Jam Cruise Report: Day Four (Stealth moe. and Segue into Galactic, Femi Kuti, Super Jam…)
Photo by Dave Vann
Though the Super Jam led into the ship’s official dinner break, two keyboardists entertained fans in different parts of the ship. Ivan Neville led his annual Texas Hold ‘em Tournament in the disco while ALO keyboardist Zach Gill played a solo piano set in the MSC Poesia’s multi-story atrium. Gill—who could have a second career as a piano bar lounge singer—ran through a mix of songs from his solo album Zach Gill’s Stuff, rare ALO tunes and sing-along covers. Select highlights included his original “Family,” Billy Joel’s “Scenes from an Italian Restaurant,” Guns ‘N Roses’ “Sweet Child of Mine” and Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believing,” which he was inspired to cover by his daughter danced to the song during halftime of San Diego’s Holiday Bowl. He also pulled Umphrey’s McGee keyboardist Joel Cummins up to the piano to duet on the Gill original “Handyman” and Prince’s “Purple Rain.” In the end, Gill’s solo set ran almost twice its scheduled time.
Music resumed around 8:45 with the MarchFourth Marching Band on the ship’s Pool Deck stage. The Burning Man-inspired, 24-person brass band fit in well with the evening’s official Cirque Du Funk theme. The collective’s stilt walkers also proved their balancing ability by moving around the stage as the ship gently tilted side-to-side. A little later, Walter, Roberts and Deitch played an organ-driven funk-heavy set in the Zebra Bar. A few additional players sat in at various points, including Nigel Hall, The Lettuce Horns and Motet singer/percussionist Jans Ingber. At one point, they honored funky Meters drummer Russell Batiste Jr. by playing one of his songs. A few steps away in the Teatro Carlo Felice, JJ Grey—who has been sick while onboard—returned to the stage with Mofro for a 90-minute set. They offered a few songs from their forthcoming album, which is due in April, and brought out Collier for a spirited sit-in. Grey remarked that the pedal steel player sounds like “a human voice—way past playing.”
For many the evening’s main attraction was moe.’s three-hour headlining set on the ship’s Pool Deck stage. The band ran through a number of their best-known songs, including “Akimbo,” “Timmy Tucker,” “Spine of a Dog,” “Buster” and “Rebubula.” About halfway through their set, they brought out Cummins to play keyboards on “Happy Hour Hero” and the Meters’ “Cissy Strut.” During the latter tune, a New Orleans staple, the members of Galactic emerged for one of moe.’s trademark full band swaps. The two bands performed together, before the members of moe. filed offstage for their set break. Galactic’s two-song mini-set included a cover of Led Zeppelin’s “Kashmir.” The collaborations did not stop there—during moe.’s second set, Denson played saxophone on “Can’t You Hear Me Knocking” and The String Cheese Incident’s Kyle Hollingsworth played keys on the lone encore of The Band’s “Up on Cripple Creek.”
Oddly enough, as moe. riffed on “Cissy Strut” on the Pool Deck stage, seven floors below, the funky Meters were running through a set of New Orleans classics of their own. Mike Dillon played percussion throughout their set, and Dumpstaphunk bassist Tony Hall emerged early in their performance. Later, Worrell joined the group on a second keyboard, marking the first time in over 15 years he has performed with fellow funk keyboard architect Art Neville. Other highlights included appearances by Coffin, Hall and Collier—the latter on a spontaneous cover of Jimi Hendrix’s “Purple Haze”—and both Ian and Ivan Neville augmenting their family band on “Ain’t No Use.” Funky Meters also offered a reworked version of Stephen Stills’ “Love The One You’re With.”
As Thursday night’s segued into Friday morning, musicians were performing through the ship. Nicki Bluhm & the Gramblers welcomed Denson, Steve Kimock, ALO’s Zach Gill and Dan Lebowitz, Scott Law and Kyle Hollingsworth to the stage at various points throughout their Zebra Bar performance. In the Jam Room, Denson performed with a few different combos, including The Soul Rebels, Hollingsworth, Hall, Andy Hess, Wally Ingram and members of the Tiny Universe. A few feet away, Nathan Moore’s daily songwriter troubadour sessions had started to swell as fans filtered out onto the ship’s outdoor walkway. Back inside, Coffin, Hall and The Lettuce Horns has filed onstage with Dumpstaphunk in the ship’s theater, and both Kimock and Worrell—on melodica—were improvising with Magic Gravy, a trio featuring Lebowitz along with The Motet’s Dave Watts and The Motet’s Garrett Sayers.
The Howlin’ Brothers take to the Relix rooftop and share a song they wrote with Warren Haynes.
Beth Hart shares the opening track from her latest album, Bang Bang Boom Boom, live at Relix.
Jamie Lidell sets up in the Relix boiler room and delivers a tune from his 2005 album Multiply
Duane Trucks is happy to announce his new project, King Lincoln. Watch them perform “Coffee” live and acoustic at Relix’s Online-Video Coordinator’s loft in Williamsburg.
Here’s another song from Crystal Bowersox’s new record All That For This, live at Relix.
WYATT share a song in the famed Relix boiler room.
Goodnight, Texas share a song from their latest studio album, A Long Life of Living, live at Relix.
Warren Haynes performs a solo, acoustic version of “Railroad Boy” and explains how he adapted the traditional Celtic song for Gov’t Mule, backstage at the Hangout Music Festival.
Australia’s Alpine recently made their NYC debut at the Relix office with this song from their new album A is for Alpine.
In honor of Umphrey’s McGee’s return to Summer Camp this weekend, we present the group’s Brendan Bayliss and Jake Cinninger performing this version of “The Pequod” from UM’s Anchor Drops.
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