Get out your big hats and harmonicas - Blues Traveler is releasing a new career-spanning compilation with a host of unreleased material to accompany their favorite singles.
Ah, the '90s jam band revival. One of the more intriguing concepts to come out of the post-grunge explosion era, where it seemed every major label was trying something new to see if it would stick with audiences. The demand for quirky live acts gave popular culture stalwarts like the Dave Matthews Band and Phish as well as bands like The Spin Doctors, who enjoyed massive (if brief) success with Pocket Full of Kryptonite in 1991.
This craze gave somewhat less brief but equally and improbably meteoric rise to Blues Traveler - ironically, a band who'd made friends with The Spin Doctors and the Dave Matthews Band before coming up in the music business - in the mid-'90s. The Princeton-based group, initially comprised of John Popper (vocals/harmonica), Chan Kinchla (guitar), Bobby Sheehan (bass) and Brendan Hill (drums), were staples of the New York club scene when A&M signed them in 1990. Their hardcore touring ethic, perhaps best exemplified by the H.O.R.D.E. Festival they founded through the decade, was what initially drew in fans (including David Letterman, who's featured the band more times on his Late Show than any other) - but it was the release of 1994's Four and singles "Run-Around" and "Hook" that earned them mainstream attention. Their songs were catchy thanks to Popper's distinctive, rapid-fire delivery, free-associative lyrics and howling harmonica playing, and "Run-Around" even won a Grammy.
The band faced some setbacks in the late '90s and early 2000s with the accidental overdose and death of bassist Sheehan, Popper's struggles with obesity and being dropped by A&M Records. But the band, now a five-piece with bassist Tad Kinchla (Chan's brother) and keyboardist Ben Wilson, continues to tour and record, releasing their latest album, North Hollywood Shootout, in 2008. As they get ready to tour another summer and finish up a forthcoming studio album, the band has partnered with their old label to release 25, a double-disc set pairing up the hits with a bonus disc of B-sides and rarities spanning their entire career, almost all of which are making their debut on CD.
The package comes out March 6 and can be ordered after the jump, which is of course where you'll also find a track list.
Blues Traveler, 25 (Hip-o Select/A&M, 2012)
Disc 1: Greatest hits
- The Mountains Win Again
- But Anyway
- You, Me and Everything
- Amber Awaits
- After What
- Back in the Day
- Girl Inside My Head
- Carolina Blues
- Let Her and Let Go
- 100 Years
- What’s for Breakfast
- NY Prophesie
- Unable to Get Free
- How You Remember It
Disc 2: B-sides/Unreleased songs
- The Poignant and Epic Saga of Featherhead and Lucky Lack
- Blue Hour
- Trust in Trust (Demo)
- Didn’t Mean to Wake Up
- But Anyway ’88
- Random Amounts
- 12 Swords
- The Sun and the Storm
- Traveler Suite
- Run-Around (Gunslinger Remix)
- What I Got
Disc 1, Tracks 1-3 from Four (A&M, 1994)
Disc 1, Tracks 4, 12 and 13 from Blues Traveler (A&M, 1990)
Disc 1, Tracks 5 and 17 from North Hollywood Shootout (Verve Forecast, 2008)
Disc 1, Tracks 6-7 from ¡Bastardos! (Vanguard, 2005)
Disc 1, Tracks 8-9 from Bridge (A&M, 2001)
Disc 1, Track 10 from Straight On 'Til Morning (A&M, 1997)
Disc 1, Tracks 11 and 16 from Truth Be Told (Sanctuary, 2003)
Disc 1, Track 14 from Travelers and Thieves (A&M, 1991)
Disc 1, Track 15 from Save His Soul (A&M, 1993)
Disc 2, Tracks 2 and 4 from "Run Around" CD single (A&M 314 580 983-2, 1994)
Disc 2, Tracks 8-10 from Decisions of the Sky: A Traveler's Tale of Sun and Storm EP (BluesTraveler.com download, 2000)
All other tracks previously unreleased
Earl C. says
No "Get Out Of Denver"?