The Newburyport BluesCruise kicks off the summer season with a tribute to (and with) the legendary “Statesman of the Blues”, Shor’ty Billups, hosted by James Montgomery.
Shor’ty Billups has performed for more than seven decades, starting out as a drummer while touring and recording with Wilson Pickett. He has since transformed into a front man and has shared the stage with artists including Ruth Brown, Sam and Dave, Rufus Thomas, Clarence Carter, Little Richard, Roy Hamilton, Screaming Jay Hawkins and Jackie Wilson. Billups recorded the drums for the venerable R&B classic hit “Mustang Sally”. At the age of 87, he performs, records and has made appearances in movie productions and displays the energy of a much younger man. Billups continues to excite audiences with his current group “The Foxxx Band”.
James Montgomery grew up in Detroit where he learned first-hand from the masters James Cotton, John Lee Hooker, and Jr. Wells at the legendary Blues club "The Chessmate". For almost 50 years he's carried on the tradition and continues to be a vital presence as one of the most dynamic performers on the Blues scene. Montgomery has toured with major artists, including Aerosmith, Bonnie Raitt, Bruce Springsteen, The Allman Brothers, Steve Miller and others. He has appeared on stage with B.B. King, Buddy Guy, John Lee Hooker, Jr. Wells, James Cotton, Charlie Daniels, Johnny Winter, Bonnie Raitt, Greg Allman, Laverne Baker, Patti LaBelle, and Peter Wolf among others including an impromptu session with Mick Jagger at New York's "Trax" recording studio.
A cash bar is available featuring products from Newburyport Brewing Company and other local brewers, and snacks are served. This 3 hour sunset cruise departs at 7 PM and returns 10 PM
Sunday, July 21
Sunday, November 10