The Hook

The words "jam band" have become as disturbing to most music fans as the words "George W. Bush" have become to everybody else. It is rare for a jam band to achieve much more than perpetual touring and a few thousand die-hard fans that follow them around doing questionable things in questionable vans. A jam band attaining success on radio or MTV is as almost unheard of. So what does a jam band do if they wanna make big money and get on television? They stop the noodling and write a pop song. Blues Traveler formed in 1987 as a mostly jam-centric band featuring the implausibly prodigious harmonica explorations of larger-than-life frontman John Popper. It wasn't until their 4th album, 1994's Four, however, that they scored. Four sold millions and produced a Top-10 hit with the insidiously catchy pop song, "Run-Around”. They still jam live, though, and with Popper's recent gastric bypass surgery, they can now jam twice as efficiently. Blues Traveler plays 8 p.m. Wednesday at the House of Blues. Tickets are $25 to $35. Visit
Wed., Aug. 15, 8 p.m.
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John Freeman