Bobby Keys & The Suffering Bastards

Played 2013

Bobby Keys & The Suffering Bastards

About Bobby Keys & The Suffering Bastards

Update:  Bobby Keys died at the age of 70 as a result of cirrhosis at his home in Franklin, Tennessee, on December 2, 2014.


You may not know that you already love his music, but you do.

Many of the greatest rock hits of the past five decades bear the unmistakable thumbprint of one of America’s most accomplished rock and roll icons: Bobby Keys. In fact, it’s impossible that any fan of popular music could be unfamiliar with the trademark sound and swaggery soul of the Texas-born saxophone player. From humble roots as an unaccredited performer with Buddy Holly and Dion (“The Wanderer”) to album-defining contributions with the Rolling Stones (Exile on Main Street, Sticky Fingers) to his work with each of the four Beatles and Elvis, his illustrious career has led him from studio to stage all across the globe. Collaborating with a list of musical legends you seldom see listed together outside of the Rock and Roll hall of Fame, Bobby Keys has won over the hearts and minds of both rock royalty and discerning music fans alike.

In recent years, Keys has stepped out of the sideman position and watched his own popularity grow, as an entirely new generation of listeners has begun to pay attention to the contributions of this one-of-a-kind artist. Beginning with a few word-of-mouth showcases at Nashville’s Mercy Lounge, the cream of Music City’s music community began to flock to Key’s performances. His concerts proved to be the perfect platform to pay tribute to his rich history, while showcasing his personality and undeniable stage presence. Very few artists have displayed the exceptional range of talent- not to mention the vast catalog of hits- as Bobby, so it’s only fitting that he would handpick a backing band as esteemed as his back catalog.

The Suffering Bastards is comprised of an all-star cast of renowned Nashville musicians including Dan Baird (Georgia Satellites), Brad Pemberton (Ryan Adams and the Cardinals), Michael Webb (John Fogerty, Poco), Chark Kinsolving (Mike Farris, Spoonful) and Robert Kearns (Lynyrd Skynyrd / Sheryl Crow). Together, this versatile band of musicians is able to effortlessly recreate spot-on renditions of hits from Keys’ storied career, as well as new compositions for an upcoming album. Presented in a rock and roll revue format, the songs are able to shine while the man behind the sax gets to tell his side of the story. And it’s a hell of a story.

With the release of his long-awaited autobiography Every Night Is A Saturday Night: The Rock ‘n’ Roll Life of Legendary Sax Man Bobby Keys (2012, Counterpoint), long time fans will finally be offered a glimpse behind the scenes of one of the genre’s most seasoned session players. 2012 will also see the release of a new documentary about his life, as well as a number of high-profile tour dates throughout the US. It’s shaping up to be another incredible year for Bobby, and with the help of the Suffering Bastards, it’s clear that this year will undoubtedly be just another zenith in a roller-coaster ride of a life that’s simply to good to be true.

What Passengers Think

First time on RLC cruise and it was, by far, one of the best damn times I’ve ever had in my life! Loved every band we saw, especially Sammy, Bad Company and Artimus Pyle! Had already booked for VII before we even went on this one and won’t be giving up my reservation for anything! I do agree with another reviewer that the chair reserving/holding on the deck needs to be addressed and the smoking everywhere on deck 11 was a little much. Thank you NAHA for nailing it for us true rockers!!

Mary, Talk about a Rock-n-Roll fantasy! Mary, Talk about a Rock-n-Roll fantasy!

This was our first RLC, we REALLY wanted to do this one because of Uriah Heep and The Circle. The fact that Steppenwolf, Blue Oyster Cult, and Bad Company were on it also just sweetened the pot. It was our first time seeing Todd Rundgren, Gary Hoey, Quiet Riot, Artimus Pyle and Elvin Bishop, who were all great! We caught parts of some of the other bands and unfortunately some not at all. We didn’t leave the ship at all because there just too much GREAT music!
The artist we met were all very nice. Loved the Meet and Greets. And now we have new bands to follow.
My only complaints ( and they wouldn’t stop my husband and I from returning) were the saving of the chairs with towels, and the staff in the buffet room seemed ill equipped to handle the crowds, which were predictable. Also, I thought the buffet room should have had longer daytime hours, that would have helped with tables not available. But we weren’t there for the food or the destination. We were there for the non stop music. Gary Hoey and the All Star Jam was the best surprise, we didn’t move for 3 hours, didn’t want to miss a second of that great show. Gary was a terrific host.
We will be back! Oh and fun swag too!

Beckie Webster, Terrific Beckie Webster, Terrific