Home Read Classic Album Review: Blues Traveler | Truth Be Told

Classic Album Review: Blues Traveler | Truth Be Told

The veteran jammers are a little too smooth and controlled on their seventh album.

This came out in 2003 – or at least that’s when I got it. Here’s what I said about it back then (with some minor editing):


Life in Blues Traveler these days probably seems too good to be true.

Singer and harmonica player John Popper seems to have conquered the weight problem that undermined his health and led to an angioplasty a few years back. The veteran jammers seems to have regrouped in the wake of the untimely, drug-fuelled death of bassist Bobby Sheehan. They even added a talented songwriter in new bassist Tad Kinchla, brother of guitarist Chandler. So why, then, is their seventh studio release Truth Be Told so ho-hum? It’s not as if all the usual ingredients aren’t here — the boys lay down the breezy blues and roots grooves. Popper adds his supple vocals, heartfelt lyrics and tasty harp licks. And it all fits together seamlessly. Perhaps a little too seamlessly. Despite a few songs on the album’s second half that rock out acceptably, for the most part, these dozen cuts come off as a little too smooth and controlled, lacking the spark and grit needed to engage the listener. Truth be told, maybe Blues Traveler have become too comfortable for their own good.