Pat Travers

Band members                             Related acts

  line up 1 (1975-76)

- Peter Cowling -- bass

- Nicko McBrain -- drums

- Pat Travers -- vocals, lead guitar, keyboards


  line up 3 (1978-80)

NEW - Tommy Aldridge -- drums, percussion (replaced 

  Nicko Brain)

- Peter Cowling -- bass

NEW - Pat Thrall -- rhythm guitar

- Pat Travers -- vocals, lead guitar, keyboards


  line up 4 (1980-84)

- Peter Cowling -- bass

NEW - Sandy Gennaro -- drums (replaced Tommy Aldridge)

NEW - Don Harris -- keyboards, synthesizers

- Pat Travers -- vocals, lead guitar, keyboards


  line up 4 (1984-89)

- Sandy Gennaro -- drums

- Don Harris -- keyboards, synthesizers

NEW - Jerry Riggs -- guitar

- Pat Travers -- vocals, lead guitar, keyboards




- Iron Maiden (Nicko McBride)

- Merge

- Power Trio (Pat Travers)

- Red Hot

- Travers and Appice





Genre: rock

Rating: 3 stars ***

Title:  Makin' Magic

Company: Polydor

Catalog: PD-1-6103

Country/State: Toronto, Canada

Grade (cover/record): VG/ VG+

Comments: minor ring wear;

Available: 1

Catalog ID: 307

Price: $10.00



I clearly remember buying this album as a college freshman and one of my dorm mates asking who Patty Travers was.   I was puzzled by the comment and realized it was based on a cursory glance at the cover - I'm thinking the t-shirt straps probably had something to do with it.  Makes me laugh after all these years and yeah, I'd have to agree with the dorm mate, the shirt was probably a poor fashion choice even in 1977.   


Co-produced by Travers and Emile Zoghby, I remember initially being knocked over by "Making Magic".  The combination of Travers ragged voice and guitar gymnastics was very impressive to a bunch of 17 year olds who thought Clapton and Hendrix were about as good as it got.  That meant this album got lots of playing time on the dorm turntable (dating myself here).  True, most of the album focused on conventional guitar rock ('Making Magic') with an occasional nod to funk ('Need Love' and 'Hooked on Music').  Travers was certainly a gifted player, capable of handling multiple genres.  As mentioned, his voice got less recognition, but I always liked his gruff shouting style.  Admittedly, with the exception of the closing instrumental 'What You Mean To Me',  there wasn't anything particular original across these eight tracks, but after a couple of cold beers it hardly mattered.  Personal favorite - the closing instrumental 'What You Mean To Me'.


"Makin' Magic" track listing:
(side 1)

1.) Makin' Magic   (Pat Travers) - 5:10

To be honest, the title track was essentially a platform to showcase Travers guitar pyrotechnics.  Nothing more, nothing less.  If you were looking for subtlety, then this wasn't the place to look.  On the other hand, if you were a fan of Travers chops, it was a nice addition to the catalog. For anyone interested,  YouTube has a 1977 live performance of the track.  The black and white clip has a couple of technical glitches, but is still interesting.  The line-up appears to be a little different than the studio band; Clive Edwards having replaced Nicko McBride on drums.   rating: *** stars

2.) Rock 'n' Roll Susie   (Pat Travers) - 3:37

Hum, Travers version of the blues ...  Not bad with plenty of lead guitar, but 'Rock n Roll Susie' lacked some of the finesse Travers was capable of bringing to the stage.  YouTube has a live 1976 performance of the song from the German Rockpalast television show:   rating: *** stars

3.) You Don't Love Me   (Pat Travers) - 3:27

Pat Travers and company do bar boogie ...  To my ears this one sounded like sub par Foghat complete with Travers trying out his best Lonesome Dave impression. The slide work was nice enough, but, yeah, I think I'd pull out 'Fool In the City' rather than this one.  YouTube has the band performing the song live for a German television show:  rating: ** stars

4.) Stevie   (Pat Travers) - 7:13

With a nice anthem feel, the ballad 'Stevie' has always been one of my favorite Travers tunes.  Would have made a nice single.  rating: **** stars


(side 2)
1.) Statesboro Blues   (Willie McTell) - 3:45

Fans rate this one highly, but I just don't see the attraction.  It's nice enough, though anyone familiar with the original will be hard pressed to recognize the melody.  I'll simply say it's far from the best version of this blues classic you'll ever hear.  

2.) Need Love   (Pat Travers) - 5:03

The album's most interesting number, 'Need Love' found Travers and company taking a stab at funky rock (or rock funk) ...  Sounds kind of strange and it was initially a little disconcerting, but powered by Peter Cowling crushing bass line, this was one of the album's forgotten treasures.  Way cool.  YouTube has another Rockpalast clip at:   rating: **** stars

3.) Hooked On Music   (Pat Travers) - 6:27

Okay, the lyric was a bit cheesy, but this one was interesting if only because it was another stab at getting funky.  Once again bassist Cowling proved the band's overlooked sparkplug.  Another Rockpalast clip can be seen at:   rating: **** stars

4) What You Mean To Me (instrumental)   (Pat Travers) - 4:37

With a mild jazzy inflection, the instrumental 'What You Mean To Me' was easily the album's prettiest melody ...  quite unlike anything else on the album and perhaps because it avoided the usual guitar pyrotechnics, it was one of the standout performances.  Always wondered what effect Travers used on the guitar.  It sounded a bit like 10cc's gizmo effect.  rating: **** stars






Genre: rock

Rating: 3 stars ***

Title:  Pat Travers' Black Pearl

Company: Polydor

Catalog: PD-1-6131

Country/State: Toronto, Canada

Grade (cover/record): VG/VG+

Comments: minor ring wear; cut out notch lower left corner

Available: SOLD

GEMM catalog ID: SOLD

Price: SOLD $9.00


When I was in college Pat Travers was the man ...  He may not have had the history, or name recognition of an Eric Clapton, but if you listened to FM rock stations, he was a staple.  That said, by the mid-1980s he'd essentially disappeared.  He was still out there, but popular tastes had shifted, leaving him behind.  


Against that backdrop 1982's "Pat Travers' Black Pearl" was what you'd have to call a difficult project.  His previous album "Radio Active" hit the top-40, but label Polydor wasn't impressed with sales and dropped him.  Travers turned around and filed suit against the company claiming his contract allowed him to record more material.   He won; the result being 1982's "Black Pearl".  (The liner notes included a special thanks to his legal team.)  Needless to say, it proved somewhat of an empty victory.  Polydor released the album, but did virtually nothing to promote it.  That was unfortunate since musically the album was a return to a more conventional and commercial rock sound.  Backed by the band Black Pearl featuring long time bassist Peter Cowling, drummer Sandy Gennaro, and keyboardist Don Harriss, the set was considerably more accessible than "Radio Active" had been.


- Perhaps intended as an effort to make peace with Polydor management, 'I La La Love You' was the most commercial track Travers had recorded in years.  A crushing combination of his instantly recognizable guitar, then-cutting edge synthesizers (today they sound gloriously cheesy) and a pounding hook that wouldn't let go of you, it should have been a massive radio hit.   rating: ***** stars

- With the focus squarely on Travers guitar 'I'd Rather See You Dead' was a nice rocker with considerable commercial potential.  It also served to showcase what a great bluesy voice Travers had.   rating: *** stars 

- 'Stand Up' was the first disappointment.  As a conventional rocker it wasn't that the song was bad, rather it sounded like something written to order.  Seriously, the anthem feel sounded like something that had been written to spec - perhaps to slot into a movie soundtrack.  And what was with the spoken word section?   Maybe it was intended for a Western?    rating: ** stars   

- 'Who'll Take the Fall' was a nice return to form, only slightly marred by needless synthesizers.  Kudos to Gennero for his frenetic drums.  Anyone who could keep up with Travers deserved notice.  Elsewhere was it just my ears, or was there a refrain in here that sounded like something borrowed from an Elton John song?  Other than the synthesizers, my only complaint was that the song faded out just as Travers was starting to warm up.   rating: **** stars 

- I remember head 'The Fifth' played on my local hard rock station and being appalled by it.  I guess it was kind of cute for Travers to take on Beethoven's Fifth, but what was the real point?  Unless you've had a ton of beer, suggest you simply stick with a more original rendition.   rating: **** stars   

- Side two started with the quirky reggae-flavored 'Misty Morning'.  Different, and other than the chorus, really not that great.  Bob Marley didn't have to worry about his position in the hierarchy.   rating: ** stars 

- 'Can't Stop the Heartache' was the contractually mandated AOR hit ... two parts Heart, one part Journey.   Okay, I liked the harmonica solo.  rating: ** stars     

- 'Amhewamma Kick Booty' was the track that seemed to attract the most attention from folks, which is kind of funny since I found it to be a fairly pedestrian mixture of boogie rock with a touch of fusion in it.  Regardless, I must have missed the point.  rating: ** stars     

- 'Rockin'' was a return to early Travers - straight ahead, no-frills guitar rock.  Nice brainless way to end the album.  rating: *** stars     


Not my favorite Travers album, but a nice mid-inning return to form and shame on Polydor for not doing more with it.


"Pat Travers' Black Pearl" track listing:
(side 1)

1.) I La La Love You   (Pat Travers) - 3:40

2.) I'd Rather See You Dead   (Pat Travers - E. Alonso Travers - Don Harriss) - 4:14

3.) Stand Up   (G. Wallace) - 4:30

4.) Who'll Take the Fall   (Pat Travers) - 4:17

5.) The Fifth (instrumental)    (Ludwig Van Beethoven) - 3:27


(side 2)
1.) Misty Morning   (Bob Marley) - 3:06

2.) Can't Stop the Heartache   (Pat Travers) - 5:11

3.) Amhewamma Kick Booty (instrumental)   (Pat Travers Peter Cowling - Don Harriss - Sandy Gennaro) - 3:27) 

4.) Rockin'   (Pat Travers) - 5:36


For anyone's interested, Travers has a nice website at: