PAT TRAVERS BAND – Can Do (2013)
Since the critically acclaimed 1976 debut album featuring his own brand of high quality seventies guitar rock and roll, PAT TRAVERS has gone on to deliver melodic eighties rock, a blues period throughout most of the nineties and noted performances with various power trio’s during the first few years of the new Millennium.
The six-string rocker just entered his fifth performing and recording decade with a full blooded return to the trademark PAT TRAVERS BAND sound in the form of “Can Do”, released today on Frontiers Records.
I loved Travers’ eighties discs, but honestly, I didn’t followed him too much recently. I was expecting a mature – according to Pat’s age – traditional Blues album… Holy Cow, the man surprised me on “Can Do” with a hot, kickin’ Hard Rock album, obviously strongly Blues-infused and impregnated with traditional Classic Rock, but with an energy and heavy riffs to die for. I can see why Frontiers has signed Pat…
Pat Travers Band just rocks, with second guitarist Kirk McKim, bassist Rodney O’Quinn and longtime sticksman Sandy Gennaro serving as a well oiled machine for Travers’ passionate vocals and deep-end guitar work.
Title track opens in a full, intense hard rocking harmony guitars, and the listener know from the start this will be a very good CD. You immediately notice that Travers is in great voice and is going for the throat with his vocals. The huge hooky chorus is filled with big chords and nicely layered backing vocals. The guitar solo section is straight out of the ’80s classic handbook, and I mean that in the best possible way. One of my favorite tracks of the album, and a tremendously pleasing introduction.
Cocky guitars ring in “Stand Up / Give It Up”, and Pat’s silky effected guitars bring back great memories. This man sounds like he’s got something to prove, and he’s proving it. More great singing, and the writing is wonderfully melodic and forceful. This sucker struts.
Things slow down and the mood changes with “Diamond Girl”, a melodic ballad that moves on staccato rhythm guitars, swirling synths, and Travers’ vocal melody. This is truly commercially oriented with a bright production. Nice sequencing – this record never gets caught up in any one mode, and the pacing is excellent.
Hard Rock returns with power chords and slashing slide guitars that carry the vocals along on “As Long As I’m With You”. Pat Travers albums always featured some very cool guitar effects, and there’s some time based wizardry on the intro of “Long Time Gone”, another cool rocker plenty of feeling. This harkens back to the days when guys like Travers and Rick Derringer were filling theaters and arenas with happy rockers.
“Wanted (That Was Then, This Is Now)” is one of the highlights. Classic Rock with a bluesy touch but truly catchy, somehow in the vein of Richie Sambora solo albums. This is a classic tune that should be heard the world around.
Then “Armed and Dangerous”, with its furious funk rock / electric southern boogie marriage remember us that Travers was a product of a time when cross-genre music making was a good thing, and “Can Do” never gets caught in the trap of being too same sounding, or relying on past tricks. More great guitars, singing, and songwriting – this one marches boldly as the guitars whipsnap around the husky vocals.
“Here Comes The Rain Again” – an unexpected Eurythmics / Dave Stewart cover – is done in a great midtempo, hauting melodic rock way crowned by superb harmony vocals provided by a female choir. The guitars come out in all its glory on the excellent instrumental “Keep Calm & Carry On” and the rhythm and blues rhythms are elevated to the cosmos by a wall of note bending guitars and synths – Travers smoothly delivers a package that keeps moving and growing – the tones are killer and the playing sublime.
Southern boogie hard rock is back with “Dust & Bone”, and I wish the last Aerosmith album had moved me this much – it’s impossible to sit still on this one, and then Travers throws in some stratosphere seeking lead lines that thrill the hell out of you. Another great vocal, and bassist Rodney O’Quinn keeps this one moving with some percolating low end.
“Waiting On The End Of Time” is ridiculously catchy. Featuring Dr. John on guest vocals, this is another instant classic – again, I wish commercial still meant commercial and this tune could be a great summertime hit. This is top down rock of the highest caliber. Closer “Red Neck Boogie” is just that and the jump is jumping – this is as close to a blues tune as Travers gets on this outing, and it’s still chock full of high octane rockin’.
Pat Travers Band’s “Can Do” sees the veteran rocker in fantastic shape, playing the guitar better than ever, singing great and writing some of the best material of his long career.
You’ll be surprised by the energetic, kicking melodies on this dynamic CD, enhanced by one of the best crisp productions I heard in a long time.
Don’t miss “Can Do”, a real winner.
01. Can Do
02. Stand Up / Give It Up
03. Diamond Girl
04. As Long As I’m With You
05. Long Time Gone
06. Wanted (That Was Then / This Is Now)
07. Armed And Dangerous
08. Here Comes The Rain Again
09. Keep Calm & Carry On
10. Dust & Bone
11. Waitin’ On The End Of Time
12. Red Neck Boogie
Pat Travers – Vocals, Guitar
Kirk McKim – Guitar
Rodney O’Quinn – Bass
Sandy Gennaro – Drums
Dr. John – guest Vocals
BUY IT !