Pat Travers has had my attention ever since I first heard ‘Boom Boom (Out Go The Lights),’ the then leadoff single - And probably best known song to date! - from his magic ‘Live! Go For What You Know’ album, recorded during his ‘Heat In The Street’ tour.
The b side to that single was his excellent live interpretation of ‘Stateboro’ Blues,’ - Not included on the then live vinyl album. - the Blind Willie McTell jam, that is best known done by the Allman Borthers, but Pat’s version just knocks that for six! - IMHO!
Subsequent studio albums followed the live release in the shape of ‘Crash and Burn’ the album that included the strange choice of cover in Bob Marley’s ‘Is This Love,’ plus a bunch of synths on the album that threw some fans, but was supported by a London (UK) live show, where I caught my first PT live show and loved it!
‘Radio Active’ followed and was OK, pretty good but it seemed to lose some of PT’s earlier rockin’ momentum to a degree, then came ‘Black Pearl’ which although it included another Marley cover in ‘Misty Morning’ it had some real gems like ‘Who’ll Take The Fall,’ ‘Stand Up,’ ‘The Fifth’ and more.
I loved ‘Black Pearl’ and being a fan of melodic rock / AOR I was longing to get a copy of follow up ‘Hot Shot’ but the import prices at the time were nuts and subsequently I could never find a copy of ‘Hot Shot’ at a reasonable price - Still can't today! - so never did hear the album ….
I guess what I’m trying to say here is I’ve always loved PT’s music for what it was, although many rock fans don't like his voice so much, but I think it works great with what he's playing and even with some of the funky twists he took on ‘Crash and Burn,’ ‘Radioactive’ and kind of ‘Black Pearl’ I took it and it grew on me.
After that, PT really went back to more of his blues roots and I kind of lost touch with a number of subsequent releases – Let’s say at least ten of them! – until the live ‘Stick With What You Know’ release which was great!
I did catch the Pat Travers Band live in the UK, probably two or three times in the 90's and live, it was still an enjoyable show.
Another blues release in ‘Travellin’ Blues’ followed, then the enjoyable last studio album that I got ‘Fidelis.’
Note - 'Fidelis' album review here:
‘Blues on Fire’ in 2012 I didn’t get, nor the ‘Live at the Bamboo Room’ release, but ‘Can Do’ is perhaps about to get PT noticed again!
I actually like the song but the key the song is in seems odd with the phrasing and as an opening title track, it’s doesn’t perhaps seem as powerful as it could’ve been.
Still good and grows for sure, but takes a little getting used to, getting into.
It’s a song that creeps in with a screaming, repeating guitar line then builds into the chorus to get it going.
The chorus though is just so catchy, whereas the verses are more dirty, stop start edgy, kind of staggered then the pre-chorus brings things back in and the chorus just kills!
The guitar solo is another killer too and these days PT is happy to share the lead work with the hugely talented Kirk McKim and they do this so well, bringing back some memories of the Pat Thrall days!
Long time drum buddy Sandy Gennaro is as good as ever and along with Rodney O’Quinn on bass, they’ve got things down well.
At first I thought, no please, but it has come to grow on me.
This is a song that again I wish the overall production was better on, the distortion in sound here and there just isn’t good …
After the last song, I began to think what next and ‘Keep Calm and Carry On’ is a nice instrumental that begins initially, well not unlike The Police’s ‘Walking on the Moon,’ but then develops its own identity, although a little spacey the instrumental has some really nice lead work, some nice harmonizing kind of like a bluesy Thin Lizzy. Nice!
Good times PT!
The only downer for me is the overall final mix, which at times I just wish it was better, it just doesn't sound as good as it should be, but direction wise, I like it though.
For songs, performance = 4 out of 5
Overall = 3.5 out of 5