[H O M E]
[Side Projects]
[Tour Dates]

Blues Traveler Must Get Stoned
by Gary Graff
Wall Of Sound, National
Sep 15th, 1997

The opening night of a Rolling Stones tour is usually a major international event, covered by hundreds of media outlets from around the world. But there may be one thing tougher than being the Stones at that concert - being the opening band. On September 23 at Soldier Field in Chicago, that honor falls to Blues Traveler, who will use a two-week stint with the Stones to kick off their fall tour of North America.

"It's quite an honor," says guitarist Chan Kinchla. "It came out of the blue, too. We were actually planning to go to Europe, and we shot down those plans pretty quickly." Kinchla says he and the other Blues Travelers tried to see the Stones perform during the 1989 Steel Wheels tour stop at New York's Shea Stadium but couldn't afford the tickets. "All we could manage to see was the huge, inflatable blow-up woman over the edge of the stadium for 'Honky Tonk Woman,'" Kinchla says. "That was our Stones memory."

This time, the guitarist says he and his bandmates plan to soak in every minute of the Stones they can. "It's just a great opportunity to listen and learn and see some great Stones shows," he says. "You kind of do your little things and you can sit back and watch how these masters, these creators of this whole genre do it and take a few notes and see how it fits."

Kinchla says Blues Traveler has worked up several covers for the fall tour, including Steve Miller's "The Joker" and the Charlie Daniels Band's "The Devil Went Down to Georgia." The group will also be heard on the October 7 holiday compilation A Very Special Christmas 3, for which they wrote a new song that Kinchla says mixes holiday spirit and social commentary.