The Free Press, Mankato, MN


June 27, 2013

Blues Traveler, Indigenous share stage on Saturday at Riverfront Park

Blues Traveler, Indigenous playing at Vetter Stone Amphitheater

MANKATO — Blues Traveler is on the road celebrating its silver anniversary of making music and Indigenous will join in the party when the two bands perform an open-air concert near the bend in the Minnesota River.

Both blues groups have been touring this summer — Blues Traveler with Big Head Todd, Barenaked Ladies and Cracker for shows planned through November. Indigenous is promoting a new album, “Vanishing Americans,” released earlier this month.

Best known for the singles "Run-Around" and "Hook," Blues Traveler has its roots in New Jersey. The band takes all kinds of rock — psychedelic, folk and Southern — along with the blues and soul music, and blends them into a style of its own. Blues Traveler's latest album "Suzie Cracks the Whip," released last June, is the group's first full-length since "North Hollywood Shootout" in 2008. On the group's webpage, frontman John Popper described "Suzie" as unlike previous albums in that it features quite a bit of input from outside songwriters.

"I don't think there's any song you get bored with, or a bunch of the same kind of tune. We're really pleased with how it turned out. After 25 years of being a band, this is a really great high watermark," Popper wrote.

Indigenous has shared the stage with various artists including B.B. King, Santana, Bonnie Raitt, Joan Baez, the Indigo Girls, Jackson Browne, Dave Matthews Band and Los Lonely Boys.

The American blues-rock group came to prominence in the late 1990s. The band originally consisted of two brothers, Mato Nanji, performing vocals and guitar and, Pte, on bass guitar, along with their sister, Wanbdi, on drums, and their cousin, Horse, on percussion.

The Nakota Nation members grew up on South Dakota's Yankton Indian Reservation, where their father, Greg Zephier became a spokesperson for Native American rights. A musician in his own right during the 1960-70s, Zephier introduced his children to blues music and taught them to play their respective instruments.

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