A few dozen people filed into the Wetlands Preserve on September 2nd, 1990, to see the lead singer of Blues Traveler sit down with an acoustic guitar and microphone to play a set of unplugged tunes that did not figure into the regular Blues Traveler repertoire. As he began his set he excused himself by saying "I've never done this before, so go easy on me if I screw up." Over two sets lasting nearly two and a half hours, John played over twenty songs that had never been heard before on stage, and the first Blues Traveler side project was born. Since the 90's, Popper is known to play various solo gigs during Blues Traveler breaks, everything from one hour opening slots at various clubs to collaborating on projects with old friends such as members of The Dave Matthews Band.
In 2003, Popper hooked up with bassist Rob Wasserman, best known for his work with Grateful Dead guitarist Bob Weir in a project known as Ratdog. The two got together for a show in San Francisco, and turntablist DJ Logic, who happened to be in town performing with Weir at the time, dropped in for the whole set. One thing led to another, and in early 2004 John and Logic followed up on their fateful union, the result of which is now dubbed the John Popper Project.
JPP, which includes Blues Traveler bassist Tad Kinchla and Mosaic drummer Marcus Bleeker, is without lead guitar. The provocative instrumentation combined with each playerÕs diverse musical background provides an organic blend of lush groove and eclecticism, which make JPP original in today's genre-blind industry. All along the way, the rock Ð influenced musical textures support guaranteed glee for the music connoisseur.
Thus far, the John Popper Project has performed only a few experimental gigs in NYC, the first being at the famed Blue Note. "We've got a little something different for you." As DJ Logic warned a crowded room full of seat less patrons, the band quickly realized that this was something different. Second song in, the fans of live music were dancing up the aisles and grooving at their tables, by end of night asking when the foursome would return.
While all members are currently working in other bands, and certainly Blues Traveler being first priority for Tad Kinchla and John Popper, they all know the synergy that they've achieved along with crowd appeal is too good to pass up. "Playing with other great musicians only adds to what Blues Traveler does." said Kinchla. DJ Logic agrees. An alumnus of the Black Rock Coalition and a product of the Bronx, Logic has always built on a diverse foundation of sounds and has a keen admiration for the collaborative and improvisational arts.
Today, through meticulous scheduling, the band has prioritized this rhythmic project and are heading out on a 2005 spring / summer tour; A journey which each member will relish and ear-candy that audiences will anticipate for years to come.
John Popper of Blues Traveler (vocals, harmonica),
DJ Logic (turntables),
Tad Kinchla of Blues Traveler (bass),
Marcus Bleecker of Mosaic (drums)