|Blues Traveler - Live: What You and I Have Been Through|
|Music Disc Reviews Audio CD|
|Written by Brian Kahn|
|Tuesday, 22 October 2002|
What You & I Have Been Through is Blues Traveler’s second live album ( not counting the limited release On Tour Forever). Many people first became acquainted with the band through their Grammy-winning song "Run Around." I was fortunate enough to become acquainted with the band in 1991, as my then-roommate incessantly played their self-titled album over and over. My roommate caught every one of their live shows within several hundred miles and constantly extolled their virtues as a jam band. Several years later, I had the opportunity to see Blues Traveler perform and shortly thereafter vowed to see them many more times. As good as their albums are, their live performance are at a whole new level.
When I saw the press release for Blues Traveler’s newest live album What You & I Have Been Through, I thought of attending their live shows and was anxious to get my hands on their first release since the passing of bassist Bobby Sheehan. The majority of the songs are off their 2001 release "Bridge," with one new track "Pattern." New fans are not likely to recognize much, if anything, off of the album, as it avoids the breakthrough hits "Run Around" and "Hook," but hardcore followers will be happy to hear "Slow Change," a track off the band’s classic debut album. What You & I Have Been Through opens with lead singer John Popper’s harmonica rendition of "The Star Spangled Banner" to a New York City crowd shortly after the September 11th attacks. The emotional first track gives way to an extended version of "Slow Change," where one can get a sense of the onstage chemistry. The band really opens up a full-fledged jam session by the time the fifth track, "Carolina Blues," concludes. "Pattern" is a new song that many longtime fans will find somehow familiar, as it builds on past Blues Traveler music. This version of "Rage" features Carl Young on saxaphone, an addition to the prior studio release.
As far as sound quality goes, the recording engineers did a commendable job with the continuity. The album was recorded at several different shows, but the sound is fairly consistent from track to track. This is not an album that will demonstrate your system’s ability to reproduce extreme dynamic range, "black hole" noise floor or razor sharp imaging. However, What You & I Have Been Through will give those who have not yet seen Blues Traveler perform live a good taste of what this band is known for, their ability to jam on stage.