- Released: September 13, 1994
- Label: A&M
Entertainment Weekly - 9/30/94, p.60
"...None of it takes you any-place new, but the relaxed production and John Popper's fluid harmonica jive help to make FOUR a pleasant trip..." - Rating: B+
- 3.Look Around
- 5.The Mountains Win Again
- 7.Crash Burn
- 8.Price to Pay
- 10.The Good Bad, and the Ugly
- 11.Just Wait
- 12.Brother John
Blues Traveler: John Popper (vocals, guitar, harmonica); Chan Kinchla (acoustic & electric guitars, mandolin, background vocals); Bobby Sheehan (bass, background vocals); Brendan Hill (drums, percussion).
Additional personnel: Jono Manson (vocals); Warren Haynes (guitar); Peter Malcolm Kavakavich (tambora, shruti box); Chuck Leavell, Paul Shaffer (keyboards); Bashiri Johnson (percussion).
Producers: Steve Thompson, Michael Barbiero.
Recorded at Bearsville Studios, Woodstock, New York.
"Run-Around" won a 1996 Grammy Award for Best Rock Performance By A Duo Or Group With Vocal.
Personnel: John Popper (vocals, guitar, harmonica); Jono Manson (vocals); Warren Haynes (guitar); Chan Kinchla (acoustic guitar, electric guitar, mandolin, background vocals); Chuck Leavell (piano, keyboards); Paul Shaffer (keyboards); Brendan Hill (drums, percussion); Bashiri Johnson (percussion); Bobby Sheehan (background vocals).
Recording information: Bearsville Sound Studios, New York, NY; Electric Lady, New York, NY.
Unknown Contributor Role: Peter Malcolm Kavakavich.
Already established as a reputable act due to years of drop-dead touring, FOUR is the album that has broken Blues Traveler through to widespread popularity, becoming their first best-seller. Singer John Popper's frenetic harp coupled with guitarist Chan Kinchla's chicken-scratch rhythm playing make for a potent one-two punch that goes far in distinguishing Blues Traveler from the hordes of similar "Grateful Dead Baby Bands" that have cropped up in recent years. And while the band still retains that musical formula, FOUR explores other levels of their organic boogie.
Scaling back the over-extended jams of their previous records, Blues Traveler has returned as a much leaner unit. Opening with the airy "Run-Around," FOUR dabbles with pretty ballads ("Look Around") as well as more upbeat and sunny fare ("Hook"). Guest Warren Haynes' guitar playing gives "The Mountain Wins Again" a heavy Allman Brothers flavor, and Paul Shaffer's funky organ fills on "Stand" tango with Popper's scat-like vocal delivery.
The road is still Blues Traveler's true calling--it is, after all, where they became the dynamic musical force they are today. But for a studio album made by an acknowledged live band, FOUR makes for one helluva rest stop.