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Blues Traveler: Road Smoother
by Will Romano
New York Post, New York, NY
Nov 19th, 2000

Blues Traveler discovered the dark side of success last year. The blues-rock outfit had finished touring New York and the East with its Grammy-winning hit "Run-Around" when bassist Bobby Sheehan died of a drug overdose. "The whole lifestyle caught up with him," says guitarist Chandler "Chan" Kinchla, 31. "When someone close to you dies, you realize that focusing on the band all the time has its downside."

Blues Traveler, whose 1997 effort, "Straight on Till Morning," went platinum, has since revamped, adding keyboardist Ben Wilson and Chan's 27-year-old brother, bassist Tad Kinchla. The group plays Roseland Wednesday, its first New York gig in more than two years.

It appears the band is back on track, but it didn't look that way a year ago. Just before Sheehan's death, John Popper, 33, the big man behind the mike, underwent angioplasty surgery to clear blocked arteries. He has since lost more than 130 pounds.

While at work on their untitled new CD - due out early next year - band members made peace with Sheehan's passing, burying his ashes on the one-year anniversary of his death.

"We're very touched by Bob's memory," says Kinchla. "We're not trying to escape it. You have to embrace that kind of thing and not shove it in the closet."