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07-29-2004A return to Red Rocks in October; John plays for the President - RNC in the works?; Blues Traveler to appear on Lynyrd Skynyrd tribute album

Thanks to a link prematurely posted to Spearhead's web site, it has been confirmed that Blues Traveler will be returning to Red Rocks this October 2nd. The show, also featuring Michael Franti & Spearhead, will be a benefit for the Denver Rescue Mission, to be called "Rescue at the Rocks". Founded in 1892, The Denver Rescue Mission is a charitable organization dedicated to housing, clothing and educating the homeless. This will mark Blues Traveler's first non-July show at Red Rocks since a September 1991 show with Big Head Todd & the Monsters. Tickets are on sale now through Ticketmaster and cost $35. Other shows added since the previous update include gigs in Davenport, IA and Grand Rapids, MI. Check the tour dates page for all the details; at this point all shows announced here have been confirmed by the band.

In other news, despite one of the heaviest, tightest touring schedules in recent memory, John Popper still found time to make an appearance in Washington, DC at the President's Dinner, held at the Washington Convention Center on July 21st. Popper performed the Star-Spangled Banner prior to the dinner before rushing over to the Wolf Trap to play the band's show that night. There are also indications that, much like in 2000, the entire band is scheduled to make an appearance at the Republican National Convention, held in New York from August 30th through September 2nd. The rumor makes sense geographically, as the band is scheduled for moe.down 5 in Turin, NY shortly after the RNC ends, and no other shows have been confirmed between August 28th and September 4th; the previously-rumored Planet Hollywood show would seem to fit the bill.

Finally, in a bit of background information on the latest cover of "Freebird", the band apparently learned the classic rock anthem for inclusion on an upcoming Lynyrd Skynyrd tribute album. Although no track listing is available yet, the album, reportedly entitled "Under the Influence", is slated for release on September 14th. Various sources have reported the following artists and titles, in no particular order:

  • Blues Traveler, "Freebird"
  • Disco Biscuits, "Gimme Three Steps"
  • DJ Z-Trip, "Sweet Home Alabama"
  • Drive-By Truckers, no title available
  • Galactic, "Saturday Night Special"
  • Gov't Mule, "Simple Man"
  • Les Claypool, "Call Me The Breeze"
  • Metallica, "Tuesday's Gone"
  • moe. and John Hiatt, "The Ballad of Curtis Loew"
  • North Mississippi Allstars - "Whiskey Rock A Roller"
  • Particle, "Workin' for MCA"
  • Yonder Mountain String Band, "Four Walls of Raiford"
  • Widespread Panic, "I Ain't The One"