Truth Be Told

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - David Sprague
This long-running blues-pop combo has weathered plenty of trouble over the years -- the death of bassist Bobby Sheehan and frontman John Popper's frequent health problems, for starters -- but they've never allowed anything to derail their groove train. This disc, perhaps their least jam-oriented to date, is particularly breezy, even in its less-than-sunny moments. Darkness peeks from the corners of songs such as the jazzy, introspective "My Blessed Pain," but it never saturates the proceedings. That's due in part to Popper's fleet harmonica work, but also to his trilling delivery, which suggests a slightly more earthbound Cat Stevens most notably on "Thinnest of Air". ...
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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - David Sprague
This long-running blues-pop combo has weathered plenty of trouble over the years -- the death of bassist Bobby Sheehan and frontman John Popper's frequent health problems, for starters -- but they've never allowed anything to derail their groove train. This disc, perhaps their least jam-oriented to date, is particularly breezy, even in its less-than-sunny moments. Darkness peeks from the corners of songs such as the jazzy, introspective "My Blessed Pain," but it never saturates the proceedings. That's due in part to Popper's fleet harmonica work, but also to his trilling delivery, which suggests a slightly more earthbound Cat Stevens most notably on "Thinnest of Air". The band are at their best when jamming is kept to a minimum -- the spry "Let Her and Let Go" is as catchy as their breakthrough hit, "Runaround" -- and the concise arrangements displayed here indicate that they've finally taken that to heart. So while Truth Be Told is punctuated by a smattering of overdone pieces, such as the lead-footed funk jam "This Ache," there's a friendly, conversational tone that makes the disc a pleasure to bask in. And that's the truth.
All Music Guide - Johnny Loftus
Bridge, Blues Traveler's 2001 release, was appropriate. It was definitely a stylistic return to form after the disappointing Straight on Till Morning. But Bridge also brought BT back to the world after the death of bassist Bob Sheehan and John Popper's bouts with illness. Truth Be Told builds on that momentum, telescoping the veteran combo's sound, history, and experience -- both good and bad ones -- into a strong twelve-song set. There's radio-friendly material here - "Sweet and Broken"; "My Blessed Pain" -- but these aren't sequels to the cleansed bop of "Runaround." Instead, they click on clever wordplay from Popper and Chan Kinchla's crackling little guitar parts. New keyboardist Ben Wilson is invaluable throughout Truth; his rhythmic lines and well-placed solo moments are so effortlessly integrated, it's difficult to remember a Blues Traveler without keys. His organ kicks off one of the album's more exploratory moments. "Thinnest of Air" sounds like sped-up dub reggae, unspooling threads of trippy atmosphere without killing the track's relentless drive. And while the presence of Wilson's piano and organ does eat into Popper's harmonica parts a bit, "Can't See Why" still has room for one of those tongue workout harp freakouts. At the same time, it's also one of the album's rawest songs, toasting the band's jammy and vibrant live sound without spinning into a laborious tangent of aimless soloing. "Unable to Get Free" and "Let Her & Let Go" are album highlights. Both cuts combine big, boisterous choruses with sinewy songcraft that contracts or expands with the band's inspired, focused playing. There's groove here, and it's a bluesy, tour-tested one. But there are also easily accessible melodies and whip-smart lyrics. Comfortably ensconced at Sanctuary, and oblivious to any worries about follow-up singles or Platinum records, Blues Traveler has made something that quietly and confidently has the potential for both.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 8/5/2003
  • Label: Sanctuary Records
  • UPC: 060768462021
  • Catalog Number: 84620

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Unable to Get Free (4:23)
  2. 2 Eventually (I'll Come Around) (3:51)
  3. 3 Sweet and Broken (3:49)
  4. 4 My Blessed Pain (4:35)
  5. 5 Let Her and Let Go (3:39)
  6. 6 Thinnest of Air (3:35)
  7. 7 Can't See Why (3:14)
  8. 8 Stumble and Fall (4:59)
  9. 9 This Ache (4:06)
  10. 10 Mount Normal (4:04)
  11. 11 The One (3:42)
  12. 12 Partner in Crime (3:36)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Blues Traveler Primary Artist
Brendan Hill Percussion, Drums, Group Member
John Popper Guitar, Harmonica, Vocals, Group Member
David Reilly Bass, Guitar
Ben Wilson Organ, Keyboards, Group Member
Jannelle Guillot Voiceover
Technical Credits
Blues Traveler Arranger
Chris Barron Composer
John Cregar Drum Technician
Mark Dearnley Engineer
Don Gehman Arranger, Producer
Chan Kinchla Composer
Bob Ludwig Mastering
John Popper Composer
David Reilly Guitar Techician, Bass Technician
B.J. Wilson Composer
Ben Wilson Arranger
Chris Haynes Engineer
John Trickett Executive Producer
Bob Michaels Executive Producer, Mastering
Jeff Dean Executive Producer
Kristian Storli Authoring
Kehni Davis Quality Control
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