Boo hoo hoo
We cried not having you with us... Stephanie & Debbie asked about you and wished you were with us. Maybe next time my friend...let us know. Ralph wasn't on this trip but his sister was. Yes we experienced the 4am Crow's Nest....Tab entertained us beyond words. He is charming. The new guys we found are amazing. Wait until you hear Albert & Toronzo.
30th January 2016
The 10 Daves

How a thought with a chuckle becomes legend
Well done. A tradition is blooming. When we kicked off this idea last year...Dave was not Dangerous then. Then he became Dangerous Dave. And now he's got disciples!
31st January 2016
The 10 Daves

A chuckle becomes a legend
Newly discovered Dangerous Dave did solid work this year and the group doubled. He's got a plan for the next blues cruise. He's got his plan now and we'll see how he does.
31st January 2016

Blues Cruise
What a great idea to go on a Blues Cruise. Sounds like an intense and also fun experience! All the best, Katha
8th February 2016

Music time
Hi guys Looks like it was amazing again !!! I just caught up with reading the latest blogs ..I am in Dubai at the moment., Hope all goes well with Lebanon Egypt travels and that I will see you end of March in London or Sussex.
9th February 2016

On the road
Sounds perfect. We are happy travelers.

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