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03-03-2005John Popper out and about in Austin; JPP April tour shaping up; Ben Wilson 5 to play late-night set; New John tune & lyrics available for listening & reading

Although the band is busy writing tracks for its new album, it still can't seem to sit still. Two weeks ago, when opening act Drums 'n Tuba was unable to make its opening gig for Particle at La Zona Rosa, John filled in capably, playing an opening set jam with Particle members Eric Gould on bass, Charlie Hitchcock on guitar and Darren Pujalet on drums. John later joined in with Particle on a set 1-closing cover of Stevie Wonder's "Superstition" - which Blues Traveler used to cover - and came out early in set 2 to jam on Metropolis>Alone, adding some more Blues Traveler flavor to the mix. As this news story is being written, another Popper-related show is happening in Austin, this time at Ruta Maya Coffee House with Topaz.

While these two shows were billed as "John Popper & Friends", the John Popper Project is also preparing for a two-week swing through the south and midwestern states. In addition to the Wanee Festival date mentioned previously, the Project has now added two dates opening for Gov't Mule in Charlotte and Charleston, as well as headlining gigs in Raleigh and Winston-Salem, NC; Greenville, SC; Huntsville, AL; Urbana and Chicago, IL; and Norfolk, VA. See the tour page for more information on the latest dates.

One last bit of related "side project" news has a band named the Ben Wilson 5 playing the Continental Club in Austin this coming Sunday night. The band takes the stage at 12:30am after a band called Heybale. One description of the band mentioned a rather talented harmonica player as well, so Austinites may want to check it out for curiosity's sake. Blues Traveler proper will be playing their first public non-pseudonymous show on April 2nd in Tempe, AZ.

For those who can't make it to Austin on Sunday night can still get what may be a preview of the new album - John Popper dropped in on Gary Jules at the Hotel Cafe in Hollywood on February 8th, and commandeered Gary's band to play a tune titled "She's Not Mine". Lyrics are available on the lyrics page for those curious, and the song itself can be downloaded from the Live Music Archive, as can the entire show. John sat in on three songs previous to playing his own tune.