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Date(s) - September 8, 2024
4:00 pm - 7:00 pm

Tennessee Riverboat Company
300 Neyland Dr
Knoxville, TN
United States


(865) 525-7827

The Smoky Mountain Blues Society will once again present live music with its continuation of our monthly Blues Cruises of 2024. This month’s performance will feature the Ray Beltran & BlueMax on the Tennessee Riverboat on Sunday, September 8th at 4 pm – 7 pm.

Tickets are available through the Tennessee Riverboat Company’s website, ( and by calling (865) 525-7827.  Tickets are just $20 for members in advance and $25 for non-members. SMBS Members should call to claim their discount (865) 525-7827. Members will be receiving discount code by email.

Boarding begins at 3:15 pm.

Photo credit: James W. Long

Ray Beltran & BlueMax Band BIO

Ray Beltran & BlueMax entertain audiences with a brand of Blues centered primarily around the swinging, up-tempo style of West Coast Jump Blues, along with a mix of Chicago and Texas Blues. BlueMax is composed of veteran musicians well-steeped in Blues, including nationally renowned guitarist Danny Michel, who has shared the stage and recorded with some of the world’s Blues legends. Other members include guitarist Geoff Trabalka who had opened shows for national Blues performers, bassist Grady Lowery who has made his mark on the Nashville scene, and percussionist Brent Williams, widely recognized as one of the area’s finest drummers. Ray has performed as a sought-after sideman, and as a member in his own band, fronting BlueMax with his signature smooth, big-bodied harmonica tone and vocals. Together, BlueMax has garnered critical acclaim with their no-nonsense, straight-ahead style of Blues fashioned on the foundation of traditional Blues, and has been recognized as a leading Blues band of East Tennessee.

Ray Beltran is a harmonica player and vocalist, serving duties as a band leader and sought-after sideman. He has spent most of his performing years on the West Coast. Performances in the Mid-West and Southern United States helped convince him to move to Knoxville, Tennessee. His love of artistic expression through his chosen instrument and the music that he his has spent over half his life studying and performing, continues to challenge and excite him. Ray Beltran and his band & BlueMax entertain audiences with a swinging style of West Coast Blues, along with Chicago and Texas Blues.


Geoff Trabalka, of Oak Ridge, Tennessee, has been performing on Blues guitar for 38+ years. A traditional Blues artist,  Geoff is influenced by a giants of the idiom, who he continues to draw inspiration from. His love of the blues drives his desire to provide the flavor of the older, traditional players, paying homage to the great musicians and roots of the past, while pouring a bit of himself in to the music he makes.


Danny Michel is a highly talented blues guitarist hailing from Knoxville, Tennessee. He began playing guitar at the age of 10 and was performing at the local Blues jams as early as 12. Through the years he has honed his skills developing his own style that is heavily influenced by the blues greats of the past. His passion and respect for the genre and dedication to his craft.


Grady Lowery, a multi-instrumentalist from Middle Tennessee, developed an appreciation of Blues at a young age. He is motivated by a desire to preserve the legacy of the genre as well as a desire to reach new audiences.


Brent Williams is a lifelong student of blues drumming, playing in venues across Tennessee during his 40+ year career. He began his studies in Knoxville, Tennessee with Doug Klein and at UT Knoxville, studying with Eddie Davidson & Keith Brown. Relocating to Memphis in the early ‘80s, he studied with local artists Rich Cesani & Mike Chiodo as well as learning from the artists playing the Riverfront Drive Blues clubs. Returning to Knoxville, Brent has enjoyed success playing in both local and regional Blues acts, and now finds himself as the premier percussionist with Ray Beltran & BlueMax.


Ray Beltran & BlueMax BAND MEMBERS:

Ray Beltran on Vocals & Harmonica
Danny Michel on Guitar
Geoff Trabalka on Guitar
Grady Lowery on Bass
Brent Williams on Drums


Check out one of Ray Beltran & BlueMax Band Videos here:

Each voyage will also have full bar and limited food menu available onboard to buy.

For press inquiries, please contact Alisa B. Cherry,

2024 Blues Cruise Schedule

April 7th with Corey Dennison Band

April 28th with Ray Fuller and the Bluesrockers

June 9th with Memphis Lightning & Steve Arvey

July 7th with SlideWinder Blues Band

August 4th with Bywater Call

September 8th with Ray Beltran & BlueMax

October 6th with The Nick Moss Band