The JB List | 10 Amazing John Popper Guest Spots

Say what you will about Twitter, but one of the really cool things about the social network is that it allows you to interact with “celebrities.” Just the other night I was talking about some of the fantastic sit-ins Blues Traveler front man John Popper had with Phish and who jumped into the conversation? None other than Popper himself.

In discussing Popper’s guest spots with Phish, I started thinking about some of the other amazing sit-ins he’s participated in over the years and figured it was a perfect topic for this week’s JB List. Let’s get down to it…

Mulling It Over
Soulive w/ John Popper – 03/07/2013

Earlier this year Popper was Soulive’s special guest at the opening show of their famed Bowlive Residency at Williamsburg, NY’s Brooklyn Bowl. John guested on a cover of “Come Together” by The Beatles and the Blues Traveler gem “Mulling It Over.”

All I Wanna Do
Sheryl Crow w/ John Popper – 10/25/1994

John Popper and Blues Traveler were on top of the world in 1994 following the smashing success of both their Four LP and the H.O.R.D.E. traveling festival. Another artist who broke through around that time was Sheryl Crow, who welcomed Popper up for a take on her “All I Wanna Do” smash single at San Francisco’s Warfield in that magical year.

Mean Mr. Mustard > Weekapaug Groove
Phish w/ John Popper -11/15/1996

Popper sat in with Phish many times, but for my money the best guest spot came in 1996 at St. Louis’s Kiel Center when John emerged in the middle of the quartet’s famed “M Set” for “Mean Mr. Mustard” and “Weekapaug Groove.”

Piano Man
Jason Mraz w/ John Popper and Joey Harrington -06/26/2003

Popper joined Jason Mraz and football player Joey Harrington for a cover of “Piano Man” by Billy Joel at a benefit for Harrington’s foundation in 2003.

The Black Crowes w/ John Popper and Wilco -08/27/1995

During the fourth installment of the H.O.R.D.E. fest’s Atlanta stop, Popper and most of Wilco came out during The Black Crowes’ headlining set for this memorable take on “Willin'” by Little Feat.

If I Had A Million Dollars
Barenaked Ladies w/ John Popper -07/27/2012

Last summer Blues Traveler joined forces with Big Head Todd and the Monsters, Barenaked Ladies and Cracker for the first annual Last Summer On Earth traveling festival. The tour provided many collaborations including Popper sitting in with BNL on one of their best-known songs.

Sweet Home Chicago
Blues Traveler Guests On Roseanne, Performs With Dan Connor

When Traveler hit it big, Popper and the rest of the band became friends with many other big stars including Roseanne Barr. Roseanne welcomed Traveler to not only add their take to her self-titled show’s theme song, but to appear on a 1995 episode titled Of Mice And Dan in which Traveler acts as John “Dan Conner” Goodman’s former band. Goodman winds up performing “Sweet Home Chicago” with his old mates in the episode.

All Along The Watchtower
Dave Matthews Band w/ John Popper and Trey Anastasio -02/24/1995

Just as the Dave Matthews Band was blowing up, thanks in part to Popper’s contribution on DMB’s breakthrough single “What Would You Say?” the band performed a two-night stand at Roseland in NYC. Both Popper and Phish’s Trey Anastasio lent their talents to a cover of “All Along The Watchtower” during the second night of the run.

Bill Evans’ Soulgrass w/ John Popper, John Medeski and Jake Cinninger -02/28/2013

Another recent entry comes from Bill Evans’ Soulgrass’s guest-laden residency at famed jazz club Blue Note NYC. Popper tears “Glory” by Umphrey’s McGee a new one as does John Medeski and Jake Cinninger.

When The Levee Breaks
Big Head Todd and the Monsters w/ John Popper -08/14/2012

Here’s another Popper guest spot from the aforementioned Last Summer On Earth Tour. Watch Popper team with old H.O.R.D.E. mates Big Head Todd and the Monsters for a stirring take on blues standard “When The Levee Breaks.”

Written By: Scott Bernstein