Brendan Hill of Blue's Traveler | Modern Drummer Magazine

Brendan Hill of Blue’s Traveler

drummer Brendan Hill of Blue's TravelerBlues Traveler’s thirteen-year career includes founding the H.O.R.D.E. festival, having one of the longest charting singles ever (“Run-Around”), winning a Grammy, selling over ten million albums, and surviving a founding member’s death. The seasoned band’s latest studio release, Truth Be Told, finds them forging ahead with their signature song-oriented, blues-jam rock. Truth Be Told sounds like vintage Blues Traveler, complete with fiery harmonica, powerful solos, and vocalist John Popper’s self-revelatory lyrics.

After eight albums, the sessions for Truth Be Told marked drummer Brendan Hill’s first experience ever recording with a click track. “Don Gehman, our producer, was pretty adamant about using a click,” Hill laughs, noting that beyond his initial hesitation, using the click made the studio process much simpler. “Aside from that, we did much less pre-production on this record. We worked on writing songs in the studio, rather than knowing exactly what we were going to do before we went in. We’d play a track and listen back to it, and if we liked it we’d move on to the next piece. That way it didn’t feel like we were playing something we’d worked on forever. We captured a lot of spontaneous creative energy that way.”

Hill is proud of his performance on Truth Be Told, but admits the album isn’t necessarily the best forum for showing off his chops. “A Blues Traveler live show is where you’ll see us jumping through hoops,” he says. Check out the band’s brand-new concert DVD, Thinnest Of Air, for a taste of Hill’s stage chops.