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John Nemeth Live On Keeping the Blues Alive at Sea Cruise


by Kevin Wierzbicki

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Joe Bonamassa's Keeping the Blues Alive at Sea: Mediterranean cruise took place Aug. 16-21, with Joe being joined by stars like Peter Frampton, Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Joanne Shaw Taylor, Vintage Trouble and many others. And while those acts rocked the main stage at the pool deck aboard the Norwegian Cruise Line ship Pearl, the floating music festival also offered fans a chance to see many of the performers in a more intimate setting, including Memphis blues man John Nemeth who with his band the Blue Dreamers played a special a.m. acoustic show in the ship's Atrium Bar area Aug. 18. The ship was spending the whole day at sea that day and Nemeth's show, taking place at 11:00 a.m., was one of numerous shows presented throughout the cruise in a series of pre-lunch "Acoustic Mornings" performances.

John Nemeth Live

Nemeth began his set with "Mother-In-Law Blues," an oft-covered cut that was first released by Junior Parker. After another cover, a take on Junior Wells' "Stop Breaking Down," Nemeth played the self-penned "Elbows on the Wheel" and gave a little insight about the song beforehand. Explaining how the song was inspired by his time as a truck driver and mimicking driving with his elbows, Nemeth joked that the hands-free driving experience was when he "really learned how to play the harmonica." Choosing from a tray of harps in front of him, he then proceeded to show off his harmonica playing prowess with gusto. Nemeth's joy at performing is palpable, and he was clearly having a ball with the rollicking Memphis soul of "If it Ain't Broke, Don't Fix It" where he sang some near falsetto notes, and "She Did Not Show" where the lyrics included a shouted "I was jilted, baby!"

John Nemeth Live

Before Nemeth and his band played "Sooner or Later" the affable blues man praised the Pearl's lavish buffet; since the show ended just before noon many fans were likely headed to the chow line after the final song, which was "Country Boy." Before leaving the stage Nemeth reminded fans that he lives in Memphis and invited everyone to look him up when they're in town.

John Nemeth Live

Nemeth is currently on tour in Europe but he'll be performing Sept. 27 at the Roots N Blues N BBQ Festival in Columbia, Missouri: More here.

The next Joe Bonamassa Keeping the Blues Alive at Sea: Mediterranean cruise takes place Aug. 14-19, 2020: Find more details here.

John Nemeth Live On Keeping the Blues Alive at Sea Cruise

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