A revolving cast of entertainers paid tribute to late Blues Traveler bassist Bobby Sheehan last night in Brooklyn, NY, five years after the musicians passing. Dressed with vintage H.O.R.D.E memorabilia and fan-written tributes, Southpaw provided a homely atmosphere for the intimate event, which featured many of Sheehan’s friends and musical acquaintances.
After a few heartfelt words from Johnny Sheehan, Bobby’s brother, the evening’s entertainment commenced with a video montage, set against a recording of John Popper’s ‘Sweet Pain.’ Sheehan also nodded to his brother musically, playing alongside the Michael Parrish Band on both washboard and guitar. Perhaps the evening’s most welcome surprise was a rare stateside performance by Blues Traveler mentor Jono Manson, who also appears on the New Jersey natives’ breakthrough Four. Blues Traveler’s Tad Kinchla, Chan Kinchla and Brendan Hill then offered a set of Sheehan standards, highlighted by a Warren Haynes-bolstered version of ‘Mountains Win Again.’ Confirming numerous rumors, Haynes also joined his Gov’t Mule bandmates Matt Abts and Andy Hess for a stealth set of Haynes compositions, which commenced just past midnight. Hess later yielded to Mike Gordon for a particularly adventurous version of frequent Phish cover ‘Jesus Just Left Chicago.’ A power jam based around the Rolling Stones’ ‘Miss You’ capped off the evening at approximately 1:30AM.
Though recent surgery prevented John Popper from attending last night’s benefit, the Blues Traveler frontman delivered a recorded message at the evening’s start.