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01-19-2005Blues Traveler to sign with Vanguard Records?; John Popper to cruise with The Codetalkers; Stolen Ogre and John Popper will jam for tsunami relief; Blues Traveler featured prominently in iTunes Store's "iTunes Essentials"

Several recent postings on the Blues Traveler message board have revealed news to fans in the past week. Perhaps the biggest piece of news, though not reported officially anywhere else, is that the band has signed with a new label, Vanguard Records after releasing their previous two discs and a live DVD with Sanctuary. The band does not yet appear on their new label's web site, and no announcement has come from either the label or the band, but the message poster indicated inside sources in declaring it a done deal. No news is forthcoming yet on a new album or a 2005 tour.

The second story coming off the board is that of John Popper joining old friend Col. Bruce Hampton in his newest project, The Codetalkers. The band will be featured on a "Rock the Boat Cruise" in late November, sailing through the Caribbean from New Orleans, and John has been confirmed to join the band on the weeklong trip from November 13th through the 20th. The Codetalkers will perform during the week along with other special guests yet to be announced. For more information and reservations, visit rocktheboatcruises.com.

John will also be appearing with Stolen Ogre at The Premier Club in Seattle, as part of a benefit for tsunami relief in southeast Asia. The concert is scheduled for next Friday, January 28th, and will also feature local bands White (featuring Yes drummer Allan White) and The Geoffrey Castle Band, featuring Heart guitarist Roger Fisher and fellow drummer Mike Derosier. Tickets for the show, which will end with an "all-star finale including special guests T.B.A. from the acclaimed Northwest music scene", are $25 and can be purchased by making a donation to CARE. 100% of proceeds will be donated to CARE in order to assist with tsunami relief. More information, including an mp3 from Allan White, can be found on Stolen Ogre's web site.

Finally, it has long been known that Blues Traveler fans can get their music fix through the iTunes Music Store. But now, there's a bit more of a nod to the band as one of the biggest influences in the popularity of the "jam band" scene as the store has launched its list of "iTunes Essentials" for various genres. There are 3 lists for each genre, and 25 tunes per list; Blues Traveler is featured no less than five times: "The Basics" lists "But Anyway" and "Run-Around"; "Next Steps" recommends "Sweet Talking Hippie", and "Deep Cuts" includes "Crystal Flame" and "Go Outside & Drive". Visit the iTunes Store for more information and a complete list of the iTunes Essentials.