A handful of those dates – a four-night run at the Ford Museum in Michigan – are Robert Bradley solo shows.

The title of Blackwater Surprise’s latest album, New Ground, aptly reflects the group’s recent history. Around the time the disc was being recorded back in 2001, Bradley put together a new lineup. Out were founding members Michael and Andrew Nehra and in were Matt “Mutt” Ruffino (guitar), Tom Wilber (bass), and Randy Sly (keys). Mainstays Bradley and drummer Jeff “Shakey” Fowlkes round out the lineup.

After finding the right players to fit the sound, Bradley took the group out and road tested them. Six weeks on the road together solidified the band. “Didn’t nobody kill each other, so we knew it was OK,” Bradley said.

Before the band that bears his name was formed, Bradley was the blind man with the guitar and stool riding the Greyhound from city to city for 18 years. He would hop off the bus, hang out on street corners and play songs he made up on the spot.

Since a fated day in 1992 when he joined a jam session with the Nehra brothers, Robert Bradley’s Blackwater Surprise have redefined the term road hogs, playing more than 400 shows in recent years alongside Dave Matthews Band, Sonic Youth, Brian Setzer Orchestra, Beck, and Ben Folds Five.

As to future plans for the group, Bradley just says, “After I’m dead and gone, Robert Bradley’s Blackwater Surprise will go on. That’s why it’s Blackwater Surprise, ‘cause you never know what’s gonna happen. It’s truly a Blackwater Surprise and it’s gonna keep flowing. It’s true. It’s music.”