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John Peel OBE, 1939 - 2004

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The Legendary R&B Cruise 2011
Caribbean - January 2011


This was the tenth such ‘East Coast’ cruise and after our ‘once-in-a-lifetime’ in 2010 we were back for more!

There was a bewildering array of rhythm and blues on offer –a ‘broad church’ if ever there was one – from the cheerful-cajun of Terrance Simien to the Hendrixesque- pyrotechnics of Kenny Wayne Shepherd, from the West-Coast swing of Rick Estrin to the sweet-soul of Ryan Shaw, from the N’Awlins boogie-piano of John Cleary to the gospel-harmonies of the Holmes Brothers, from the Chigago old-school-blues of Bob Margolin to the funk of the Chicago Playboys; the list goes on-and-on with no fewer than seventy shows in seven days.

Bestriding them all is the ‘patron-saint’ of blues-cruisers, Taj Mahal and guest appearances from other legends such as Lonnie Brooks and Matt ‘Guitar’Murphy.

Amongst the great advantages of this against other festivals are the winter sun, the ‘cruise-ship-quality’ of the food on offer, the proximity of your accommodation, the opportunity to see your favourite acts three-or-four times in one week and, uniquely, the flying fish!

The artists love it, too, and regularly turn up on each others’ stages to provide memorable jamming (Cory Harris playing frottoir- rub-board with the Zydeco Experience was surreal but not atypical).

Canadian acoustic IBC winner, Matt Anderson, was the great breakthrough ‘surprise package’ with Lonnie Brooks joining his son onstage on his 44th birthday providing the most moving moment.

We went ashore to Caribbean islands three times and had open-air concerts on two of them.

It’s a heck-of-a-gig –we’ve already booked for our third once-in-a-lifetime cruise in 2012!

More info www.bluescruise.com

Michael and Barbara Ford


Bob Margolin, Mac Arnold and Matt Hill on the bandstand on St John, US Virgin Isles

Tommy Castro on the Pool Deck

Ronnie Barker Brooks on Half Moon Bay

Zac Harmon on Main Stage

Michael and Barbara with piano-bar host Mitch Wood

Thanks to Michael and Barbara Ford for the review and photos.
Check out their club: www.bronteblues.com
Alan White   Earlyblues.com

Website, Photos and Text © Copyright 2000-2011 Alan White. All Rights Reserved.
Photos & Text (this page) © Copyright 2011 Barbara & Michael Ford. All Rights Reserved.
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