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Blues Traveler
Live: What You and I Have Been Through
by Adrienne Frank
Arizona Tribune, Phoenix, AZ
Oct 31st, 2002



If their latest disc is any indication, Blues Traveler should change their name to Blues Wanderer. What You and I Have Been Through - the New York-based quartet's eighth album and its second live offering - is the musical equivalent of a road trip to Yuma; it takes entirely too long to get there, and once you finally arrive, you discover it was just one big waste of gas.

What You and I Have Been Through kicks off with a version of "The Star-Spangled Banner" so convoluted it makes Whitney Houston's take on the song seem stripped-down. Frontman and electric guitarist John Popper indulges himself on one too many riffs, dragging what should be a two-minute song into a four-minute affair.

The rest of the 11-track disc meanders similarly along. Guitar and harmonica solos are fabulous - but Popper and company lose themselves in solos too often. "Rage," for example, is nearly 10 minutes long. And while Blues Traveler have made a name for themselves as a modern-day jam band, in the same vein as the Grateful Dead and Led Zeppelin, their jamming is at times excessive. And worse yet, the payoff just isn't there.

The disc's title reflects all that the band has endured in recent years, including the 1999 death of bassist Bobby Sheehan and Popper's angioplasty the same year. While the band's resolve is commendable, sadly, the album isn't. C-