Entertainment News: Setting the Stage at Before Fantasy Fest

Entertainment News: Setting the Stage at Before Fantasy Fest

Blues Traveler has played more than 2000 shows in front of more than three million people, and now they’re coming to Key West on Goombay Sunday!

“Over the last 9 years we have been working on putting this whole program together,” Matt Trahan, General Manager of Sunset Pier excitedly tells The Key West Weekly. “We started with slowly building our sound equipment capabilities. Sunset Pier is now in a position to bring world-class entertainment to Key West.”

Best known for their Billboard single Run Around , Blues Traveler is about to release North Hollywood Shoutout.

“The quintet ventured out of their creative comfort zone to explore some adventurous new horizons,” says a band spokesman. “The album demonstrates the enduring strengths of the band’s songwriting while capturing the spontaneous spirit of the legendary live shows.”

Rodger Levering, Food & Beverage Director for Ocean Key says he’s been on the prowl to bring in a big name band. “Blues Traveler, is the type of blues and funk music many young professionals here in the Keys have grown up listening to. They’re sound isn’t bubblegum, definitely alternative rock n’ roll.”

The band is 20 years into their career, and long ago graduated from the jam-band underground to mainstream stardom. The iconoclastic combo has consistently stuck to its guns and played by their own rules.

“This is the only nationally known touring band that’s playing in concert in the Keys. Events like this just don’t happen!” Levering says, already psyched for the event still months away. “There is great live music in Key West, but no one of this caliber.”

Trahan chimes in, “Now we do not have to rent sound, stage or lighting from Miami, these shows are becoming more cost effective for Sunset Pier and will allow us to look at bigger acts down the road.”

For instance, Leny Kravitz, Steel Pulse and Drivin’ and Cryin.

Some background on Blues Traveler. The group has been evolving ever since the group’s four founding members — John Popper and Chan Kinchla plus bassist Bobby Sheehan and drummer Brendan Hill — began playing together as high school friends in Princeton, New Jersey.  The musicians moved to New York City after graduating, and Blues Traveler quickly earned a local reputation for its high-energy, heavily improvisational live shows, with Popper’s soulful singing and flamboyant harp blowing matched by Kinchla’s inventive combustible guitar work and the rhythm section’s propulsive punch. Their inspired performances placed Blues Traveler at the forefront of an emerging movement of rootsy jam bands, a vibrant community that also produced Phish and the Spin Doctors.

"We’re still trying to reconcile the different things we do, and cultivate what we’re individually good at into something that’s bigger than the sum of its parts,” notes frontman and harmonica-slinger John Popper. “When we’re all playing and it’s working, it becomes this separate entity, and that’s still the thing that we’re chasing.”

As guitarist Chan Kinchla explains, “On the last few records, we concentrated so much on the craft of the songwriting and arrangements that we started losing some of the live spontaneity that the five of us created on stage. So on this album, instead of doing the usual pre-production process, where we really worked out the songs before taking them into the studio.

Again, Ocean Key’s Rodger Levering: “We always talk about Key West being a small city … comparatively. We are a small community but a very attentive one, which appreciates the value of good music, and there are not too many concerts put on over the water. We’re set right on the ocean, 200 feet over Key West Harbor.”

Advance tickets are only $25
Blues Traveler Sunday, Oct. 25
Sunset Pier
0 Duval
10pm – Doors open 8:30pm
Tickets $25 in advance at www.keystix.com
Tickets $35 at the door
For more info about Blues Traveler, log on to http://www.keysweekly.com, just click on the link. Or call 305-295-7047

Band!

Matt Trahan
Conceived by Matt Trahan in 2001, the concert series is designed to bring world-class entertainment to arguably one of the best places to listen to live music, 200 feet over Key West Harbor on the Sunset Pier!

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