Run-Around (Blues Traveler song)

RunAround CD5.jpg
The artwork depicts a maze superimposed on a smoking cat
Single by Blues Traveler
from the album Four
ReleasedFebruary 28, 1995
RecordedSpring 1994
GenreBlues rock, jazz rock
Length4:40 (Album version)
4:12 (Single )
Songwriter(s)John Popper
Blues Traveler singles chronology
"Defense & Desire"

"Run-Around" is a song by American jam band Blues Traveler, featured on the 1994 album Four. The song was the band's breakthrough hit, peaking at number eight on the US Billboard Hot 100 and number 13 on Canada's RPM Top Singles chart. It won the band's first Grammy Award in 1996, for "Best Rock Vocal Performance by a Duo or Group."[1]

Overview and history[]

"Run-Around" debuted on June 24, 1993, during a solo show featuring Blues Traveler frontman John Popper. The first full band performance of the song took place the next time it was played, February 21, 1994. The 1994 show was significant because it took place at the famous CBGB and the show introduced a number of songs that were to be on their next album, Four.

The song tells of the relationship Popper had with original bass player Felicia. Popper had a crush on her, but was worried because they also shared a close friendship.[2] According to guitarist Chan Kinchila the two still remained close friends after the events of the songs.[2] She was also the subject of a later song, "Felicia".[3]

Track listing[]

All songs written by John Popper except track 2. "Trust In Trust" words by John Popper, music by Chan Kinchla.

US CD single[]

  1. "Run-Around" - 4:12
  2. "Trust In Trust" (Non LP track) - 3:02
  3. "Regarding Steven" (Non LP track) - 4:44
  4. "Escaping" (Non LP track) - 4:57
  5. "The Poignant & Epic Saga Of Featherhead & Lucky Lack" (Non LP track) - 5:11

Music video[]

The video for the song has a Wizard of Oz motif, with Blues Traveler playing behind a curtain in a nightclub while a young, "hip" and more "photogenic" group appears to be playing the song. Dorothy Gale (Diana Marquis), the main character of the story, tries to get into the club.[4] She is turned away by the doorman, as are three other people whose appearances resemble the Scarecrow, the Cowardly Lion, and Tin Woodman characters. They rush to the locked back door, where they catch a glimpse of the show. Finding a club-goer passed out nearby, Dorothy transfers the stamp on his hand to her own and to the hands of her three companions, and they are able to get inside.

By this time, several brief shots of the actual band have been seen; they are playing the song in a darkened back area, with several bouncers guarding the entrance, and the onstage group is only lip-synching and miming in time. As Dorothy begins to realize something is amiss, her dog Toto slips past the bouncers and pulls open a curtain to expose the real band. She and the other three are quickly whisked away and the curtain is yanked shut by the club owner (Ken Ober) as the song ends.[5]

Although the video for this song shows a Kansas driver's license, the license shown was not the current design but instead the design the state used in the mid to late 1980s. The name appearing on the license was misspelled as "Dorthy".

The song reached number 76 in VH1'S 100 Greatest Songs of the '90s.


In Blues Traveler's live shows, "Run-Around" has been played 997 times (as of February 2016) which is roughly 54% of the shows since its debut.[3]

The band originally played the song much slower, as Popper wrote it to reflect a depressed mood; however, they sped it up before recording it. Starting in late 1998, the band began experimenting with a different sound. This new version of the song, referred to as "Fucked Run," brings out the depressed and slower side of the song that Popper felt when he wrote it. However, when they perform this version, it is as a segue into another song.[6] The last half of the song is sung as the normal version.

While Blues Traveler recorded part of the third verse as "I shall drink in and always be full / yeah I will drink in and always be full", Popper originally wrote the second line as "My cup shall always be full." When they perform the song live, the band uses the original lyrics.


In popular culture[]


  1. ^ Rock On The Net 38th Grammy Awards
  2. ^ a b Macintosh, Dan. "CHAN KINCHLA OF BLUES TRAVELER". Songfacts. Retrieved 30 May 2016.
  3. ^ a b Run-Around Song Info.
  4. ^ Reifer, Jodi Lee (2010-11-30). "Staten Island indie filmmaker's 'Dream' project gets screened a decade later". Staten Island: Advance Digital Media. Retrieved 2014-08-13.
  5. ^ Blues Traveler - Run-around on YouTube (VEVO)
  6. ^ This link shows all the songs that have been segued into for 2002.
  7. ^ "Top RPM Singles: Issue 2749." RPM. Library and Archives Canada.
  8. ^ "Top RPM Adult Contemporary: Issue 9856." RPM. Library and Archives Canada.
  9. ^ "Blues Traveler Chart History (Hot 100)". Billboard.
  10. ^ "Blues Traveler Chart History (Adult Contemporary)". Billboard.
  11. ^ "Blues Traveler Chart History (Adult Pop Songs)". Billboard.
  12. ^ "Blues Traveler Chart History (Alternative Airplay)". Billboard.
  13. ^ "Blues Traveler Chart History (Mainstream Rock)". Billboard.
  14. ^ "Blues Traveler Chart History (Pop Songs)". Billboard.
  15. ^ "RPM Top 100 Hit Tracks of 1995". RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved 8 April 2018.
  16. ^ "Billboard Top 100 - 1995". Retrieved 2010-08-27.
  17. ^ Fritz, Ben (2007-11-12). "Brash leaps on 'Jumper'". Variety. Retrieved 2008-02-28.
  18. ^ Minsker, Evan (2014-12-01). "Why Did Blues Traveler's "Run-Around" Matter in 2014?". Pitchfork. Retrieved 2016-08-23.

External links[]