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Published: 2012/10/15

Blues Traveler and Spin Doctors Share the Stage at the Cap

Photos by Dino Perrucci

Blues Traveler and Spin Doctors shared the stage on Saturday night. The performance took place at Port Chester, NY’s recently renovated Capitol Theatre and featured an opening set by New York’s Leroy Justice.

Blues Traveler and Spin Doctors have a long, interwoven history: Spin Doctors frontman Chris Barron grew up with the members of Blues Traveler in Princeton, NJ, and Spin Doctors themselves formed out of a Blues Traveler side-project featuring Barron, Spin Doctors guitarist Eric Schenkman and BT’s John Popper called Trucking Company. The two groups shared many bills at New York clubs like Wetlands in the early ‘90s—often offering interlocking sets—and helped establish Popper’s H.O.R.D.E. festival in 1992. Despite their rich history, it has been a number of years since the two acts shared the stage. Adding to the evening’s significance was the fact that the Cap is now run by Wetlands owner Peter Shapiro and that Blues Traveler headlined the Port Chester theater in the ‘90s.

After Leroy Justice’s opening set, Spin Doctors kicked off their show with “Refrigerator Car.” The group ran through a set of their signature songs, including hits like “Little Miss Cant Be Wrong,” “Jimmy Olsens Blues” and “Two Princes.” They also looked to their blues roots for some deeper cuts, including their version of “Have You Ever Seen The Rain?” from the Philadelphia soundtrack, as the prepare to release an album of blues-oriented material.

During their final number, “Lady Kerosene,” Spin Doctors brought on the members of Blues Traveler for an old-school interlocking set. The members of Blues Traveler emerged one—beginning with drummer Brendan Hill and followed, in order, by Popper, guitarist Chan Kinchla, bassist Tad Kinchla and keyboardist Ben Wilson—until both groups were onstage at the same time. Then, the Spin Doctors left the stage and Blues Traveler continue their set with “Crashburn.”

The collaborations continued during Blues Traveler’s set. First, Soulgrass saxophonist Bill Evans sat in on “Year Each Me.” Next, Shenkman sat in on “Gotta Get Mean,” and then, Barron returned for a cover of John Lenon’s Imagine. Popper also recounted meeting Barron in high school English class. Leroy Justice guitarist Justin Mazer also sat in on “Freedom.” At the end of the night, the members of both Blues Traveler and Spin Doctors emerged for the joint encore of “Hard To Exist.”


There are 5 comments associated with this post

Scott Bernstein October 15, 2012, 18:06:07

I think it’s worth mentioning that as opposed to “a set of their signature songs”, The Spin Doctors actually featured a number of VERY deep blues originals from their early years (which had been long forgotten and recently revived for a forthcoming album), plus a few brand new originals in the blues vein from the same forthcoming album. Additionally they pulled out a rarely-played cover of “Have You Ever Seen The Rain?” that they recorded the “Philadelphia” movie soundtrack. So, yes, they played “2 Princes”, “Little Miss Can’t Be Wrong”, “Jimmy Olsen’s Blues”, “What Time Is It” and “Big Fat Funky Booty”, but there was quite a bit more to their set than signature songs.

PrinceNum2 October 15, 2012, 19:55:31

Thanks for the quick review. Always a class act, it’s nice to see the Spin Doctors back out there. They really should do a double-bill whole tour with Popper and Blues Traveler. That would be both historic and prophetic, especially since Popper is trying to get the HORDE back in amphitheaters…

Alex October 15, 2012, 23:24:46

Could not agree more with PrinceNum2. This was a fantastic show, was truly an amazing evening to see these two great bands both turn back the clock, but also remind a big crowd that they can still flat out wail. Hope they share the stage many more times together in the next few years.

BiscoLoco October 17, 2012, 16:27:52

Have to give these guys alot of credit. Must be hard playing to a 1/4 full house, but they did anyway. Good for the venue though. Get to iron out the kinks in a new venue with a practice show.

Johnson October 30, 2012, 08:57:55

Thanks for all the tips you send. My playing is getting better. Not rock star playing yet, but with time and practice maybe one day with guitar lessons. I really am seeing progress. It’s gonna make chops water, so again it’s welcomed.

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