With the All Roads Runaround kicking off tonight, moe. and Blues Traveler bring us behind the scenes of one of this summer’s most unique tours

moe. and Blues Traveler have a deep relationship that dates back over twenty years. Both jam-based, rock and blues infused bands planted seeds in their respective tri-state area states and have spent a major part of the past three decades on the road – bringing their unique sounds to their passionate and extremely dedicated fan-bases. Along the way, they crossed paths many times – sharing instruments, drinks and artistic moments together. But this summer for the first time ever, the bands have teamed up to embark on a full North American tour that will feature four sets per night. One from moe, one from Blues Traveler, one from G.Love and one collaborative jam set.

With the opening show tonight in Long Island, we caught up with Al Schnier of moe. and Brendan Hill of Blues Traveler who here, share their excitement for this summer’s All Rounds Runaround Tour.

moe. guitarist, Al Schnier

There’s a ton of history between Blues Traveler and moe. – we’ve played shows together, done some collaborations and touring together is something we have touched upon in the past. It was brought up again this year and finally the timing was right. In a band meeting months ago, it was brought up that Blues Traveler was interested in doing a summer tour together, and before we knew it, we were moving forward with G.Love on board also.

We’re sorting out now how the groups with play together each night. In the fan’s mind it seems super easy – you just throw all the musicians on stage and they will play the most epic versions of rare songs. It’s not quite like that because you have to figure out all the little things – like where you plug in all the guitars. The expectation is we will do it at the end of the night and I think we want to do it more in the middle of the show. We’ve been talking about changing it up and doing a bunch of different combos. On any given night it may be two of us on stage or twelve.

The lineup is always going to be G.Love, Blues Traveler and then moe., in that order, but the collaborative set will be the thing that’s flexible. In terms of songs we will play – it’s all fair game. Going into this tour we were very cautious of the fact that our fans expect two sets. It’s not really a moe. show without two sets. We determined we can still do that here but the second one will be with the other bands.

Part of the discussions amongst the group has been whether we will do some pre-production. We came up with a core list of songs to get started. Both camps are walking in with a similar song book. We’re going to be together for a month so it’s only going to get easier. We’re coming in on the first day ready to jump in on any twelve songs.

Blues Traveler’s “Runaround” and “Hook” are two of the most well-crafted pop songs in the world. I had a cassette of their first (self-titled) record that I wore out I played it so much. “Gina” is such a fantastic song as is “But Anyway”.  We go to play “But Anyway” with John Popper in Philadelphia years ago at the Electric Factory. We were playing two nights there. Popper joined us on night one and had a such a good time that he asked if he could come back and join us on night two. We didn’t have this planned so we had to learn “Hook” on the spot to play the second night. Immediately after the second show, Popper had to go straight to the airport because he had a red eye flight to Iraq for a USO performance. It was a dream come true playing these songs with the guy who wrote them and now we are going to go do a tour together.

As for this summer, I am most excited about simply going out on a big tour with two other bands that are friends of ours. It’s a real old school tour, we haven’t done that in a long time and I that’s the thing I am most looking forward to. It will be so much fun. There’s a different mindset and life that you fall into when you are on the road and traveling every day. You’re part of an entourage. We wake up each morning in the back parking lot of an Amphitheatre somewhere and you try to make a normal routine out of it. This time, it’s going to be with an extended family and I can’t wait.

 ~Al Schnier

Blues Traveler drummer, Brendan Hill

We have been wanting to do a tour with moe. for a long time now.  It’s a great combination of similar fans, music and touring styles.  We are super psyched it all came together so easily.  Plus when you add G. Love to the mix it makes it that much more fun.  I have a feeling there is going to be a lot of interesting sit ins and collaborations throughout the tour, every night will be unique and a treat for us and the audience.

I think our set is going to develop over the course of the tour.  Starting with some songs that we both know and feel comfortable with, and then as we move forward, it will evolve.  We are drawing from a lot of the same influences, and it’s going be great to challenge ourselves each night doing something different and interesting.  We have had a few rehearsal days to work on logistics and a basic framework, but from there I think it will happen organically.

I would love to have a moment when we are all on stage at the same time.  Sometimes that can be a mess sonically, but it’s also a lot of fun.  I think Blues Traveler has always been open to musical influences, and I think it’s going to be amazing watching moe. play each night. I’m certain that we will absorb and process their music and perhaps we might even write a few songs together during or after the tour.

 ~Brendan Hill

moe. & Blues Traveler: All Roads Runaround Tour

July 11 – Farmingville, NY – Long Island Community Hospital Amphitheater at Bald Hill
July 12 – Asbury Park, NJ – Stone Pony Summer Stage
July 13 – Baltimore – MECU Pavilion
July 15 – Portsmouth, VA – Union Bank & Trust Pavilion
July 17 – Northampton, MA – Pines Theatre
July 19 – Boston – Rockland Trust Bank Pavilion
July 20 – Wallingford, CT – Toyota Oakdale Theatre
July 21 – Gilford, NH – Bank of New Hampshire Pavilion
July 24 – Toronto, ON – REBEL
July 27 – Cleveland, OH – Jacobs Pavilion at Nautica
July 28 – Cincinnati, OH – PNC Pavilion
July 30 – Detroit – Michigan Lottery Amphitheatre at Freedom Hill
July 31 – Indianapolis, IN – Farm Bureau Insurance Lawn at White River State Park
Aug. 2 – Nashville, TN – Ascend Amphitheater
Aug. 3 – Atlanta – Coca-Cola Roxy
Aug. 4 – Raleigh, NC – Red Hat Amphitheater
Aug. 6 – Greensboro, NC – White Oak Amphitheatre at the Greensboro Coliseum Complex
Aug. 7 – Jacksonville, FL – Daily’s Place
Aug. 9 – Houston, TX – White Oak Music Hall
Aug. 10 – Irving, TX – The Pavilion at Toyota Music Factory
Aug. 11 – Austin, TX – Stubb’s Waller Creek Amphitheater

For tickets and more information visit: moe.org or BluesTraveler.com