HOMETOWN ENTERTAINMENT: Blues Traveler back in spotlight for new blues album, ahead of Roanoke show

Grammy-winning band to perform at Dr. Pepper Park May 12
Guitarist Chan Kinchla says legendary rock band mixes it up in live shows to keep things fresh
Published: Apr. 29, 2022 at 6:36 AM EDT
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ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ) - UPDATE: The Blues Traveler show set for May 12 in Roanoke has been postponed to an undetermined date in the wake of lead singer John Popper being diagnosed with COVID-19.

ORIGINAL STORY: “Run-Around” is a ‘90s radio staple. But Blues Traveler isn’t a band that just lives in the past.

Their latest album, “Traveler’s Blues,” was nominated for a Grammy for ‘Best Traditional Blues’ Album.

“With the name blues in the band, people are always like, ‘but you don’t play blues’. Well we started out as a blues band, it’s definitely. So, it’s something we toyed with the idea,” says Kinchla.

Like many artists, Blues Traveler found new inspiration during the pandemic shutdown.

But once they resumed touring, there was another unforeseen setback.

A tour bus crash last summer left lead singer John Popper injured, and they had to cancel several shows.

“There were some bumps and bruises, but there ended up only being about 10 dates that we hand to end up canceling. So, it wasn’t the pandemic or COVID that got us, it was a freak bus crash,” says Kinchla.

Through the years, Kinchla says the band, which he’s been with since it formed in 1987, has seen its share of highs and lows.

The group lost original member and bassist Bobby Sheehan in 1999.

Still, the band plays on.

“Through the ups and downs, with records and people passing away, and the change in the industry, all those different things, being able to play live shows and be creative and improvise and kind of capture those moments is always the cornerstone of why we wanted to do this.

Capturing the moment is exactly what Blues Traveler will be doing at their upcoming show next month at Dr. Pepper Park. Keeping it fresh and new for their fans, and themselves.

“As I always tell people, the more I do it, the more I like it,” says Kinchla.

Click here for a link to buy tickets to the May 12 show. General Admission tickets are $25 in advance and $30 at the gate.

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