Pat Travers spent a two-month hiatus from touring practicing karate and posting a daily "Musical Rx" on Facebook. Now, he says, he's "raring to go."
Pat Travers spent his two-month hiatus from touring practicing karate and posting a daily "Musical Rx" on Facebook. Now, he says, he's "raring to go."
"Musical Rx" is Travers' music pick-of-the-day and includes a YouTube video and tidbits about the featured artist and music. Judging by his nearly 33,000 "likes" on Facebook, Travers seems to have garnered quite a following.
The Florida-based, Canadian rock star and his Pat Travers Band have a full year of traveling ahead of them, with gigs across the United States, Canada, U.K. and mainland Europe, as well as the release of their long-awaited album, "Keep Calm and Carry On," in July.
The band, featuring Travers, guitarist Kirk McKim, bassist Rodney O'Quinn and drummer Sandy Gennaro, promises an energetic performance at 8 p.m. Wednesday, April 10, at The Rocky-Tonk Saloon & Grill, 333 E. Main St., Medford.
"I don't crowd dive," Travers says. "I just look good holding the guitar and slamming it around."
He kids that he plays "symphonic punk country disco," but really he and his band play electrified blues with a good amount of distorted guitars.
"It's incendiary for sure," he says. "I'm first and foremost a guitar player, so it (the music) is definitely guitar forward."
Born in Toronto, Travers moved to Ottawa, Ontario, when he was 12 years old. About that time, he was given his first guitar. Through his teens, he played in clubs in the area until he was discovered by rock artist Ronnie Hawkins and signed with a London-based label.
"When I first got started, I didn't have a clue," he recalls. "I mean, I got a record deal in England based on a demo that didn't have any original songs on it. I'd never written a song in my life. It was like that for about five albums. I always was scared to death that people would find me out. I mean, the red light would come on in the studio, and I would just hope for the best. But over time, I've developed a knowledge of music and gained more confidence in my songwriting ability."
The '70s were Travers' glory years, and he recorded and toured with various hard-rock musicians, including Iron Maiden drummer Nicko McBrain.
"It looked like we were headed to the stars in 1980, and then there was a complete kluster-f," Travers says. "My manager lost his mind, spent my money, and there was a lot of dissension in the band ... but I kept sluggin' away.
"I'm a one-trick pony. I don't know any other way to make a living."
Travers rode out the storm and kept making albums and writing music, mostly commentaries about the craziness, absurdities and uncertainties of life.
Last year was a creative one for Travers. He wrote six or seven songs in only a few months.
"Some days it comes right out of you, and other days you're working from the Rolodex of licks," he says.
"Keep Calm and Carry On" features "a lot more song" and also marks the return of Travers' falsetto voice, which he says has been missing for 30 years but magically returned last year.
"When I play, it's definitely recognizable," he says. "My style jumps out of the speakers at you, but I think that the vocals are equally important on this album."
Tickets to the show at Rocky-Tonk cost $12 in advance and $14 at the door. Advanced tickets are available at the bar or by calling 541-973-2887.