Around 1996, as Blues Traveler began to enjoy the fruits of their labor as a successful band, they decided to move out of the city that they had called home for nearly a year, and find their own homes. John moved to Pennsylvania, Bob and Chan flew south to New Orleans and Miami, respectively, and Brendan chose the Pacific Northwest and the town of Seattle to call home. Shortly after moving to Washington, Brendan began to explore the musical scene and ran into an acquaintance he had made on the H.O.R.D.E. Festival in 1996, keyboardist Michael McMorrow. McMorrow traveled on the 1996 H.O.R.D.E. Tour, performing with blues master Taj Mahal on the "H.O.R.D.E. 'O Culture" jam stage. Mike would later say:
"Blues Traveler was headlining H.O.R.D.E. and I was jammin' with Taj while out on the road with G.A.P. [Global Alliance of Performers]. Brendan would sit in on these incredible jam sessions."
They decided to put together a group of musicians with similar interests in a blues based, rock, funk groove band shortly after Brendan moved to Seattle. Brendan and Michael recruited David Simpson to join them on guitar and they began recording and jamming out together. Steve Manning, who would later audition for the job of Blues Traveler bassist, hopped on board shortly thereafter, and soon vocalist Pamela Tobiason and Scott "Junior" Adams would round out the sextet. The band performed for the first time live at Rupert's in Seattle on March 17th, 1998 while at the same time, two states away, John joined Bob and High Plains Drifter in Colorado.
After another gig in May, Stolen Ogre landed a gig on the very festival that had given birth to their initial relationship - the H.O.R.D.E. Festival. The Ogre was featured at two September gigs at George, Washington's Gorge and Portland, Oregon's Portland Meadows. The band celebrated its one-year anniversary with another Seattle gig as Blues Traveler continued to take the first half of the year off, and 1999 brought more exposure as Gov't Mule took them on as an opening act for a pair of dates in the Seattle/Portland area. Most recently, the band recorded their first album, Grind, which was released in late March of 2000.
|Setlists & Tour dates|