After building an extremely loyal fan base since its formation in 1993, Maryland-based band Clutch is no doubt one of the state's more recognizable rock exports. The band's success is due in large part to their relentless touring schedule, sometimes playing more than 100 shows a year. In addition their grassroots following, Clutch has made a quiet dent in the commercial spheres of video games, television and radio.
Apart from producing two widely successful hit singles ("Runaround" and "Hook") in the 90s, not many people know much about the New Jersey-based band Blues Traveler. Well, a good amount of folk probably know that lead singer and harmonica player John Popper was severely overweight and after suffering a heart attack in 1999 received gastric bypass surgery, but few people know about the band or the music it has made over the years. The group was formed in 1987 when a few friends at a New Jersey high school decided to form a band that could highlight Popper's inherent harmonica adeptness. After establishing a unique sound for itself that pulled heavily from blues, jam rock and mainstream alternative rock, the band moved to New York and started playing shows on a regular basis. Soon, David Graham, son of the legendary concert promoter Bill Graham, saw the potential of the band and added them to the list of bands Graham represented. Even though the band toured extensively, it still didn't have a recording contract. This all changed when an A&M talent scout saw one of the group's performances and signed them to a major record label. While the band's first few albums weren't that commercially successful, the band did eventually attain a fair amount of success with its fourth album, aptly titled Four. After this release, the band was a mainstream success and the rest is history.