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06-03-2003Tour kicks off in style with four new tunes; New album info and rumors; Additional tour dates surface

The band kicked off their latest tour on May 31st at Pensacola's Springfest and continued their mini-Florida run with a two-night stand at Jacksonville Beach's Free Bird Cafe. At the former gig, the band introduced the song previously known as "I'll Come Around" (debuted at the Lake Tahoe gigs) under a new title, "Eventually". John Popper also guested with Oteil & the Peacemakers, and that band's namesake, bassist Oteil Burbridge, repaid the favor by joining Blues Traveler onstage for an encore of the Fiji Mariners staple "Time Is Free", alongside Col. Bruce Hampton and Gov't Mule's Warren Haynes. At Jacksonville Beach, three more songs made their debut - "Let Her & Let Go", "Partner In Crime" and "Unable To Get Free", as well as a retooled version of "Sweet & Broken".

This brings to thirteen the list of songs debuted since the spring of 2002, with perhaps a few more set to debut over the coming weeks. The album, entitled Truth Be Told, is set to be released on July 22nd, according to comments made by John at the May 31st show. In related news, the mystery surrounding the album's label seems to have been resolved - Britain-based Sanctuary Records has quietly released a partial tour schedule for "Blues Traveller" on their web site, and several other links confirm this. Sanctuary and its various labels was originally most well-known for its lineup of classic rock bands - KISS, Judas Priest and Lynyrd Skynyrd among them - but of late has released albums by a number American acts, including H.O.R.D.E. alums Widespread Panic, the Allman Brothers Band, and Joan Osborne.

The latest group of tour dates released includes several festival dates, including returns to Milwaukee's Summerfest on June 29th and Muskegon's Summer Celebration on June 30th; a showing at Baltimore's Artscape on July 25th, the Rising Sun Music Fest in Mariaville, NY on August 7th and Jerry's Birthday Bash on August 13th in West Virginia. Also announced recently was a chance to see an intimate John Popper and Chan Kinchla show on June 26th at the Crystal Ballroom; this show is a Sports Dream Foundation benefit hosted by Detroit Lions quarterback Joey Harrington. There is also the possibility that John will jam with Jason Mraz and Harrington on Jimmy Kimmel Live that evening, though it has yet to be confirmed. Many more dates are still to be announced, so keep an eye on the tour page!