Delbert McClinton hosted his first ever Blues Cruise in 1995. Thirteen years later, the event is one of the most successful events of its type ever. McClinton has played host to everyone from Bonnie and Bekka Bramlett to Jimmy Hall, from Paul Thorn to Rodney Crowell.
The DVD is the second best way to experience the Blues Cruise. The sound quality is impeccable, and the performances are amazing. Delbert and his ultra-tight band can do no wrong, and they are just as amazing when they back up Alabama soul man Jimmy Hall.
The documentary includes plenty of interview footage in between performances, and there is a full hour of bonus material, clocking the entire disc in at a little over three hours. Now how much would you pay?
Besides Delbert McClinton and the aforementioned Jimmy Hall, Rocking the Boat features Marcia Ball, Rodney Crowell, Stephen Bruton, Teresa James, Paul Thorn, Big Al Anderson, Mingo Fishtrap, Tommy Castro, Terry Allen and Wayne Toups. Actor Matt Clark and Author/Musician Kinky Friedman are along for commentary as well. Additional artists in the bonus section include Jeff Steele, Nick Connolly, Whitey Johnson, Clay McClinton, Chris Stapleton, Bob Dipiero, and Buddy Miller.
Outstanding video moments include Paul Thorn’s gospel rave up “Mission Temple Fireworks Stand,” along with two remarkable Rodney Crowell performances, including “Fate’s Right Hand.” The music is great from beginning to end. It’s enough to make you want to book a ticket on the next boat. Now there’s an idea.
-Michael Buffalo Smith