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03-28-2002Stubb's show debuts five new songs; John Popper makes multiple appearances in and around SXSW in Austin; More tour dates announced; Spin Doctors tour confirmed, BT in mix?

Fans who crammed into Stubb's BBQ in Austin last week were treated to a two-hour-plus, two-set show that featured five new tunes. The yield is the highest since the famed CBGB's show on February 21st, 1994 when a whopping nine tunes made their debut. Four of the songs - If You're The One, H-Over, I Can't See Why and This Ache - are thought to be completely new, while the fifth, Thinnest of Air, carries the same title as a song whose lyrics turned up five years ago but has apparently never been performed live. Pending a review of the recording, we should be able to confirm this information.

In preparation for the Stubb's gig, the band had been spending time at studios in Austin, writing new material. However, studio time is boring time, so before long, bandmembers were prowling the area in search of live music experiences. And as much as Ben Wilson visited with the BluesKnights in 2000 during the recording of Bridge, John Popper took the time to visit with friends both old (Soulhat, on 3/12 and lead singer Kevin McKinney on a solo set on 3/5), old but new (Buddy Guy and Jimmie Vaughan on 2/22) and new (The Brothers Groove, friends of Ben Wilson, on 3/13). Ben Wilson and Chan Kinchla were also reported in attendance at several of these dates, as was Spin Doctors bassist Mark White - more on him later.

Several new tour dates have also surfaced since the last posting, including some that are coming up fast. The band will come out of hibernation once again to play a pair of shows in mid April at Foxwoods Casino in Mashantucket, CT and then Clarkson University in Potsdam, NY. After a spin through the Balkans on the USO tour, the band hits Jazzfest and then hopefully more dates through May, June and July. Currently, two June dates are on the docket: a return appearance at Vienna, VA's Wolf Trap, and the aforementioned Ben & Jerry's festival in Warren, VT. After what is expected to be the annual Red Rocks bash on July 4th, another date has been set for July 10th in Clio, MI, according to Ticketmaster, and July 16th at the Ravinia Festival in Highland Park, IL. As the blanks are filled in, we will continue to update the tour dates page.

Finally, an initial run of Spin Doctors dates has been announced via spindoctors.com and there are rumors circulating among the fan base that a Spinning Traveler tour may be in the works. While nothing official has been mentioned, word is that Spins lead singer Chris Barron is open to the suggestion, which has been passed on to the bands' respective managements. Any decision is likely to be made after the ten-day run through the Northeast is completed by the newly reformed quartet.