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HOT SHOW - Aug. 12: Blues Traveler w/ Big Head Todd & the Monsters, Ravinia

Ravinia (Highland Park)
Blues Traveler (top) / Big Head Todd & The Monsters

Date: Saturday, August 12, 2023

Venue: Ravinia Festival - Carousel Stage

Address: 200 Ravinia Park Rd.

City: Highland Park, IL

Phone: 847-266-5100

Showtime: 7 pm

*See website for complete performance information


Big Head Todd and The Monsters is a rock band formed by Todd Mohr, Brian Nevin, and Rob Squires in 1986 in Colorado. The band released several albums since 1989, with their 1993 album Sister Sweetly going platinum in the United States. The band has developed a sizable live following, especially in the U.S. western mountain states. While album sales have been less and less kind to the Colorado blues- and country-rock quartet since Sister Sweetly, they’re rarely off the road.

Big Head Todd & the Monsters belong to a special class of ’90s alternative rock bands that hit it really big, faded away on a commercial level as the decade ended, yet endured thanks to support from a cult fanbase and a reputation (in this case, entirely justified) for killer live shows and sturdy, dependable new albums.

Always fans of the blues, the band had the opportunity to record the blues classic “Boom Boom” with its originator John Lee Hooker in 1998 which became a hit for them.

The band soon developed an alter ego blues version of themselves titled The Big Head Todd Blues Club.

In 2011, they recorded a new project under the name Big Head Blues Club. The album 100 Years of Robert Johnson celebrates the songs of the late blues legend Robert Johnson. The Big Head Todd and the Monsters members were accompanied by B. B. King, Charlie Musselwhite, Cedric Burnside, David "Honeyboy" Edwards, Hubert Sumlin, Ruthie Foster, and Lightnin' Malcolm. Big Head Todd and the Monsters have also played shows under the name Big Head Blues Club and have invited some of the legends featured on the album to perform with them.

In 2016 The Big Head Blues Club went on tour to celebrate the songs of Chicago blues icon Willie Dixon with Chicago blues artists Mud Morganfield, Billy Branch and Ronnie Baker Brooks.

Blues Traveler is an American rock band that formed in Princeton, New Jersey in 1987. They are known for their extensive use of segues in live performances, and were considered a key part of the re-emerging jam band scene of the 1990s, spearheading the H.O.R.D.E. touring music festival.

Currently, the group comprises singer and harmonica player John Popper, guitarist Chan Kinchla, drummer Brendan Hill, bassist Tad Kinchla, and keyboardist Ben Wilson. Tad Kinchla and Ben Wilson joined the band following the death of original bassist Bobby Sheehan in 1999.

While Blues Traveler is best known among fans for their improvisational live shows, the general public is most familiar with the group from their Top 40 singles "Run-Around", "Hook", and "But Anyway". They gained mainstream popularity after their fourth studio album, four, which was released in 1994 and became a sleeper hit almost a year later. Sheehan's death and Popper's struggle with obesity put a damper on the group's success, and A&M dropped the band in 2002. In the years following, the band has bounced around through a succession of independent labels and record producers, and gotten increasingly experimental with their recorded output.

Blues Traveler's latest album, Traveler's Blues, was released in July 2021, and has been nominated by The Recording Academy for Best Traditional Blues album at the 2022 Grammy Awards.




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