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02-04-2005Tsunami Relief Benefit nets over $10,000 for CARE; Blues Traveler back in the studio recording new album; Nine years ago yesterday...

"Because of your efforts," wrote Christina Santos of CARE Northwest in a note to Stolen Ogre keyboardist Michael McMorrow, "a total of $10,248 was raised from the benefit concert on Friday night. On behalf of all of us at CARE, we thank you for your generosity and commitment to helping the tsunami survivors in the immediate aftermath of the emergency and assisting them rebuild their lives." The show, which featured Stolen Ogre, The Geoffrey Castle Band and the debut of White, packed The Premier in Seattle with an array of fans of all three bands and did not disappoint. John Popper sat in throughout the night, lending vocals and harmonica to an energetic "Mountain Cry" to close Ogre's set, and guitarist Randy Hansen also did his own tribute to Jimi Hendrix before the final "all-star jam". The night's closer saw Alan White and Michael Derosier return to the stage, each with their own drum kit, as they were joined by Popper, McMorrow, Castle, and Roger Fisher and Steve Fossen of Heart, plus various guests, before Popper closed the show with his own improvisational piece, according to reports. An article was published today on Jambase reviewing the show.

The latest news piece posted to bluestraveler.com indicates that the band will be devoting February and March to writing, rehearsing and recording for its latest album, tentatively scheduled to come out this summer. A few shows have dotted the schedule already - a private concert to kick off Super Bowl festivities in Jacksonville was held only last night and another is scheduled for Sunday in Fort Bragg, NC for the military stationed there and their families - but it appears that the band won't be back on the road until April at the earliest. Plans are also crystallizing for the band's first open trip to Europe since 1997, as the "Picture Yourself In Prague" show is expected to take place sometime before the band returns for a lucky thirteenth Independence Day at Red Rocks. Joining the band in Prague will be contest-winners Daphne Curtin, Niki Carter, Sarah Stein and Kym Blackstone, whose winning photo from Lulu's in Washington DC was chosen by the band itself.

Finally, to make you feel nostalgic (or just plain old), it was nine years ago yesterday, February 3rd, 1996, when "Run-Around" appeared on Billboard's Hot 100 singles chart for the 46th straight week, breaking the record held by Tag Team's "Whoomp! (There it Is)" and Crystal Waters' "100 Per Cent Pure Love".