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Blues Traveler
Straight On Till Morning
by Thomas F. Slattery IV
Sonic Transmissions, National
Sep 19th, 1997

If you don't like improvisational jam music, stop right here. If you get sick and tired of all those lengthy solos when bands don't even sing, this is not the album for you. However, if tours like the H.O.R.D.E. Festival appeal to you, this is a must. Blues Traveler goes beyond the confines of their previous studio albums to remind everybody what jamming is all about, as aptly heard in their first single off the album, "Carolina Blues." The elements that made "Brother John," from four, such a great song allow Blues Traveler to evolve to an even greater band producing such songs as "Justify the Thrill" and "Great Big World." These combine great lyrics along with great improvisational music playing on top of each other, instead of just giving way to one another. John Popper's voice hits the beats right along side the guitars, intermingling perfectly to produce an exquisite harmony. Such improvisations tend to work very well on fast-paced, heavily rhythmic songs, but Blues Traveler takes it beyond that as Popper's string arrangement on the love ballad "Yours" is complemented by electric guitars in a slow-moving hit well beyond the scope of "Hook." From start to finish, Straight on Till Morning takes the listener on a joyride of battling guitars, swarming harmonicas, pounding drums, and sweet lyrics; a tour de force proving that blues and rock aren't dead.