BlesPerformers

Blues Traveler – July 25

Like Phish and Widespread Panic, Blues Traveler emerged in the early 1990s as part of a new vanguard of jam bands in the tradition of the Grateful Dead and the Allman Brothers. Early on, the band's reputation was built on relentless touring, marathon sets, and the explosive harmonica solos of frontman John Popper.

Blues Traveler is an American rock band formed in Princeton, New Jersey in 1987. The band’s music covers a variety of genres, including blues rock, psychedelic rock, folk rock, soul, and Southern rock. It is known for extensive use of segues in their live performances, and was considered a key part of the re-emerging jam band scene of the 1990s, spearheading the H.O.R.D.E. touring music festival.

Currently, the group comprises singer and harmonica player John Popper, guitarist Chan Kinchla, drummer Brendan Hill, bassist Tad Kinchla, and keyboardist Ben Wilson. Tad Kinchla and Ben Wilson joined the band following the death of original bassist Bobby Sheehan in 1999.

While Blues Traveler is best known among fans for their improvisational live shows, the general public is most familiar with the group from their Top 40 singles “Run-Around” and “Hook”. They gained mainstream popularity after their fourth studio album four, released in 1994. Sheehan’s death and Popper’s struggle with obesity put a damper on the group’s success, and A&M dropped the band in 2002. However, the band took this transition period as an opportunity to start in new directions musically, going largely independent and releasing on smaller experimental labels.