Last night, I went to the Pre-Cruise Bon Voyage party in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. I’m booked on the 17th Annual Delbert McClinton Blues Cruise featuring about 25 of the top blues bands in the business. Last night, about 8 of them played at the Hilton ballroom just to give us a taste of what we’re gonna have for the next week on the Caribbean.
Some of the fun came from getting to see and hear new musicians. Jimmy Hall, Leroy Parnell and Mike Ferris are a few that I hadn’t heard before. I got to see Wayne Toups again. The last time I’d seen him was probably 15 years ago at the Conroe Catfish Festival. I’ve danced to songs by Mike Zito, but this was the first time I got to see him.
My friend Cara has been raving about Mike Ferris. Mike was hidden behind some fashion sunglases and a fedora which was a bit deceptive, because his Hollywood macho look didn’t seem to match his high-pitched voice. But there was no doubt he was there to rock out with his own style of blues and gospel. His confident smile and strong stage presence made him one of the acts that I’ll be sure to follow on-board the ship.
All the bands will be hanging out on the cruise, some with their families, some with their band members or friends, and of course….with us too.
Still to come this week are Marcia Ball, Paul Thorn, Tommy Castro, Raul Malo, Theresa James and a whole bunch more. The concerts start at noon and the last band goes on at 11:00PM! They say you’ll be up all night because the bands jam all night too.
My girlfriend, Patty is a huge blues fan too, so back in August, I had asked her to join me on this cruise. Together, we sing and dance and rock out with the bands. Last night was no exception. We danced to the first song played. The opening act was Mingo Fishtrap. Never heard them before, but what a sound! The horns are what really define this Texas band. And man did they crank out the blues. Awesome band!
I can’t wait to dance and sing and bop the bands for a week!