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

2018 was our first Rock Legends Cruise and as soon as we got off the boat we booked RLC7 for 2019. The entire experience was such a good vibe. Everybody on board from passengers to artists are just having a great time. It’s not hard to do when everyone around you is happy.

Kris Bennett, RLC6 Kris Bennett, RLC6

My husband and I took a chance and booked our first ever cruise in December 2011 after listening to a radio commercial about a cruise with ZZ Top, George Thorogood and John Kay playing and cruising with us (among many other great bands!). This was “Woodstock on Water”! We have been on every one since and have made many new friends who we correspond with throughout the year and look forward to seeing every year. There should be a different word than “Cruise” to describe this because it does not compare to a standard cruise by any means. Seeing- greeting-hugging-taking pictures with so many of our idols – PRICELESS!! Pam and the NAHA staff do an outstanding job and we always book as soon as each cruise booking opens – no need to wait to see who will be rockin’ us! If you like classic and southern rock and have not booked this cruise, do not wait or you’ll miss out. It sells out earlier every year. (Love to all the Dfers and FB Rock Legends Cruise Fans and FB Rock Legends Cruise Party’ers!)

Judy Diaz, DON'T MISS OUT! Judy Diaz, DON'T MISS OUT!