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02-20-2002New tour dates announced; Blues Traveler plans another USO tour to support the troops; Spin Doctors to reunite?

Two new dates have been officially confirmed by the Traveler Empire home office over the past week; as expected, Blues Traveler has been added to the bill at the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival for their fourth appearance. This year's showing will take place on May 2nd. The other date is a more intimate show at Stubb's BBQ in Austin, TX, a full-length tribute to the city where they wrote and recorded most of Bridge. A third date, while not confirmed by the band, is listed on musictoday.com as being June 22nd at Ben & Jerry's One World, One Heart Festival. The San Francisco version of same festival held in 1991, yielded the "Mountain Cry" collaboration with Carlos Santana featured on the 1992 limited-edition disc "On Tour Forever". This year's bill features Nine Days, Sloan Wainwright, and The Iguanas.

In their last tour with the late Bobby Sheehan, Blues Traveler toured up and down the Pacific Rim on a USO tour that included stops at Armed Forces bases in Japan and Korea. What is not as well-known is that the band was originally slated to go to the Balkans instead, but after skirmishes broke out in that region, the band was shifted to Asia instead. Now three years later, the USO has announced that Blues Traveler will finally get to visit the Balkans over a nine-day stretch between April 21st and April 30th. No specific shows have been announced yet, but the band did make six separate stops in five days on their 1999 tour.

Finally, in a bit of "family" news, both Mark White and Chris Barron of the Spin Doctors have confirmed that they are looking to reunite the original lineup and tour at some point during this spring. Plans are to tentatively tour the Northeast in April and May and then take things from there. Could this bode well for future Spinning Traveler shows? Only time will tell.