"Four" (A&M; 1994)

Reviewed by Jeff Rogers

I own one Blues Traveler CD, this one, primarily because it’s the one that had the most hits. I’m not a fair weather fan, I just picked this one up and never danced to the right or left for anything else they released. Blues Traveler has such a following that I’d surely be the virgin at their show (good thing it’s not Rocky Horror).  

John Popper is a virtuoso on the harmonica; I call him the Steve Vai of harmonica. I’m sure he pioneered the sound that a lot of us just listen to and never attempt to master. Music can get so boring at times but strings, horns and harmonicas always add a spice that gives music another chance before we pick up a book or movie instead. 

Popper surely has the talent to scat or sing his way through a song but it’s when he powers that little bronze organ that he really shines. A few songs are slower and don’t require his incredible talent on harmonica. “Look Around” has him singing while a salty little guitar plays along side. Still, it’s when he gets down on that harmonica that you just sit there and scratch your head in amazement. 

Because they’re called a "jam band," Blues Traveler jams when they want to and play straight music as unintended intermissions. Whatever the song style or mood, they always keep a great time going. This is one CD you can put on and accomplish anything while listening. The guitar is always grooving and you can’t help but move along with it, no matter how old you think you are. 

The best songs are “Run-Around,” “Stand,” “Fallible,” “Freedom,” and “Hook.” 

The band: John Popper – vocals, harmonica, 12-string guitar on “Look Around”; Brenden Hill – drums, percussion; Chan Kinchla – electric and acoustic guitar; Bobby Sheehan – bass.

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Rating Guide:

A classic. This record will kick your ass.

Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

So-so. You've heard better.

Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.


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Copyright © 2009 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.
Revised: 25 Feb 2019 21:42:46 -0500 .