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07-10-2000Blues Traveler makes return to Red Rocks; New album recording started; Tunes to be released via web site; Side Projects area now open!

The band recently completed their "Run to Red Rocks", playing six shows in five states over a week's time. With the addition of bassist Tad Kinchla and keyboard player Ben Wilson, the newly-minted five-piece outfit sold out four of the six shows and came close to a fifth, cementing their comeback with a stirring two-and-a-half-hour, two-set blowout at the tiny Fox Theatre in Boulder, Colorado. The run featured an entire show dedicated to the memory of Bob Sheehan [Red Rocks], several special guests [Warren Haynes, Thundercloud Singers, Mike "Pieface" Fiorentino and would-be BT bassist Oteil Burbridge] and several old-timers making a reappearance: Bagheera, absent since 3-31-95's Vic Theatre gig, and a John Popper solo tune entitled By My 12 Swords, which had gone 8 1/2 years since its last playing on 12-22-91. All setlists are available in the Setlist Archive for your perusal and are sure to be distributed soon.

After a week off after their tour to regroup and review the high and low points of the brief tour, the band is reportedly headed to Los Angeles for a month of pre-production on their next album. The disc, according to Popper, is tentatively slated for a January or February release, and may be preceded by a fall tour of theaters in college towns. No engineer or producer has been announced, but the disc is rumored to include several tunes picked from what was once to be the 'concept album' played from start to finish on 11-25-98 in Atlantic City. Others, including new Red Rocks debuts Just Me, Not Big, Too Easy, and Pretty Angry, are also expected to make the cut, along with previous material played in private corporate gigs in May and June. In the meantime, however, the band plans on sating its fans with web-based releases including the famed 22-minute epic Traveler Suite, which made its debut nearly four years ago, also at Red Rocks Amphitheater. According to an article in the Denver Post, the band will also be releasing a 90-minute jam, recorded at an unknown time in the past, through its web site, which is to be redesigned by early fall. The band will also reportedly play at the Republican National Convention on August 1st, at the First Union Center in Philadelphia. While this would seem to be directly against their previous gigs involving President Bill Clinton [1-17-93 at the Inauguration, and at the Very Special Olympics gig in 1998 when John guested on a few tunes and played harmonica but a few feet from the President], Popper is widely known as a gun-rights advocate and said of the 1996 election, "The Democrats all want to be your friend. The Republicans just want the money. I appreciate their honesty and single-mindedness. I'm a new conservative. I was a bleeding- heart liberal until I got a job."

Speaking of web site redesigns, BluesTraveler.Net is proud to announce the latest section, dealing with Blues Traveler Side Projects. If you've ever wondered about the origins of the H.O.R.D.E. Festival, or if you've got a Frogwings tape whose setlist you can't make out, click over to the Blues Traveler Side Projects area and browse around. Enjoy!