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04-17-20082007 wrapup and 2008 so far; John Popper Project tour, tape, Global Noize and Z Rock; Wetlands Preserved DVD released; Spring and summer tour to feature Collective Soul and Live; BT confirmed for Lollapalooza

So...what's been going on?

When last we wrote, it was still 2007, Cover Yourself had yet to be released, and the fall tour had yet to begin. Much has happened, and much is about to happen, so let's get into it...

To wrap up 2007 and support the release of Cover Yourself, the band crisscrossed the country, playing from October 6th through December 14th, only taking a week off for Thanksgiving at their respective homes. In addition to the regularly-scheduled dates, the band also played a private benefit show for the US Olympic Ski Team in November, appeared on Howard Stern in early December, and then stopped by NPR's Bryant Park Project later that morning. The year wrapped up with their first New Year's run since 1998, playing two shows at the Bear Tooth Theatre Pub in Anchorage, AK, the second of which was an old-fashioned two-setter to top things off.

The pace has been somewhat more relaxed in 2008, at least as far as touring is concerned, but the band has made a few appearances. First was a private show in Santa Barbara for officers and crew members of the USS Reagan, on January 12th. A quick jaunt to Florida followed for a show on February 9th, then it was back to California for the Riverside County Fair in Indio the next weekend. In the meantime, the band apparently recorded their 9th studio album, with Grammy-winning producer David Bianco at the controls, according to an announcement for an upcoming show. The album is slated to release this fall.

Following approximately a month off, John and Tad once again hit the road for a brief tour of the state of Colorado with the John Popper Project. From Breckenridge to Vail, the band played seven shows in nine days, including one show that moved both venue and date. Fortunately, it was captured for posterity by an intrepid taper. In related Popper Project news, DJ Logic has drafted John for another project - a guest spot on the latest CD from his new project, Global Noize. John lends his harmonica to "The Souk". That CD will be available on April 29th. And in one last bit of random Popperiana, he has signed on to make a guest appearance on "Z Rock", an improvised Independent Film Channel comedy debuting in September that revolves around real-life band Z02.

As for more recent releases, March 14th marked the official DVD release of Wetlands Preserved, the Dean Budnick documentary of the late, great nightclub that served as a launching ground for Blues Traveler and hundreds of other bands. The DVD includes not only the full-length documentary as seen in theaters around the country, but also over an hour of concert footage and outtakes as well. You can order your copy at 25% off from First Run Features.

And as for the future, it's looking jam-packed, no pun intended. After a few west-coat shows scattered through April and mid-May, it appears the band will hit the road in late May and tour through the end of June on its own tour, including a rare John Popper/Chan Kinchla show at a Bill Graham Foundation fundraiser. The show, which also features old friends the Spin Doctors as well as Dark Star Orchestra and Moonalice, will take place on May 27th at the venue formerly known as Irving Plaza. It appears the band will remain on the east coast for the remainder of June, then head out to Colorado for their annual Red Rocks concert. While the lineup for Red Rocks has usually been a unique one, it appears that plans are afoot for a summer package tour featuring Live and Collective Soul. AEG Live, the show's promoter, lists the two bands as openers, and a separate tour date in Wisconsin also has the trio booked for a show in West Bend. Add the on-stage confirmation from Collective Soul lead singer Ed Roland at a recent Connecticut show and a conspicuous opening in the tour schedule of all three bands, and all signs point to a Blues Traveler/Live/Collective Soul tour playing a venue near you this summer.

Two final bits of news: the lineup has been released for Lollapalooza 2008, and Blues Traveler is once again on the bill. The schedule will not be announced until June, but given that the band has a show scheduled for August 2nd in nearby Elgin, IL, that date looks to be out. Finally, as you may have noticed, bluestraveler.com has a new look as of 2008. News has been a bit slow to trickle in and the message board has a few glitches that appear to still be working themselves out, but perhaps now that Lollapalooza is booked, C3 Management will be able to get things rolling again.