Blues Traveler has announced they will perform a special tour this fall, celebrating the 25th anniversary of their album “Four” released in 1994. “Four Live!” tour will kick off 1st of November in New York, NY and will include, during its 30 days duration, locations such as Philadelphia, St. Louis and Chicago before wrapping up on 17th of November in Madison, WI.
Tickets have been released for general sale on 9th of August and you can get your tickets from many of the great ticket sites.
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“Four” has been certified platinum six times and is the band’s most successful album to date. It brought the band its first “Grammy” Award in 1996 for “Best Rock Vocal Performance By A Duo Or Group“. The single “Hook” peaked #8 and “Run-Around” reached #23 on “Billboard Hot 100”, whilst the album made it up to No. 8 on “Billboard 200”.
Blues Traveler has had several collaborations over the years: the album “Blow Up The Moon” featured contributions from artists like “Plain White”, “Hanson”, “Thompson Square”, “Bowling for Soup”, “Jewel”, “Thomas Ian Nicholas” and others. These collaborations enabled Blues Traveler to expand their repertoire and musical palette.
The band likes working with other artists not only on studio albums but also on live touring. Currently, the boys are performing live with moe. “All Roads Runaround Tour”. The 21 locations tour which began on the 11th of July and has ended on the 11th of August benefited also from the support of G. Love.
Regarded as the follower of “Grateful Dead” in terms of their assiduous touring schedule, Blues Traveler was founded in 1983 by John Popper and Brendan Hill. When he was 15, Popper moved to Princeton, New Jersey and began to play the harmonica, gaining the reputation around the high school as “that harmonica guy”. He played in the school’s band and that is how he met the drummer Brendan Hill. Together they performed at parties for money and two years later, in 1985, they met Chan Kinchla. The young guitarist joined the two musicians in a jam session that actually turned into a three-hour collaboration known as “black cat jam”. The nickname came from a black cat that wandered the streets when the band was done with the session.
In 1987, the bassist Bobby Sheehan added to the band’s line up and after graduating from high school the four moved to NYC. Popper, Sheehan and Hill enrolled to study jazz and the band began to play in clubs in the area of New York. By the time they signed a contract with a record company, the boys had already a live performance schedule that included 16 to 20 shows per month. Their musical style included influences from the rock of the ‘60s. As John Popper stated in an interview: “if Muddy Waters was a white guy living in the suburbs in the late ’80s, he’d sound a lot like us.”
In 1990 the band released its first album. The second, called “Travelers & Thieves” appeared one year later. The intense schedule of live shows sustained by the band and the contribution on backing vocals and keyboards of Gregg Allman on the song “Mountain Cry” increased the comparison of the group with “Allman Brothers Band” and “Grateful Dead”. Despite the modest sales of their records, the band continued touring, as they insisted their musical style was more appropriate for live performance.
In 1992 the band organized the first “Horizons of Rock Developing Everywhere” festival (H.O.R.D.E.). The line-up of the inaugural edition featured names such as “Spin Doctors”, “Widespread Panic” and “Phish”. Soon after the festival, the band had to take a break after Popper was hit by a car. The rest of the band was in the studio working on the instrumental track “Manhattan Bridge”. Popper had broken limbs and was temporarily bound to a wheelchair. The members of the group dedicated that time to recording the LP “Save His Soul”, which was delivered in 1993. The band, now in full line-up, organized that summer the second edition of H.O.R.D.E. festival. Among the performing artists were the returning “Widespread Panic” and the new-entries “Monsters and the Samples” and “Big Head Todd”.
Blues Traveler’s resemblance to “Grateful Dead” continued to increase when the group began to gain vans of fans. Just like the “Dead Heads” of “Grateful Dead”, “Fellow Travelers” started to follow Blues Traveler from show to show. The group also recorded their fourth album called “Four”. A second collaboration with the producers Mike Barbiero and Steve Thompson, the album was promoted with two covers: one with a cat smoking a cigarette on the right side and another with the cat with no cigarette on the left side.
For the first time in their history, the group promoted one of their albums through other channels than sales during touring. The tracks “Run-around” and “Hook” were released as singles and increased the group’s popularity as they were played by radio stations all over the country. The members of the band, however, did not lose their heads, but kept doing what they loved: touring, accompanied everywhere by the “Fellow Travelers”. For Blues Traveler, not letting down those fans that followed them in their nomadic adventure from location to location was more important than their newly acquired mainstream celebrity.
In the summer of ’96, the double album “Live from the Fall” was released and shortly after a new studio album was delivered. “Straight on Till Morning” arrived in the summer of 1997.
In 1999, the band was hit by two major events: Popper had to undergo an angioplasty and on the 20th of August 1999 the 31 years old, Bobby Sheehan was found dead in his home in New Orleans.
In the new millennium, the band released the sixth studio album – “Bridge”, issued in May 2001. 2003 marked the release of the studio album “Truth Be Told” followed by the live album “Live on the Rocks” in 2004.
Other notable releases were “Cover Yourself” – acoustic versions of previously released tracks, which were delivered in 2007 and “25” – a set featuring essential tracks, demos, and rare songs to celebrate 25 years of activity. After the 11th studio album – “Suzie Cracks the Whip”, the group released the already mentioned “Blow Up the Moon”.