Blues Traveler – The Band’s Setlist
John Popper and Brendan Hill formed Blues Traveler in a Princeton basement in 1995, earning them international success with their improvisational live shows as well as hits like “Run-Around,” “Hook,” and “But Anyway.” However, success came to an end when lead singer/bass player James Sheehan died in 1995 and lead guitarist/harmonyist John Popper battled obesity and declining health. Despite these setbacks, the band has continued touring and released several albums on independent labels.
Their latest album, Traveler’s Blues, was released in July 2021 and nominated for Best Traditional Blues Album at the 2022 GRAMMY Awards. To support both this new release as well as their 35th anniversary tour, the band is currently on tour.
Blues Traveler’s live setlists vary based on what resonates with their audience at that particular show. They typically play a full set of fan favorites, then switch gears and play some upbeat covers during their encores.
On July 4th, Blues Traveler headlined Red Rocks Amphitheatre in Morrison, Colorado with the classics “Run-Around,” “Hook,” and “But Anyway” plus several fan favorites from their back catalog. The performance was packed with energy and the audience was absolutely enthralled with every song.
Blues Traveler is renowned for its cover versions of popular songs, such as Aretha Franklin’s “Gina,” Big Mama Thornton’s “Carolina Blues” and Ziggy Marley’s “No Woman, No Cry.” Their interpretations of classic recordings often feature acoustic instrumentation to capture the spirit of their original recordings.
Blues Traveler has released several acoustic albums in addition to live performances, the most notable being 2007’s Cover Yourself. This record re-recorded previously-released songs with acoustic instruments and featured guest artists like Lisa Bouchelle.
On their most recent tour, Blues Traveler performed several new songs from their latest release, Traveler’s Blues. These tracks ranged from a soulful interpretation of Charlie Daniels Band’s “Devil Went Down to Georgia” to a cover of CSNY’s “Gina.”
These songs, whether accompanied by guitars, harmonica or drums, all strive to put the spotlight on their audience. All had excellent crowd interaction which resulted in an energetic performance that kept everyone involved throughout the entire set.
It was an energetic mix of classic and contemporary tunes that kept the crowd dancing all night long. Their eclectic blend of psychedelic rock, jam band vibes, and electric guitar playing proved popular with those who hadn’t seen them before; even when things started getting stale after 30 minutes or so, the band managed to keep everyone involved and engaged.
Blues Traveler is an energetic band that has perfected the art of improvisation, earning themselves a loyal following over time. They’ve performed at some of America’s biggest music festivals and been featured on multiple television shows including David Letterman. With over 100 songs released and numerous awards won for their music, Blues Traveler continues to wow audiences everywhere.