Traveled Too Far

Originally Performed ByMike Gordon
Appears On
HistorianPhillip Zerbo (pzerbo)
Last Update2011-12-17


The studio version of “Traveled Too Far” from Mike’s 2008 release The Green Sparrow featured an all-star lineup that included Trey and Page, as well as Bill Kreutzmann, Scott Murawski, keyboardist Chuck Leavell and percussionist Ken Lovelett. This compact (4:33) version omits the composed introduction present in most live offerings, and while the jam portion is brief, it includes a grinding solo from Trey, offering hints of the explosiveness the song would demonstrate on the live stage.

In a 2008 interview with Gothamist, Mike described the thinking behind “Traveled Too Far”: 

[T]he sentiment probably stems from these nights where I go downtown and I’m seeing music and all the bars close but I still want to hang out with friends and I stay out really late and try to push the limit of what’s too far. You know, the sun’s coming up, I know I’m going to ruin my next day, I’m still driving further away from home. So I wanted it to feel like a movie scene where everything’s happening left and right. It would be fun to see what people would make if someone was to make an animation or rock video of it. In my head that’s what I’m imagining – heading toward the city and going further and further until basically it feels like they’ve left the planet.

Mike Gordon, “Traveled Too Far” – 9/11/09, Woodstock, NY

In 2009 guitarist Scott Murawski commented on the song in his blog: “The beauty of [it is that it goes right into the main body of the song, which has a steady driving groove and recognizable melody, and eventually makes its way to an extended, exploratory jam before coming back to a pounding final chorus. This is one of my favorites to play because it’s like an entire show in a single song, and because the jam at the end usually goes to some great places and usually concludes with raging guitarness.”

“Traveled Too Far” is one of the most frequently played songs in Mike’s current touring repertoire that includes Scott Murawski, Craig Myers, Tom Cleary and Todd Isler. Making its debut at the ensemble’s first ever performance on 6/30/08 in Northampton, MA, it has been a setlist fixture ever since. Notable versions include: 8/2/08 at the Gathering of the Vibes with Bill Kreutzmann on drums; 8/15/08 Burlington with Page on keys; 9/17/09 Atlanta (25+ minute set closer); 3/11/10 Charlottesville, VA (“Traveled” > “Emotional Railroad” > “Fire From a Stick” > “Traveled”); 11/10/10 Seattle (“Traveled” > “She Said She Said” > “Traveled”); 11/26/10 Portland, ME with Fishman on a second drum kit, a show made available as a LivePhish download; and 3/23/11 Brooklyn, a 25+ minute monster version with an extended introduction including a Kaossilator segment and a vocal jam.

Mike Gordon, “Traveled Too Far” – 3/9/11, San Diego, CA

On 12/9/11 in Pawtucket, RI, Murawski’s prescient notion of “Traveled” as “entire show in a single song” blossomed to fruition in dramatic and spectacular fashion. In one of Mike’s most well-rounded and cohesive performances to date, “Traveled” opened the show and formed the core of a thrilling first set that “Travelled Too Far” to the “Sugar Shack,” both performed four times each throughout the segue-filled show. Displaying both tremendous power and deft subtlety, the songs weaved in and out of each other in a virtual symphony. Don’t miss this one, as it represents Mike’s band at the peak of their artistic enterprise to date.

Far from just a “side project,” Mike’s band has emerged as a critically important jamming enterprise in their own right, delivering a live experience at least on par with any improvisational rock outfit today. This ensemble consistently projects honesty and energy with no apparent ceiling in sight for what they can accomplish. With sweeping thematic explorations such as “Traveled Too Far” in their arsenal to push the envelope, we are all witness to a band in rapid musical ascent.

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