Thread: Opinions on Blues Traveler

DeadMallard - 5/18/2017 at 05:33 PM

Other than a few radio hits I've just started listening to them. Starting with the first self titled album.

Opinions of albums and seeing them Live are appreciated.


heineken515 - 5/18/2017 at 05:43 PM

I have their CD's Travelers and Thieves and Four.

A little of J Popper goes a LONG way in my opinion.


LeglizHemp - 5/18/2017 at 05:53 PM

i liked them and saw them many times in small venues to large, but when they put out run-around it was time to get off the bus.


BIGV - 5/18/2017 at 06:10 PM

Saw them once when they opened fro the ABB on their '92 tour in Concord, Ca. At the time I thought they were an OK band, but as time went on and I heard more of JP on the harp, I outgrew them quickly. The cat's harmonica playin' is just too much for me. Too "busy", too fast, waaaay too many notes. If the saying goes for guitar players that it is "Not how many notes you play, but what you can get out of one" then should not the same apply to harp players? To each his own I guess. Imho, the Johnny Winter of harp..


Charlesinator - 5/18/2017 at 06:20 PM

Don't slander Johnny like that Big V? John Pooper is horrible Dead Mallard ... bath salts is better for you.


berkhath - 5/18/2017 at 06:44 PM

I'll echo the "too much" comments, and suggest Joe Bonamassa as an example instead of Johnny Winter.





quote:
quote:
Don't slander Johnny like that Big V? John Pooper is horrible Dead Mallard ... bath salts is better for you.


Just sayin' that like JP, JW plays waay too many notes....for me.


JimSheridan - 5/18/2017 at 07:00 PM

Victims of overplay.


robslob - 5/18/2017 at 07:21 PM

https://www.amazon.com/Live-Fall-Blues-Traveler/dp/B000VHOEMM/ref=sr_1_fkmr 1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1495134538&sr=8-1-fkmr1&keywords=blues+traveler +live+before+the+fall

My leaning would be to say to anyone who poo-poo's this band so easily to get a copy of this live double CD from 1996 and really give it a good listen. Read the user reviews...........they mostly agree with me...........this record proves what a potent live force this band can be. Granted, it was recorded 21 years ago..............nonetheless, the proof is in the pudding, and there it is for anyone's ears to hear............this band can be nothing short of phenomenal and astonishing live.

And I'll get a better picture this summer on July 20 because they will be playing the Music In The Park series in downtown San Jose and it'll be an entire $10 (FYI these shows are subsidized by The City of San Jose, so I'm sure BT will receive a healthy payday). I've only seen BT once and it was 1994 when they opened for ABB as part of H.O.R.D.E. and yes, they were good. I did see Popper two years ago in a side project in a club.............I was mesmerized, not offended by his harp playing..........very nice guy @ the merch table as well..........looking forward to July 20 and a chance to check out the modern day Blues Traveler.


LeglizHemp - 5/18/2017 at 07:33 PM

Live From The Fall is a great album


cmgst34 - 5/18/2017 at 07:55 PM

I love their song "The Hook", and I have whatever album it is that the song is on. It's decent, but they do not excite me.


rmack - 5/18/2017 at 08:17 PM

When the H.O.R.D.E. show passed through my area, the local reviewer nailed it for me - "John Popper is like a brilliant conversationalist who never shuts up". Perfect description of why I can't get into this band. Give me Kim WIlson, Paul Butterfield, Little Walter, Sonny Boy…hell I'll even take Mick over Popper. That said, they are clearly very skilled and energetic musicians who ain't hurtin' nobody.

[Edited on 5/18/2017 by rmack]


WarEagleRK - 5/18/2017 at 08:29 PM

I like them. I don't understand the hatred that Popper gets, but everyone has different tastes. He's not Butterfield or James Cotton, but I don't think he ever claims to be.

I've seen them in concert 4 times and have enjoyed each show.

I think anything through Live From the Fall is worth a full listen. After that they are more hit and miss.


CanadianMule - 5/18/2017 at 08:32 PM

I always wanted a little more guitar and a little less Popper. Like others, the fast blowing impresses at first but wears out quickly.

I do really like the Travelers and Thieves album which is pretty strong from top to bottom.


rmack - 5/18/2017 at 08:52 PM

quote:
I like them. I don't understand the hatred that Popper gets, but everyone has different tastes. He's not Butterfield or James Cotton, but I don't think he ever claims to be.

I've seen them in concert 4 times and have enjoyed each show.

I think anything through Live From the Fall is worth a full listen. After that they are more hit and miss.




I don't hate him, I just find his approach to the harp irritatingly, unendingly sacrifices musicality for calisthenics. Clearly, his technique (or maybe just speed) is advanced.


BIGV - 5/18/2017 at 08:56 PM

quote:
I don't hate him, I just find his approach to the harp irritatingly, unendingly sacrifices musicality for calisthenics. Clearly, his technique (or maybe just speed) is advanced.


And...excruciatingly tedious


porkchopbob - 5/18/2017 at 09:06 PM

I never minded Blues Traveler, they're a fun band, but I totally get the "overplay" complaints. I saw Popper at Wanee a few years ago and really enjoyed it. I think a lot of musicians here who have played with harp players can attest they almost all overplay, but Popper actually has some pretty incredible chops (though I'm more of a Little Walter-style guy myself).


lovelight - 5/18/2017 at 09:23 PM

I have seen them many times live and it was always good!


ABBDutchFan - 5/18/2017 at 10:08 PM

I can relate to the arguments of both fans and non-fans / Popper "haters". I like Blues Traveler but in small doses. I dig many songs from "Live From The Fall" but find it hard to listen to the full album back to back. John Popper is a fantastic harp player but indeed "very busy". He's like the Yngwie Malmsteen of harp players.


CanadianMule - 5/18/2017 at 10:30 PM

quote:
He's like the Yngwie Malmsteen of harp players.


Exactly. Highly impressive and technical but all starts to sound the same.


bird72 - 5/18/2017 at 10:49 PM

I was thinking somebody should start a band with 5 harmonicas, 4 banjo players, and a tuba....


LeglizHemp - 5/18/2017 at 11:07 PM

quote:
I was thinking somebody should start a band with 5 harmonicas, 4 banjo players, and a tuba....


ROFL, no accordion?


DeadMallard - 5/19/2017 at 01:32 AM

Thanks for all the great feedback.

I just downloaded the two albums that people suggested ... Travelers & Thieves, Live From The Fall

Give me a few days and I'll come back with my take.


kevdab - 5/19/2017 at 09:52 AM

Back in the nineties, they opened for the ABB a couple times at Great Woods. Sorry to say, I was in the parking lot during their show. I guess no opinion.


BigDaveOnBass - 5/19/2017 at 02:59 PM

My first exposure to John Popper was at WaneeFest sitting in with Devon Allman's Honeytribe playing This Could Get Dangerous. On the studio version of the song, Huey Lewis played some VERY tasteful harmonica. Popper played something totally off the wall and it didn't compliment the song, AT ALL. Thus began my disdain for his harmonica playing.

BUT.....I recently attended my first Blues Traveler concert near my home in Evans, GA, mainly because The Marcus King Band was the opener. Much to my surprise, I enjoyed the hell out of Blues Traveler's set. Popper is a decent singer, never have had a problem with that. The band was tight and consisted of original members of the band, with the exception of bass player Bobby Sheehan who passed away many years ago, as you may recall. The current bass player is the brother of the lead guitar player and has been with the band since Sheehan died. Their show was simply put - enjoyable! Then Marcus came out and sat in with them. It was excellent!

So, I have a newfound appreciation for Blues Traveler. Who says you can't teach an old dog a new trick?

[Edited on 5/19/2017 by BigDaveOnBass]


sully - 5/19/2017 at 03:04 PM

I grew up in the Princeton area, where BT was formed. so i had a ton of exposure growing up.

Recommeded album: Save His Soul. Some great tunes on that.

Live: My friend put it best. Forgive the bad taste: It feels like you are being raped by a harmonica.


absnj - 5/19/2017 at 05:17 PM

quote:
I was thinking somebody should start a band with 5 harmonicas, 4 banjo players, and a tuba....


How about a bunch on trombone players, like Bonerama:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2sLjntJJftU


absnj - 5/19/2017 at 05:20 PM

quote:
quote:
I don't hate him, I just find his approach to the harp irritatingly, unendingly sacrifices musicality for calisthenics. Clearly, his technique (or maybe just speed) is advanced.


And...excruciatingly tedious


IMHO tedious is a very appropriate description. I saw them live a couple times opening for the ABB in the 90's. Not even my 5 year old liked them.


CanadianMule - 5/19/2017 at 08:40 PM

If it takes Blues Traveler to get BigDave posting then I love Blues Traveler.

Nice to see you on here, Dave.


Chain - 5/20/2017 at 07:57 PM

I've seen Blues Traveler a few times on the HORDE tour and at the Utica Auditorium in Utica, NY with Johhny Lang opening. I like them. However, like Canadian mentioned, I always wanted to hear more Chas Chinchila (sp), the guitar player, and a bit less John Popper.

I will say that while Popper could be a bit overbearing, the band always smoked live and were very tight. The last show I saw was the one in Utica, NY and it was just before the Bass player unexpectedly died from an overdose. Thus I haven't seen the current line-up.


jszfunk - 5/21/2017 at 02:17 PM

Mountain Cry - Blues Traveler (live with Carlos Santana)
https://youtu.be/TCU-YnQ5IIU


Carolina Blues
https://youtu.be/3enzzamI_LQ


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