Pat Travers - Swing!

by Kevin Wierzbicki

Boom boom and out go the lights! Canadian classic rocker Pat Travers got straight to the point, that he was hot for his girl, with the lyrics of his late '70s hit "Boom Boom (Out go the Lights)." But carnal desire is an age old topic for lyric writers, and here Travers hops in the time machine to travel back to the days when Big Band star Glenn Miller had a huge hit about feeling frisky, "In the Mood." It is always interesting to see what direction rockers go in when they reach their golden years; it can safely be said that not many choose to explore the delights of the Big Band era. Longtime Travers fans who are right now going "Oh no!" can relax, or more appropriately get excited, as many of the Big Band covers here are performed as instrumentals, which leaves lots of room for Travers to say plenty with his guitar work. The set opens with a take on Louis Prima's "Sing Sing Sing" that boogies like crazy, and Travers' horn section, baritone and alto sax, trombone and trumpet, get a real workout on "Opus One," one of the album's cuts that most honors the Big Band sound. It's been more than 75-years since Louis Jordan recorded "Is You Is or Is You Ain't My Baby," a song that's always been fun to sing along to, and Travers' bluesy reading of the cut is no exception. The aforementioned "In the Mood" is here without its thirsty lyrics but Pat's guitar playing brings heaps of swinging sensuality to the well-known melody. An interpretation of the Duke Ellington-associated "Take the 'A' Train" is a great reason to hit the dance floor, or just sit back and swing to its mid-tempo groove, complete with jazz fusion-like licks from Travers. Travers breaks out his best blues man vocals for the familiar chestnut "Let the Good Times Roll" but the album's two final cuts might be less familiar to most; a super-swinging instrumental take on "Apple Honey" and the twilight mood of "Tenderly" which is perhaps the effort's best showcasing of Travers' guitar.

Pat Travers - Swing!

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