Blues Traveler is a New York-based blues-rock quartet formed in 1988 by singer/harmonica player John Popper, guitarist Chan Kinchla, bassist Bobby Sheehan, and drummer Brendan Hill.
Blues Traveler were part of a revival of the extended jamming style of ’60s and ’70s groups like the Grateful Dead and Led Zeppelin. The band’s music spans a variety of genres, including blues rock, psychedelic rock, folk rock, soul, and Southern rock. They are known for extensive use of segues in live performances, and were considered a key part of the re-emerging jam band scene of the 1990s, spearheading the H.O.R.D.E. touring music festival.
Currently, the group comprises singer and harmonica player John Popper, guitarist Chan Kinchla, drummer Brendan Hill, bassist Tad Kinchla, and keyboardist Ben Wilson. Tad Kinchla and Ben Wilson joined the band following the death of original bassist Bobby Sheehan in 1999.
While Blues Traveler is best known among fans for their improvisational live shows, the general public is most familiar with the group from their Top 40 singles “Run-Around”, “Hook”, and “But Anyway”. They gained mainstream popularity after their fourth studio album, four, released in 1994 and became a sleeper hit almost a year later. Sheehan’s death and Popper’s struggle with obesity put a damper on the group’s success, and A&M dropped the band in 2002. In the years following, the band has bounced around through a succession of independent labels and record producers, and gotten increasingly experimental with their recorded output.
Blues Traveler’s latest album, Hurry Up and Hang Around, was released in the fall of 2018.