August 20th, 2009 marked the tenth anniversary of the untimely passing of bassist Bobby Sheehan.
In the late 1980’s Sheehan co-founded the band Blues Traveler and helped set the foundation for the modern jam-band scene. Since his passing, Blues Traveler has continued to honor his memory, both in their studio work and onstage.
“The song ‘Pretty Angry’ came about immediately following his death,” Chan Kinchla, guitarist for Blues Traveler said. “A lot of the original lines came right when John was down in New Orleans helping the Sheehan family clean up the house. He was hanging out with Johnny, (Bobby’s) brother. So it came right after Bobby’s death, which tooks us months and months to put in place on a personal level. We were all at a different place with our feelings with that—me, Brendan and John—although Tad was close with Bob. So that song is kind of hard for us to play because it brings us back to that really hard time. At the same time, I think there’s something really beautiful about it, in that it relates to a lot of things. When we were making that song, we didn’t want it to be a self-serving catharsis just for ourselves but something that other people could relate to for losses that they had themselves. I think on the record, it accomplished that. It’s a bitch for us to play live. It’s tough to put that in a set. The crowd knows full well what it’s about. If you’ve got a rockin’ show, it’s tough to get in and out of that emotional area. So it’s tricky, but I love the way it came out on the record.”
Blues Traveler has their own interactive memorial. From the web site: “BluesTraveler.Net has collected memories, thoughts, and poems by fans which will serve as a living memorial to the bassman on this site. We hope that family, friends, and fans of Blues Traveler will take comfort in the words of others, and remember Bobby not only as a great musician, but also as a great man. Very few things in this world are forever. Here’s to Brooklyn Bob, a true diamond whose radiance will show in this world as long as his music is heard.”