As I was leaving the house the other day, I grabbed a CD to which I hadn't listened in years & years. It has always had a place in my heart, but for all sorts of reasons, I'd neglected it in general since about 1996. I imagine the last time I listened to it @ all was maybe 3 years ago when I happened to score a free ticket to a show at Meadowbrook. It's interesting how music that gets a lot of play 1 year can fall off of a personal radar a few years later. It's too bad too because as i have been listening to it this week, I've been reminded of how good it is. The CD in question is Travelers & Thieves, the 2nd album by Blues Traveler. When we were younger, Stephanie & I saw them more times than any other band; clearly by now we've seen the different incarnations of The Dead/Phil's band/Bob's band more, Blues Traveler will always be the one that reminds me of my college days the most. In fact, I even spend this morning, while grading, listening to some old shows on the Archive & was again blown away by their talent.
Listening this week, I realized a few things:
1) Bobby Sheehan was a monster bass player. When he died, I was already listening to them less & less, so I was rather unaffected, but back in the early '90s, I'd always been impressed by him. Now I realize my original feelings were more than just blind fandom; he was awesome. Check out his runs on "Onslaught," "Ivory Tusk," & "Support Your Local Emperor." He's all over the place playing a 2nd lead behind Popper's harmonica while Chan Kinchla & Brenden Hill hold down the beat.
2) Popper's lyrics, while sometimes a bit cheesy, are really complex. He's dealing w/ big issues, & saying some cool things; much cooler, in fact, than his ridiculous libertarian views would suggest.
3) Having listened to Travelers & Thieves, I then grabbed Save His Soul & also put in On Tour Forever. I doubt I'll go into any of the more recent stuff, but those other discs hold up really well too. On Tour Forever is a live, bonus disc that was packaged w/ only 10,000 copies of Travelers & Thieves. it 4 song long & runs nearly an hour. It also features Carlos Santana on a 20 minute version of "Mountain Cry." Of course, the studio version features Greg Allman, so that's pretty cool too.
Do yourself a favor & grab an old disc, 1 you haven't listened to in a long time, & give it another go. You'll be glad you did... I sure am.