Blues Traveler opens Lake Tahoe Music Festival
TRUCKEE, Calif. andamp;#8212; Until the music is heard, it would be easy to consider Blues Traveler a jam band.It got its break opening for the Allman Brothers, itandamp;#8217;s often been on the same bill as Phish, and it has a longtime tradition of allowing fans to tape the live performances.But Blues Traveler is not a jam band.The name implies it might be a blues band. And the frontman does play a harmonica.andamp;#8220;Weandamp;#8217;re definitely not a blues band,andamp;#8221; said bass player Tad Kinchla. andamp;#8220;Weandamp;#8217;re a bunch of white guys from Jersey.andamp;#8221;If you havenandamp;#8217;t figured it out by now, or have been away from a radio the last quarter century, Blues Traveler is a rock andamp;#8217;nandamp;#8217; roll band. Most of its songs, even when performed live, are under six minutes. The single andamp;#8220;Run-Aroundandamp;#8221; was the longest-charting radio single in Billboard history. It has eight studio and four live albums, and next year the band will put out a new record to celebrate its 25th year and hit all the major cities on a worldwide tour.Year 24, however, is a little more low key. Blues Traveler will visit smaller venues, including the Village at Northstar on Thursday, July 21, the first of three Lake Tahoe Music Festival shows this summer.The band has around 250 songs, and before each show a different band member makes the set list, said Kinchla, who joined the band 12 years ago after the death of Bobby Sheehan.Kinchla is the younger brother of lead guitarist Chan Kinchla, but his joining the band was not a case of family first, he said.While the founding Blues Traveler members started their musical careers right after high school, the younger Kinchla went to Brown University where he played lacrosse. He also played in a band, but after college was set to become a graphic designer.When Sheehan died, the band offered Kinchla an audition. Five different bass players played private shows in five cities. Kinchla was offered the job.andamp;#8220;I play a different style but it worked,andamp;#8221; he said. andamp;#8220;Those guys asked me to join. I said I couldnandamp;#8217;t re-create Bobbyandamp;#8217;s playing or Bobbyandamp;#8217;s style. They said weandamp;#8217;re a different band weandamp;#8217;re going to sound different because Bobbyandamp;#8217;s not with us. Everybody was supportive and respectful of the situation.andamp;#8221;Kinchla said he and the other members have fond memories of Tahoe.andamp;#8220;We were snowed in at Crystal Bay three or four years ago,andamp;#8221; he said. andamp;#8220;We had to stay an extra day, so we went skiing.andamp;#8221;
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