A Publication of WTVP

Cruise of Kinship

This month, David Raitt will perform with Barry Cloyd on the Spirit of Peoria.

by Peoria Magazine |

Several years ago, Peoria musician Barry Cloyd had a chance meeting that has since turned into a musical kinship. He was teaching a songwriting workshop in Baja, Mexico, and one of his students was the son of musician David Raitt. After learning about the class from his son, Raitt invited Cloyd to his villa on the beach, and as Cloyd explains, “We’ve been writing, recording and performing together in Mexico on and off ever since.”

Raitt hails from a rich musical lineage—his father John was a Broadway performer and his sister Bonnie, with whom he performs occasionally, is a member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and just released her 20th album. He’s worked with some of the world’s finest musicians, from Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, to bluegrass pickers Earl Scruggs and Doc Watson, to the legendary Carlos Santana. He and Cloyd have grown so close that Raitt hosted Cloyd’s wedding to caterer Connie Randall earlier this year. “David and I both played original songs in the wedding ceremony on the beach in front of his home,” Cloyd notes.

This month, Raitt is coming to Peoria for the first time, performing with Cloyd on the Spirit of Peoria. “David has been wanting to play on the Spirit for several years,” says Cloyd, a regular fixture on the riverboat. On October 14 and 15, they’ll be joined by storyteller Brian “Fox” Ellis and piano man Ted Leman on a two-day overnight cruise to Starved Rock State Park. Then on October 19, Cloyd and Raitt will perform together on a concert cruise. “We will be doing a wide variety of music, mostly in the Americana genre… blues, folk and bluegrass,” Cloyd says. “We’ll both be doing some of our original songs as well.” PM