by Lisa Schreiner
Blues Traveler is one of those bands that appeals to your 10 year old niece as well as your 60 year old father-in-law. They have no specific kind of fan base, which makes going to a show not only fun, but exponentially refreshing. Their music dips into multiple genres providing a limitless supply of poignant, yet fun music. Singer John Popper’s unmistakable voice is a perfect match for the guitar (Chan Kinchla), bass (Tad Kinchla), drums (Brendan Hill) and keyboards (Ben Wilson) that make up the iconic blues-rock-reggae inspired band.
On January 27th, Blues Traveler made a stop on their 30th Anniversary tour at The Paramount in Huntington, NY. Coincidentally, this was also the 1,000th show for the venue since it’s opening in September of 2011. The sold-out crowd was a sea of every kind of person, making up a community of young and old(er) music lovers. If a Blues Traveler fan had to be categorized, it would be just that: a total music lover, for that is exactly what makes up this iconic band. The joy that these five guys find in creating and sharing their music was palpable as they tore through their setlist that included “Stand”, “Run Around” and a beautiful cover of Radiohead’s “Creep”.
Popper’s incomparable harmonica playing is nothing short of awe-inspiring when witnessed in person. He is the Jimmy Page/Jimmy Hendrix/Eddie Van Halen/Kirk Hammett/Mike McCready of harmonica players. When John Popper is ripping through a harmonica solo, it stops you in your tracks and you’re left shaking your head in amazement once he’s finished.
You don’t have to be a Blues Traveler fan to appreciate the music they make. But, it is highly suggested that even if you aren’t a fan, you should attend a show at least once; though once you do, you’ll find yourself going back for more.
Blues Traveler is currently on tour through February. Show dates can be found on their official site.