Blues Travelerblues/rock band
Lead singer John Popper almost had no choice but to embark upon a music career after his parents had enrolled him in music lessons for one instrument after another, including cello, piano, and guitar. He hated to practice, and preferred to play by ear rather than learn to read music, though, and that frustrated his instructors. John ultimately made his mark with the harmonica, for which his parents could find no instructor. He and fellow Blues Brothers enthusiasts Brendan Hill (drummer), Chan Kinchla (guitarist), and Bobby Sheehan (bassist) went to high school together in Princeton, New Jersey, and went on to college in New York City. The were more successful in booking gigs than hitting the books, though, so left to pursue their music career. Their early albums received little airplay and sold relatively few copies, but they built a following through frequent touring. Fans bought up copies of their fourth album four (1994) and their popularity continues to grow through releases of new albums Live From the Fall (1996) and Straight On Till Morning (1997), and appearances on Late Night with David Letterman and in Blues Brothers 2000 (1998). Bassist Sheehan died of a drug overdose in 1999.