I confess to being aware of Pat Travers from his hit “Boom, Boom” just like everybody else. This DVD reveals more of his talent in a hard rock, fusion vein. I hear a lot of different styles from Travers and second guitar Jerry Riggs. To put a label on some of the sounds, I hear some Robin Trower, Jeff Beck, maybe some Ronnie Montrose, perhaps even some John McLaughlin.
But of course it’s just Pat Travers playing guitar in 1990.
Partner Jerry Riggs shares a lot of the solos, even takes the first one on “Snortin’ Whiskey.” I happened to stumble across an interview with Travers and he gives the origin of this song’s title. Supposedly a fellow band member (not one on this DVD) was a few hours late for practice and when he showed up they asked where he’d been. He said, “Snortin’ whiskey and drinkin’ cocaine.”
There are 14 songs on the DVD which was filmed in Toronto. Thankfully there are none of the quick cut, MTV style hand-held jittery camera shots. The camera actually stays on a musician for more than two seconds.
The band at that time consisted of Pat, Jerry Riggs on guitar, Peter “Mars” Cowling on bass, and Scott Zymowski on drums. They’re sounding well-rehearsed, hitting all the breaks right, and rocking hard. In fact that might be my only complaint about this disc. There seem to be no dynamics, or very little. Everything is full out, no quiet parts. Only occasionally is there some space left where there are no guitars filling up the sound. But I guess that is a matter of style.
Jerry Riggs looks a little bit dated with really long hair and the white pirate shirt. Was that really a look? No doubt he’s a great guitar player, but I grow tired of the pinch harmonics, natural harmonics, whammy dive-bombs which seem to say, “Hey, listen to these weird sounds.” Somehow they just seem like tricks.
I really don’t think Pat Travers ever got the popularity or notoriety he’s deserved, but he’s still around and has been regularly putting out CDs. “It Takes A Lot of Balls” is the title of a CD that came out last October with Pat playing with the legendary Carmen Appice and T.M. Stevens on bass. Travers still has loads of fans around the world and deservedly so.