Letters

Letters 08-31-2015

Inalienable Rights This is a response to the “No More State Theatre” in your August 24th edition. I think I will not be the only response to this pathetic and narrow-minded letter that seems rather out of place in the northern Michigan that I know. To think we will not be getting your 25 cents for the movie you refused to see, but more importantly we will be without your “two cents” on your thoughts of a marriage at the State Theatre...

Enthusiastically Democratic Since I was one of the approximately 160 people present at when Senator Debbie Stabenow spoke on August 14 in Charlevoix, I was surprised to read in a letter to Northern Express that there was a “rather muted” response to Debbie’s announcement that she has endorsed Hillary Clinton for president...

Not Hurting I surely think the State Theatre will survive not having the homophobic presence of Colleen Smith and her family attend any matinees. I think “Ms.” Smith might also want to make sure that any medical personnel, bank staff, grocery store staff, waiters and/or waitress, etc. are not homosexual before accepting any service or product from them...

Stay Home I did not know whether to laugh or cry when I read the letter of the extremely homophobic, “disgusted” writer. She now refuses to patronize the State Theatre because she evidently feels that its confines have been poisoned by the gay wedding ceremony held there...

Keep Away In response to Colleen Smith of Cadillac who refused to bring her family to the State Theatre because there was a gay wedding there: Keep your 25 cents and your family out of Traverse City...

Celebrating Moore And A Theatre I was 10 years old when I had the privilege to see my first film at the State Theatre. I will never forget that experience. The screen was almost the size of my bedroom I shared with my older sister. The bursting sounds made me believe I was part of the film...

Outdated Thinking This letter is in response to Colleen Smith. She made public her choice to no longer go to the State Theater due to the fact that “some homosexuals” got married there. I’m not outraged by her choice; we don’t need any more hateful, self-righteous bigots in our town. She can keep her 25 cents...

Mackinac Pipeline Must Be Shut Down Crude oil flowing through Enbridge’s 60-yearold pipeline beneath the Mackinac Straits and the largest collection of fresh water on the planet should be a serious concern for every resident of the USA and Canada. Enbridge has a very “accident” prone track record...

Your Rights To Colleen, who wrote about the State Theatre: Let me thank you for sharing your views; I think most of us are well in support of the first amendment, because as you know- it gives everyone the opportunity to express their opinions. I also wanted to thank Northern Express for not shutting down these types of letters right at the source but rather giving the community a platform for education...

No Role Model [Fascinating Person from last week’s issue] Jada quoted: “I want to be a role model for girls who are interested in being in the outdoors.” I enjoy being in the outdoors, but I don’t want to kill animals for trophy...

Home · Articles · News · Music · Blues Traveler
. . . .

Blues Traveler

Rick Coates - August 2nd, 2010
Blues Traveler dishes up Paella in the Park
By Rick Coates
The Paella In The Park event on Friday night in Traverse City will
focus on the Spanish peasant dish, Paella (see Tastemakers). The
evening will be highlighted by wine pairings from the Wineries of Old
Mission Peninsula. The question is, what will be for dessert?
How about a full serving of Blues Traveler?
“We had to pull some strings,” said Sam Porter, of Porterhouse
Productions. “They are playing Grand Rapids on Thursday night and then
they are at Lollapaloza in Chicago on Saturday, but they agreed.”
Rootstand, a favorite on the festival circuit will open for Blues
Traveler. Porter hopes that the evening will result in the community
getting an opportunity to see how the grounds that once housed the
Clinch Park Zoo can serve the area in various ways.
“This is a great parcel of land; I feel that several events can take
place here. Not everything has to be about thousands of people,” said
Porter. “We are capping this at 1,500. Though I suspect that with the
stage setup we will have a lot of boats in the marina and in West Bay
watching and listening as well.”
Porter likes to have music as a complement to his events. He has seen
that synergy work with the Traverse City Microbrew & Music Festival,
as well as a winter version of the same festival. He felt Blues
Traveler and Rootsand would offer the perfect music styles for a wide
range of attendees for Paella In The Park.
“Blues Traveler has mass appeal to people of all ages,” said Porter.
“The play danceable music and I see them as being perfect for the
setting.”

THE BACK STORY
The band formed nearly 25 years ago when frontman and harmonica
virtuoso John Popper and some of his high school buddies started
jamming together. It would take a few years for the band’s music to
catch on, but in 1994 they hit the big time. The blues-rockers
released their album Four that contained chart-toppers “Hook,” and
“Run-Around” and it even won them a Grammy that year.
They quickly joined Dave Matthews as the popular bands on the jam-band
circuit, including performing at the 25th Anniversary of Woodstock in
1994. The band released North Hollywood Shootout in 2008, their ninth
studio album.
Health and legal issues have not slowed Popper and his bandmates.
Popper who had been overweight for years had surgery six years ago and
dropped 180 pounds. He found himself in legal trouble, being arrested
twice for marijuana possession charges. A year ago he had hip surgery,
but according to Popper, all is well in his and Blues Traveler’s
world.
“We are very, very busy,” said Popper. “There is a lot that we are
trying to accomplish with this band. We are 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,”
For Popper and Blues Traveler, their focus has been on returning to
the band that has produced six Gold or Platinum albums, with a
combined sales of more than 10 million CDs.  They built their
reputation on the jam-band style that has resulted in more than 2,000
live shows in front of more than three million people over the past 16
years.

SPONTANEOUS REACTION
“As we look at our last few records we focused on the songwriting and
we felt we were getting away from that spontaneity that we create on
stage,” said Popper. “So with this last album we eliminated all the
pre-production stuff and just went right into the studio and wrote the
songs. We wrote and recorded as we went along.”
Popper also felt this process helped the group get out of the musical
rut they were in.
“Look, if you stay in this business long enough you are going to fall
into ruts. We started in this business as kids, made some mistakes
along the way. But we are still here. If you want to stick around you
fight through it and that is what we have done.”
That also included the death of founding member and bassist Bobby
Shennan in 1999.
“We are like family and when Bobby passed away we sat down as a group
and talked about what we should do,” said Popper. “Sure, we
contemplated calling it quits but we knew that Bobby would want us to
continue on and we know that we have made the right decision.”
So what is at the heart of Blues Traveler’s success after 23 years?
“We are constantly reinventing things and discovering new aspects of
what we do in order to keep things fresh,” said lead guitarist Chan
Kinchla. “We’ve spent a lot of time sorting out everyone’s role and
learning how to listen to each other and get out of each other’s way.
It’s funny, but right now the band is feeling a lot like it did in the
early days, when we were just playing for the sake of playing and we
were hitting on all cylinders and the communication was fresh and
alive.  The shows have been really kicking, and the new songs have
been going over great.”
Popper agrees.
“I think we know as a band we have more to learn,” said Popper. “What
makes it work for us is honesty. As long as we all know that we mean
it, we know that we have the potential to come up with something good.
It is the philosophy we take every night onto the stage and into the
studio.”

Blues Traveler will perform Friday night as part of the Paella In The
Park. Tickets are limited and may be purchased at
www.porterhouseproductions.com or at Oryana in Traverse City and the
wineries on the Old Mission Peninsula.

 
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