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Exclusive: Blues Traveler's Brendan Hill on Seattle sports & his top accomplishments

EXPERT COLUMNIST
Exclusive
47   //    Timeless

Blues Traveler / Photo courtesy of Hannah Bannan
Blues Traveler / Photo courtesy of Hannah Bannan

Around 30 years ago, the four original members of Blues Traveler, who had known each other since their early teens -- John Popper, Chandler Kinchla, the late Bobby Sheehan and Brendan Hill -- gathered in the basement of Hill's parents' Princeton, New Jersey home, and the seeds were planted for a band who has released a total of 13 studio albums. Of those 13 full-length releases, four have gone gold, three platinum and one six-times platinum.

Ultimately over the course of its illustrious career, Blues Traveler has sold more than 10 million combined units worldwide, and played over 2,000 live shows in front of more than 30 million people. "Run-Around" was the longest-charting radio single in Billboard history, also earning the group a GRAMMY® for "Best Rock Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals."

Fast-forwarding to 2019, Blues Traveler is hitting the road for a Summer 2019 tour alongside moe. The All Roads Runaround Tour, as presented by SiriusXM JamON, kicks off on July 11th in Farmingville, New York at the Long Island Community Hospital Amphitheater at Bald Hill.

Meanwhile, the tour is currently part of Live Nation's National Concert Week promotion where tickets are priced at $20 for thousands of upcoming Live Nation concerts through May 7th.

I had the pleasure of doing Q&A with Blues Traveler founding drummer Brendan Hill -- now a resident of Washington State -- and worked in a few sports-related questions on behalf of Sportskeeda. More on Hill and Blues Traveler can be found online at www.bluestraveler.com.

If I've done my research correctly, you are British-born, grew up in New Jersey and now live in Washington State. To which sports teams are you a loyal fan and has that changed over time?

Brendan Hill: Yes, born in London. Way back in 1970! My parents were both Irish citizens so I have a dual U.S./Irish citizenship. My family was never into sports, so as a kid I played soccer and baseball, but never saw a live pro game until I was 20 or so. I am a [Seattle] Seahawks and Mariners fan. We’ve had a great decade of sports here in Seattle; I’m looking forward to hockey coming to the city!

What was the last live sporting event you attended?

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Brendan Hill: Besides all my son’s games? (laughs) Green Bay [Packers] vs. Seattle Seahawks -- September 2017.

Have you ever been part of a national anthem performance at a sporting event?

Brendan Hill: Yes, many. I was just part of the background though, playing snare drum, tympani or cymbals. John’s version is amazing he’s done it too many times to count. 

Sports aside, what does the near-future look like for Blues Traveler?

Brendan Hill: The future looks bright. We’re pumped to be playing this summer, lots of great venues, beautiful people and friends.

Finally, Brendan, do you have a career accomplishment you are proudest of?

Brendan Hill: I have been very lucky. As a kid I dreamed of playing Madison Square Garden, opening for the Rolling Stones, winning a Grammy, making records and performing live regularly. So yes, I am proud, but I know it was because of a lot of hard work, and a group effort with my great friends and partners, John, Chan, Ben [Wilson], Tad [Kinchla], and of course a very special recognition to a great friend and player Bob Sheehan.

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