Truth Be Told

Blues Traveler

Sanctuary Records, 2003

REVIEW BY: Duke Egbert


Truth be told, I like Blues Traveler. I liked Blues Traveler before they were cool; when I was working in small-market rock radio in the very early '90s, I got blown away by Travelers And Thieves; that was a long time before the chart juggernaut of Four. Somehow I lost touch with the band sometime after that; I didn't pick up my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250 Straight On Till Morning, I missed the Great John Popper Angioplasty And Resulting Slimdown, and I don't recall hearing anything off Bridge, the first release after the tragic overdose and death of bassist Bobby Sheehan. There's been a lot of water under the bridge for Blues Traveler since I kept sneaking "All In The Groove" on the air despite my program director's best intentions. (Come to think of it, there's been a lot of water under the bridge for me. But that's another story.)

Got some news for ya, y'all. Blues Traveler is back. Hell, they may have never left. Truth Be Told, their latest release and the first one on Sanctuary Records, is tight, tasty, and a damned fine work.

If I have a complaint with Blues Traveler, it's the same complaint I have with a lot of jam bands; they sometimes lose focus and wander musically. Not so here, O Ye DV Faithful. Truth Be Told is a musical fastball, focused, energetic, and powerful. The production is excellent, the mix is perfectly balanced, and the musicianship is nonpareil. Tragedy seems pretty far behind BT, and the results are exceptional.

Tracks worthy of note include the opening, the powerful "Unable To Get Free"; the rollicking yet bittersweet acoustic guitar of "Sweet And Broken" (with a nominee for Lyric Of The Year: 'She smokes my last cigarette // She forgives me, but I don't know it yet'); the seventies wocka-wocka guitar of "My Blessed Pain"; one of the best bass parts in rock this year, "Can't See Why"; Popper's great harp on "Stumble And Fall" .. OK, let's face it, there isn't a weak spot on this CD. On Truth Be Told, Blues Traveler has delivered one of the best rock CDs of the year; smooth as honey, bluesy as a smoky hole-in-the-wall, and triumphant as sunrise. This one is truly great.

Truth Be Told is a don't-miss choice. Get it today.

Rating: A

User Rating: Not Yet Rated



© 2003 Duke Egbert and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Sanctuary Records, and is used for informational purposes only.