Blues Traveler

Live from the Fall

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Like any jam-oriented band, Blues Traveler has a reputation for being better in concert than they are in the studio. Therefore, it would make sense that the double-disc Live from the Fall would be the ideal Blues Traveler album, since it allows the band to stretch out and demonstrate its true talents. In a sense, that is true. The two discs -- which were recorded in the fall of 1995, as the band was supporting the surprise success of Four -- do give the band room to improvise, and they exploit the extra space for all of its worth. Initially, Blues Traveler wanted to release without track indexes, so the listener could hear how each song flowed into the next. And the album does sound like that -- like a never-ending medley, where melodic themes pop in and out of the long solos. Occasionally, they detour into covers (War's "Low Rider," John Lennon's "Imagine"), but they mainly weave a tapestry of their own material, including rarities like the B-side "Regarding Steven" and the unreleased "Closing Down the Park." For fans of pop hits like "Run-Around" and "Hook," this can be a little irritating, but for those who have been with the band since the beginning, Live from the Fall is a priceless document -- more than any other album, this showcases what Blues Traveler is about.

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