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

Pat Travers – Blues on Fire
Cleopatra Records


Rating: B

Pat Travers, who was inspired by Jimi Hendrix, took up a challenge from Cleopatra Records and went into the studio to make an album of pure blues music…from the 1920’s. Travers had to do a lot of homework, as these songs and artists were not in his normal repertoire. We are talking guys named Blind Blake, Blind Willie Johnson, Blind Boy Fuller and Blind Lemon Jefferson’s – apparently eyesight problems were common among the bluesmen of the day.

Travers studied up, learned the tunes, and, then, made them his own. His identifiable vocal and guitar stamp is all over these puppies, yet he still keeps them within the blues context. Just listen to “Black Dog Blues” and you will see that Travers was enjoying himself on this collection of songs.

Travers hits a home run with Bessie Smith’s “Nobody Knows When You’re Down and Out.” “Death Letter” by the legendary Son House is one of the best tunes on the disc, not to be outdone by Tampa Red’s “You Can’t Get That Stuff No More” or Blind Lemon Jefferson’s “Easy Rider Blues.”

From beginning to end, this is a true history lesson in the early blues, delivered with energy and passion from Professor Travers.

This one is a winner.

By Jeb Wright