New York, NYFrom TV appearances on The Tonight Show," The Midnight Special," and Dick Cavett, to sharing stages with Bonnie Raitt, Elvis Costello and the late great comic George Carlin, Chandler Travis has had a long and storied musical career. Now he's assembled his nine-piece Philharmonic for a new album, an altogether irreverent affair titled Chandler Travis Philharmonic Blows!" released October 12 on Sonic Trout as a digital download and CD.
The 12 tracks on Blows!" live up to Travis's reputation as a master craftsman of original songs that mix mind-bending wordplay with Dixieland jazz, shimmering rock, and horn-fueled R&B" (The New Yorker), and a bandleader who inspires performances of virtuosic abandon, achieving the height of entertainment.
The prolific composer, singer and guitarist explains, The premise of 'Chandler Travis Philharmonic Blows!' is that combining jazz and rock doesn't need to be earnest and pretentious. In fact, I think there's a lot of fun that's gone un-mined there. Jazz, in particular, has gotten so clinical in the last forty years or so, and 'Blows!' is kind of a call to remove heads from asses...."
The New Orleans influence is at full tilt on Mid-Morning in Moscow," Tomatohead Blues," and the closer, Everything Can Go Wrong So Easily," while The Day The Casuals Went To Sweden" is a nod to Travis's other group, The Incredible Casuals, a fixture on the New England music scene. Graciously" is a mood-enhancing, infectious dance number from its opening piano bass line straight through, and Fruit Bat Fun" has became a particular fan favoritea near-instrumental, but for occasional utterance of two words, fruit bat." You and Me, Pushing Up Daisies" is the only 'cover' tunea song Chandler co-wrote with David Greenberger and included previously on his critically acclaimed solo album Ivan in Paris" (1998, Sonic Trout), that turns up on Blows!" with the addition of keyboards and a fine horn arrangement by saxophonist Ken Field.
The backbone of the Philharmonic is legendary Casuals drummer Rikki Bates and co-founder Dinty Child (also of Session Americana), plus a rotating bevy of some of the East Coast's best horn players including Mark Chenevert, Bob Pilkington and Keiichi Hashimoto, with John Clark on bass, Phil Clements on keys, and Fred Boak on vocals. Enhancing the mix on Blows!" are special guests Keith Spring (NRBQ, Martin Mull) and Jennifer Kimball (The Story).
As befits any true cult figure, Travis is beloved by critics: author John Swenson dubbed him one of rock's true originals." The Village Voice declared the CTP keenly entertaining," calling Chandler a true New England eccentric and a master of daft power pop," and the band a blend of Ringling Bros. and Ra" that puts the harm back in Philharmonic." GQ affirmed, wit abounds."
In 1969, Travis formed Travis Shook and the Club Wow with fellow Cape Cod musician Steve Shook, later releasing one self-titled album featuring various members of NRBQ who became inextricably intertwined with Travis's musical career. Currently, he maintains an ambitious touring schedule with the Philharmonic (and Trio) and The Incredible Casuals, whose music has appeared in films including this year's Paper Man" starring Jeff Daniels, Lisa Kudrow and Ryan Reynolds. His 2009 musical co-written with playwright/actor/artistic director Gip Hoppe, Boyce & Melinda Peterson's Investment Strategies for the Post-Money World," has had extended runs in Provincetown, Boston and Seattle.
East Coast Tour Dates
- Oct. 22, Lost Dog Pub, Orleans (MA)Chandler Travis Philharmonic
- Oct. 24, Nov. 6-7, Harvest Gallery Wine Bar, Dennis (MA)Chandler Travis Trio
- Nov. 11, Oyster Company, Dennisport (MA)Chandler Travis Trio
- Nov. 18, Rodeo Bar, New York (NY)Chandler Travis Philharmonic
- Nov. 19, Iron Horse Music Hall, Northampton (MA)Chandler Travis Philharmonic
- Nov. 20, The LindaWAMC's Performing Arts Studio, Albany (NY)Chandler Travis Philharmonic
For more information please contact Nell Mulderry (nell-at-bosssounds-dot-com), Boss Sounds, 212-741-7959.