[H O M E]
[Side Projects]
[Tour Dates]

Blues Traveler Rides Again
by Jillian Newman
H.O.R.D.E. Magazine, National
Jul 1st, 1995

As originators of the H.O.R.D.E. Festival, along with fellow maiden H.O.R.D.E. bands Phish, Spin Doctors, Widespread Panic and Aquarium Rescue Unit, Blues Traveler is definitely about to get their moment in the sun. This year marks the fourth migration of the band and their traveling show: consisting of similarly gifted, tour oriented acts. It also marks the platinum status of Blues Traveler's fourth album, titled four which was released in 1994.

Fresh from finishing up an interview for People Magazine, complete with a Salmon fishing trip and first ever show in Alaska, I caught up with the band in Canada, where they were performing as part of "Another Roadside Attraction" (the Canadian version of H.O.R.D.E.). John and Brendan were nice enough to take a moment from their always overbooked schedules to chat with me on the phone and help explain what makes the H.O.R.D.E. tour so uplifting and unforgettable.

Whose idea was it, really?
John: The idea for H.O.R.D.E. really developed from the first group of bands that went out. We figured if we could pool our draws together, we could play big outdoor sheds in the summer, which is much more fun than playing indoors. We organized the meeting, and made it happen. I suddenly found myself on the phone a lot more, I guess that's how I ended up in charge.

Describe your emotions when you took the stage at the first H.O.R.D.E. show
John: The first show was in Maine. We had planned everything so thoroughly that when we took the stage my one thought was "it's about time." The show that really stands out was the Garden State show. It was huge and sold out. We walked out to a sea of people that belonged to us. It was very memorable. It was like everyone we knew that was a part of our scene suddenly had jobs. We were there with all of our friends.
Brendan: I think there was about 8,000 people in attendance at the first show in Maine. It was just us and our friends, Widespread (Panic), Spin Doctors, Phish, Aquarium Rescue Unit - and this was our own. We got to watch it grow.

Which band would you most like to see participate in H.O.R.D.E. living or dead?
Brendan: I'd love to see Led Zeppelin, Neil Young, Santana you know some of those legendary musicians, like Eric Clapton, do even one show. I think it would integrate the old with the new. These are the bands whose footsteps we are following in from years ago, it would be nice to see it come full circle.
John: Well we'd love to get Phish again, Widespread Panic, the Dead, Jimi Hendrix. Part of what is cool is that we keep changing it up. There are so many cool new bands. I guess I would have to pick the new ones we don't even know about yet.

How does the process of choosing acts for the tour work?
Brendan: There is somewhat of a H.O.R.D.E. corporation. I turned in a list of 50 bands that I would like to see on the tour. I know that our band along with some others and some managers (etc.) were polled. It is a very democratic process. It has a lot to do with who is willing and who is available.

What is the one thing that you would like your audience to take away from the show?
Brendan: They are all unique experiences. Different things happen at every show. I would love for someone to be able to call a friend in a different part of the country and swap stories about who jammed with who.
John: A very warm feeling of communal enjoyment. The ability to bring people together in some way is fun - whether or not it is important is up to them, but it sure is fun.

One last question, what has changed now that you are a platinum selling artist?
Brendan: That's easy, the amount of questions people are asking...