Pat Travers was thirteen when he saw Jimi Hendrix play live in Ottawa in 1968, and by fourteen the Toronto native was playing guitar with a competence that belied his age.
By fifteen he was playing in his first group, Red Hot, before Merge then featured the teenage Travers.
Pat then grabbed the opportunity to play with rock and roll / rockabilly artist Ronnie Hawkins, a move that allowed him to gain valuable touring experience.
However in the seventies the other side of the Atlantic was the place to be for any budding rock musician, and in May 1975 Pat left his homeland for London. A successful demo led to a recording contract with Polydor Records and that eponymous 1976 debut release, with the album featuring right-hand man Peter ‘Mars’ Cowling on bass (an ever present for nearly three decades) and Roy Dyke on drums.
That same year Pat and band toured the U.K. in support of the album, and an appearance at the Reading Festival certainly did no harm as regards musical exposure.
The ‘Pat Travers’ album proved this was no one-dimensional rock musician, featuring tracks such as the heavy rock of fan favourite ‘Makes No Difference’, his interpretation of J.J. Cale’s ‘Magnolia’, and the song now most associated with Pat – the old rocking blues standard ‘Boom Boom (Out Go The Lights)’.
‘Makin’ Magic’ and ‘Putting it Straight’ followed in quick succession in 1977, with Nico McBrain replacing Ron Dyke (drummer Clive Edwards and guitarist Mick Dyche also had stints in the 1977 touring band). Not only is Pat’s sophomore release a classic Travers album, it’s a classic rock album, period. Highlights include the Hendrix-esque title track, ‘Rock and Roll Suzie’, a smokin’ cover of Willie McTell’s ‘Statesboro’ Blues’, and the powerful ‘Stevie’.
In 1978 the group was truly defined as such when the talents of drummer Tommy Aldridge and guitarist Pat Thrall were enlisted, and this particular line-up led to Pat’s most commercially successful period.
Their first album together, ‘Heat in the Street’, was very much a hard rock release with the twin guitars featured well up front, yet there was melody throughout the album and some lighter moments. Heavy highlights are the title track, and the blistering instrumental ‘Hammerhead’.
In 1979 the band co-headlined a tour in the U.K. and parts of Europe with Journey before the live album ‘Go For What You Know’ was released, which became one of Pat’s best known and biggest selling albums [extract from Pat Travers' Website]
Recorded live at the Opry House, Austin, Texas; Great Southern Music Hall, Orlando, Florida; Great Southern Music Hall, Gainesville, Florida; Gusman Hall, Miami, Florida in January and February 1979.
Pat Travers never sounded more focused and inspired than he does on Live! Go for What You Know, which was recorded during the Canadian hard rocker/blues-rocker's U.S. tour of early 1979. Travers can really burn on stage, and this album reflects that. Backed by guitarist Pat Thrall (who had been a member of the obscure space rock band Automatic Man in 1976 and 1977), bassist Mars Gowling, and drummer Tommy Aldridge, the singer is in top form on explosive, definitive versions of funky originals like "Heat in the Street," "Gettin' Betta," and "Makes No Difference." But the best-known thing on the album is Travers' gutsy performance of Stan Lewis' blues classic "Boom Boom (Out Go the Lights)," which should not be confused with the John Lee Hooker favorite "Boom Boom." For Travers, "Boom Boom (Out Go the Lights)" has been a major crowd pleaser, and the version heard on this release was a staple of album rock radio in 1979 and the early '80s. If you're exploring Travers' music for the first time, 'Live! Go for What You Know' is the LP to start with.
This album was my first introduction to Pat Travers and what a intro it was. This album contains so much power and raw energy and it was certainly a 'baptism by fire' experience for me when I first heard it. I have since acquired most of Traver's albums, 'Crash and Burn' being my favourite studio album.
This post contains a rip from my vinyl 'pristine' copy at 320kps and includes artwork from both LP and CD. If you haven't heard this album before then prepare yourself to be blown away but be warned: Don't play it too loud at night, otherwise, it will be.... Boom Boom (Out Go The Lights) !
01 - Hooked On Music
02 - Gettin' Betta
03 - Go All Night
04 - Boom Boom (Out Go The Lights)
05 - Stevie
06 - Makin' Magic
07 - Heat In The Street
08 - It Makes No Difference
Pat Travers (vocals, guitar)
Pat Thrall (vocals, guitar)
Mars Cowling (bass guitar)
Tommy Aldridge (drums)
Pat Travers Live Link (93Mb) New Link 02/08/2015