RATINGS: A = must own B = buy it C= average D = yawn F = puke

Pat Travers Band - Live at the Iridium NYC
Frontiers Records
http://www.frontiers.it/news/10756

Rating: B+

Pat Travers is, simply put, one of the most underrated guitar gods on planet Earth.  Sure, he’s had a fair amount of success, so this is no sob story, but, the truth is this guy should be a household name! 

Pat is an extremely good guitarist with a unique approach to his craft.  He takes time to think before he plays, and he finds neat ways of phrasing the notes that give his tunes his original sound.  He, at the same time, remains a student of music, as heard on the blues tunes he re-creates.  Despite not being 22-years-old anymore, Travers has lost nothing in terms of physical dexterity, and is a much better lead guitar player than he was back in the 1970s. 

Frontiers Records released Traver’s latest studio effort titled Can Do in 2013.  Now they are back with more PTB, this time capturing the man in his most natural of surroundings: live on a stage, jamming and singing has ass off.  His most famous album was 1979’s Go for What You Know, and in 2015 Travers is taking is own advice, releasing a powerhouse of an in-concert album simply called Live at the Iridium NYC

Travers plays with the heart and soul of a guitar icon—in my book he is—and he is surrounded by an amazing band (see below).  They are not just backing up a famous guitar player; they are THE PAT TRAVERS BAND.  They work as a team and as a solid unit.  Pat plays many solos, but he gives the other guitar player, Kirk McKim, plenty of the spotlight as well. Just listen to McKim play the blues on “Lone Wolf” and you will see there are no egos in this band.  The goal is to play your ass off and please everyone in the audience.  This band does it with ease!  The rhythm section of bassist Rodney O’Quinn and drummer Sandy Gennaro lays down a groove for the guitar players to wail over—whether it be a simple blues jam like “If I Had Possession Over Judgment Day” or a Traver’s rocking original such as in “Heat in the Street.” 

Harmonica player Jon Paris guests on a few of the blues numbers, and he makes his mark, as this cat can throw down some serious blues.  The rest of the time it’s all rocking and rolling, as several Travers classics are thrown out there to be lapped up.  “Rock and Roll Susie” kicks off the rock with those harmony guitar notes and it just gets better as the set moves forward.  “Getting’ Betta” is a rocking blues number, while “Crash and Burn” is some of the best groove this transplanted Canadian has ever released.

The set list is missing two Live classics in “Boom Boom (Out Go the Lights)” and “Snortin’ Whiskey” while including some gems like “I La La La Love You” from 1982’s Black Pearl.   The mix of rock and blues makes this a fresh sounding set no matter what songs were released.  Rest assured, he still plays those two songs in his nightly live set, but they have been recorded and released so many times live that it was nice to see the band, and record company, take up the space with some songs one has never seen on a PTB album before.

In the press release for the album, Pat says: “The two shows that we played at the Iridium Club in February 2012 marked the first time I ever really felt totally comfortable and at home” in The Big Apple. “The people at the Iridium just made us feel like we were honorary New Yorkers. It was awesome.  Having done an extensive European tour at the end of 2011, a Caribbean Cruise Ship gig and a bunch of concerts at the beginning of the year, the band was on fire. So being able to record a set at the Iridium in New York City was the perfect venue and time to capture the PTB at their smoking best. We were fortunate to have Jon Paris join us on “Blues Harp” for two classic tunes and he just tore it up and showed us all how the Blues is really done”.

This album proves what his fans have known for several decades: If the Pat Travers Band is in town, they are going to kick your butt with their awesome live show.  This one is no exception. 

I just finished listening to this sucker, turned around and checked in the mirror…yep, butt thoroughly kicked!  Thanks guys!

The Pat Travers Band is:
Pat Travers: Guitar, Vocals
Kirk McKim: Guitar, Vocals
Rodney O’Quinn: Bass Guitar, Vocals
Sandy Gennaro: Drums
Jon Paris guest on “Blues Harp” on “If I Had Possession Over Judgment Day” and “Spoonful”

Track Listing: 
Rock And Roll Susie
Gettin’ Betta
Crash And Burn
Heat In The Street
Josephine
I’ve Got News For You
Ask Me Baby
I La, La, La Love You
Lone Wolf (Kirk solo)
Red House
If I Had Possession Over Judgment Day
Spoonful
Black Betty

By Jeb Wright

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