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Blues Traveler
Travelers & Thieves
Chicago Tribune, Chicago, IL
Oct 10th, 1991



The members of Blues Traveler are in their early 20's, but their playing displays a maturity beyond their years. "Blues rock" may be a starting point in describing their sound, but shades of punk, funk, folk and ska pepper the New York group's second album. Bassist Bobby Sheehan and drummer Brendan Hill are a formidable rhythm section as they chart the band's journey through a smorgasbord of styles. Guitarist Chan Kinchla has a genuine feel for what he's doing, and his range is impressive, churning out solos and fills that at various times could pass for Jimmy Page, Carlos Santana and Dickey Betts. Lead vocalist John Popper, known primarily for playing harmonica like a lead instrument, is up to the material at hand with his growling voice and even holds his own in a duet with Gregg Allman on the smoldering "Mountain Cry." Blues Traveler betrays its youth only in the lyrics. Popper's literary ambitions are beyond his range, and his wordy wordplay tends to make some of his vocals sound rushed - a veteran blues man, after all, learns to take his time.