Live: What You and I Have Been Through – Blues Traveler
Artist Direct 01073-2
Before I even press 'play' on the cd player, I just sit there and wonder
what the hell has happened to Blues Traveler? Travelling to every spot in
nation, they cultivated a devoted fanbase. Add to that all the bandwagon
who came on board when the group scored a hit single, "Run-Around" from the
multi-platinum Four. I thought their next release, Straight On
Morning, had even stronger material. And if A&M records would have
to me and Chan Kinchla, maybe "Canadian Rose" would have been the hit it
deserved to be.
Since then, Blues Traveler's story is known more as a "Behind the Music"
scenario. With bassist Bobby Sheehan's passing and vocalist/harp player John
Popper's near death, the band re-organized and felt revitalized with the
addition of Chan's brother, Tad, on bass and Ben Wilson on keyboards. With
these two new players in tow, the band released The Bridge. That
album didn't reenergize the band's commercial status and left their
followers within the jam band scene grumbling. Was the band even invited to
Now, with the release of Live: What You and I Have Been Through,
return to the band's roots — their power and impact as a live act. Four of
11 tracks come from The Bridge, as if the group is asking fans to
material another try.
Taken from two months worth of dates last November and December 2001,
credit must go to drummer and Been Through producer Brendan Hill who
this a fairly even flow — though I still can't understand how they couldn't
have edited "All
Hands" a little quicker, before the strains of "Run-Around" appear.
Releasing a Traveler show on just one disc does have its disadvantages. The
roller-coaster ride from high-energy tracks to ballads, from musician
spotlights to guest appearances seem abrupt or superfluous. Popper starts
things off with a solo "Star Spangled Banner," which opened a hometown show
in New York soon after 9/11. Later, Wilson contributes a brief solo during
"Pattern". Each time they fit within the context of what's going on. But,
Hill's drum solo during "All Hands" brings matters to an abrupt halt. He
shows enough percussive prowess on the other numbers that it's unnecessary.
Despite some shortcomings, what Live: What You and I Have Been
Through does is offer a fresh start, a little bumpy in places, but it's
kind of thing that may begin to restore the faith that others, besides the
band's diehard fans, have in the band.