Having met the inimitable John Popper almost 20 years ago in a club as an underage kid with a fiddle and a dream, I admired what John had already accomplished as an instrumental phenom, a compelling songwriter, and a virtuosic singer with a commanding stage presence. Coincidence led to our subsequent meeting in 2009 on the stage trading violin and harmonica solos at Antone's in Austin, Texas, and a 3rd reunion in 2017 in Washington DC as John was invited by a good friend to perform with me and my Unrivaled Players at The Hamilton Live. Prior to this show, John had asked me what 2 or 3 songs of his I wanted to prep and I chose "The Mountains Win Again", "Carolina Blues" and "But Anyway". That mini set of Blues Traveler songs was a hoot with open jam sections, and John came back out to join us on an instrumental rendition of The Band's "Ophelia".
Last Thursday I had the pleasure of joining Blues Traveler on stage in their "Unhooked" unplugged acoustic show at Caesars Palace Las Vegas (pic below). John, Brendan, Chan, Tad and Ben were amazing to listen to and jam with - I loved playing "Regarding Steven", "Dropping Some NYC" and the "No Woman, No Cry" encore with them - so much fun!
Coolest thing? We get to do it again tomorrow night, and again the next night...
Thanks, mom, for forcing me to practice all of those years, and being cool with me listening to rock radio my entire childhood.