In what was reportedly one of their high points as far as musical
moments go, Blues Traveler brought the curtain down on 2002 with an
end-of-tour show at the Roseland Theater in Portland, Oregon. The show
featured a cavalcade of local friends, from former dreamspeak member
Matt Zekala to current Stolen Ogre members Michael McMorrow and David
Simpson to longtime friend and opening band lead singer Chris Stills.
But the musical friendship grew to a fever pitch when local legend Ike
Willis - he of Frank Zappa's band - sat in on a lengthy rendition of
"Go Outside & Drive". Said one fan in attendance: "You could
literally see the guys in the band staring with their mouths open when
The final official band-related event of the year actually lent some
symmetry to 2002 - exactly as John had played the first concert of the
year solo at a benefit show (01/19/02 in Washington DC), he ended it
by playing a solo set at a benefit show in New York City. The
five-song set was played at an exhibition of Tim Vega's art, in
celebration of his life at the HERE Arts Center. Some of the artwork
can be seen here,
courtesy of Cindy Mast.
So what does 2003 hold for the band? They have already unofficially
kicked off the 2003 tour with a show at the Florida governor's
inaugural ball last week; the band played a full show on January 6th
and John played the Star-Spangled Banner at the actual inauguration.
Although they have not yet been confirmed on the official site, Blues
Traveler will be returning to Lake Tahoe to play a couple of "kicking
off the rust" shows on January 31st and February 1st. At the moment,
the band is in California for a couple weeks of studio time, and it is
expected that they will head back into the studio afterwards to work
on their next album.
The individual band members also have their own projects to keep them
busy in the meantime until they get back out on the road - according
to friend Jono
Manson's web site, John will be joining Jono for a few dates in
Europe, still to be announced. Brendan will likely be joining
Stolen Ogre in the studio for some additional post-production work
on Ogre's new album, "Road to Jericho". Brendan appears on the album
as well though no release date has been announced yet. Finally, Tad's
work should be seen very soon, as he has been working diligently on
a relaunch of bluestraveler.com. Several surprises are in store for
casual and frequent surfers alike, so keep checking back both there
AND here for updates and news. Happy New Year!