Your eyes do not deceive you, Blues Traveler, the blues-rock band with the sweetest harmonica solos since Little Walter, is releasing a new album Blow Up The Moon on April 7th. Today, Yahoo Music premiered the album’s first single “Castaway,” which features vocals from Jared Watson of the Dirty Heads and Rome Ramirez of Sublime with Rome.
If you aren’t familiar with the name Blues Traveler, you may remember their Top 40 hit “Run Around.” (Listen below).
This album marks the first release from the band since 2012s Suzie Cracks The Whip, and features a diverse roster of collaborators including Thompson Square, Plain White T’s, Jewel, Secondhand Serenade, Jared “Dirty J” Watson, Rome Ramirez, and more. With such a wide array of artists, the album is sure to appeal to fans from nearly every genre of music.
The Dirty Heads & Rome Ramirez are actually featured on two separate songs by Blues Traveler. In addition to “Castaway” the other one is “Vagabond Blues”; both of which were produced by Rome. Here’s what Watson said in a statement to Yahoo Music about working with Blues Traveler: “It was a really laid back session. It felt very comfortable. All the dudes made us feel at home and we got along really well, so it made it easier for the creative process to flow. The coolest part for me was being able to put our twist on such a recognizable sound as Blues Traveler’s.”
This first single has a mellow island ambiance from the organ accompanied nicely by John Popper’s harmonica. Jared Watson’s vocals helps move the song along before John Popper comes in for the catchy chorus. “Castaway” isn’t a roots or island-rock song, rather a simple, but enjoyable organ-led tune that gives it that classic reggae aura.
This isn’t the first foray into the reggae scene from Blues Traveler, whose front-man and harmonica player John Popper was featured in Rebelution’s “Closer I Get,” off their 2012 Peace of Mind album and has also been featured alongside artists such as Cee-Lo Green, Jason Mraz and Beats Antique.
“This entire project was an ambitious one,” says Popper of the new album. “To write and record with so many differently talented entities — each with such dear and unique gifts — was more than a challenge for us, it was a year-long clinic on how to explore such gifts in a vast cadre of others, as well as in ourselves.”
The album, Blow Up The Moon, is 14 total songs and will drop April 7th, 2015 on Loud and Proud Records. Stay tuned for more details including The Pier’s official Review & Star rating.
Listen: Blues Traveler – “Castaway” (ft. Jared Watson of Dirty Heads & Rome Ramirez of Sublime with Rome)