The hottest ticket in the Blues, The Legendary Rhythm & Blues Cruise, which sails on the high seas twice a year, is hosting their Annual Cruiser Reunionshows for 3 nights this year. Based in Kansas City, the LRBC is the brainchild of Roger Naber,(former co-owner of the Grand Emporium live music venue) who is also celebrating 35 years asa music promoter in tandem with the music on stage. With the next two sold-out upcomingLRBC’s, Kansas City music fans will have an opportunity to see six varied internationallyfamous acts at the well known and respected Knuckleheads honky-tonk venue.
Performing over the 3 day Memorial Day weekend soiree, May 23, 24 & 25, will be Blues Hall of Famer, Otis Clay and his 10 piece band, Royal Southern Brotherhood, an all-star band which includes music royalty names such as Cyril Neville and Devon Allman, Alligator recording artist, Rick Estrin & the Nightcats, Ronnie Baker Brooks, more blues royalty and a cruiser favorite, pianist Eden Brent, three-times Blues Music Award recipient, plus English guitar slinger, Joanne Shaw Taylor. One of the announced Special Guests who will be in Kansas City for the entire weekend, will be pianist Leon Blue. Blue performed with the legendary Albert King 35 years ago for Naber’s first Uptown Theater promotion.
To wrap up the weekend, there will be a Free Cabin For Two drawing, for the October 24-31, 2015 LRBC # 25, which will sail on the Holland America ms Westerdam from Ft. Lauderdale, FL. The winning ticket will be drawn just before the final performance on Sunday night. One does not need to be present as any person who attends any of the 3 nights of the Anniversary Reunion will be have a chance to win the prize.
A PASSION FOR AMERICAN BLUES MUSIC
Roger Naber’s 35 Year Anniversary as a music promoter is considered quite a milestone for what began simply as a passion for American Blues Music. In Kansas City, Roger is mostly known as the co-owner of the Grand Emporium live music venue from 1985-2004. During his 20 year run as booking proprietor, he featured live music 6-7 nights a week at the well established venue. Blues giants such as John Lee Hooker, Buddy Guy, Bobby “Blue” Bland, Koko Taylor, Stevie Ray Vaughan and Robert Cray performed, plus the newer generation, Derek Trucks, Susan Tedeschi, Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Jonny Lang and Joe Bonamassa. Jazz, reggae and rock musicians such as Harry Connick Jr., Wynton Marsalis, The Neville Brothers, Chick Corea, Jimmy Cliff, Dave Mathews, Wilco, Flaming Lips, and The Wallflowers also had their turn at the midtown venue. The Grand Emporium twice received the Keeping The Blues Alive Award as “Best Blues Nightclub.” The Grand Emporium musician and poster archives can still be seen at the UMKC Marr Sound Archives, UMKC Miller Nichols LIbrary, 5100 Rockhill Road, Kansas
City, MO 64110 or online.
A pioneering entrepreneur, Naber co-founded the KC Blues Society in 1980, while serving as President for 13 years, the KCBS was honored with a Keeping The Blues Alive Award as best non-profit by the Blues Foundation in Memphis. He co-founded the Kansas City Blues Festival in 1981, the Kansas City Blues and Jazz Festival in 1990, and promoted the city’s Annual Thanksgiving Blues Breakfast Dance for more than 20 years.
Taking to the ocean and sands, Naber co-founded the Ultimate Rhythm & Blues Cruise 1992 with his Grand Emporium partners, and more recently, the Blues Industry’s highly popular and successful Legendary Rhythm & Blues Cruises (bluescruise.com) in 2001. Naber was again awarded “Promoter of the Year” by the Blues Foundation for the LRBC in 2005. In 2003, he became a founding partner in Cloud 9 Adventures, which promotes the Jam Cruises, Holy Ship and various international land music events.
Today there are many music cruises sailing the high seas in the wake of the original Blues Cruise
Charter Naber and his partners sailed in 1992. Roger has been a tireless worker for the blues industries non-profits. Most recently, the LRBC has raised in excess of $300,000 for the Blues Hall of Fame in Memphis which is becoming a reality this summer across the street from the Civil Rights Museum. In total, the cruises have raised in excess of $600,000 for various non-profits’ needs.
After 35 years in the business, Naber still maintains that “it’s all about the music” and spends the cruise off-season scouting talent and promoting upcoming cruises at land festivals nationwide.
THE “CRUISER REUNION WEEKEND” MUSIC LINEUP
Friday, May 23rd:
Royal Southern Brotherhood is an American blues and blues rock supergroup, consisting of singer and percussionist Cyril Neville, from the famed iconic Neville Brothers Band, co-band leader, vocalist and guitarist Devon Allman, son of Gregg Allman, co-band leader, vocalist and guitarist Mike Zito, drummer Yonrico Scott, formerly of Derek Trucks Band whose recording career looks like a Who’s who, and bassist Charlie Wooton, also of Bonerama and his own band
Joanne Shaw Taylor, raised in England and discovered by Dave Stewart of the Eurithmics, Joanne has won numerous awards in England and now has released 4 album CDs on Germany’s RUF Records. Joanne is making her first KC appearance just coming off a tour of Australia performing at the acclaimed Byron Bay Blues Festival. A powerful blues rocker not to be missed. joanneshawtaylor.com
Saturday, May 24th:
Otis Clay is an American treasure, having been inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame this past year. He’s one of a handful of Deep Soul singers who still command the Hi Records Memphis sound, much in the vein of Otis Redding and Solomon Burke. His song “Trying To Live My Life Without You” was one of Bob Seger’s bigger hits. Otis brings a 10-piece group of horns, keys and backup singers. otisclay.net
Kicking off the show will be Rick Estrin & the Nightcats, one of blues most colorful frontmen. Rick ranks up as one of the world’s premier harmonica players, song writers and frontmen in the blues world having won the BMA in 2013 in the harmonica category. Rick and the San Francisco based band recorded and videotaped a homage underground track to the LRBC simply titled, “I Met Her On The Blues Cruise”. rickestrin.com
Sunday, May 25th:
Ronnie Baker Brooks will be showcasing his new 7-piece band which he is bringing to the West Coast cruise in October. The son of Blues Hall of Famer, Lonnie Brooks, Ronnie also has Rodd Bland, son of the late Bobby Bland, on drums. Carrying o the torch of the masters, Ronnie and the full band have a new CD due for release this year. ronniebakerbrooks.com Multiple Blues Music Award Winner and LRBC Piano Bar favorite, Eden Brent brings her band as she is touring in support of her latest CD, Jigsaw Heart. Little Boogaloo as she is known to her Mississippi music fans carries on the deep style of the Boogaloo tradition she learned first hand. edenbrent.com
How to obtain tickets and lodging:
Advance tickets are available at etix.com or Knuckleheadshonkytonk.com for $20 each night or a 3-Day Pass for $50. A downtown host hotel has been pre-arranged for those traveling.
Contact: Aladdin Holiday Inn, 1215 Wyandotte St., Kansas City, MO 64105
Reservations: 866-270-9274 and reference “LRBC Blues Cruise Reunion” at time of booking.