A Photolog of Fame: Blues Traveler from Inception to Today
Blues Traveler was formed in New Jersey in 1987. Singer, guitarist, and harmonicist John Pepper and drummer Brendan Hill, along with Hill’s brother on bass, began playing together as The Establishment. Guitarist Chan Kinchla joined, and Bobby Sheehan eventually replaced Hill’s brother. The four then took the name Blues Traveler.
The quintet then moved to New York City and began playing gigs in the city’s club circuit. An A&M Records talent scout discovered and signed them. The band released a self-titled debut album in 1990 and Travelers and Thieves (1991). The band became exposed to the mainstream during a performance on The Late Show with David Letterman. The late-night show host introduced them as “his favorite band”.
Next came Save His Soul (1992) and four (1994), which contained Run-Around, a Grammy award-winning single and the band’s’ first chart hit. Straight On Till Morning (1997) achieved platinum status. In 1999, Sheehan died of an accidental drug overdose. The band decided to continue playing and added Kinchala’s younger brother Tad on bass and keyboardist Ben Wilson in 2000.