Chandler Travis Philharmonic, Rodeo Bar
The Chandler Travis Philharmonic returns to the Rodeo Bar (375 3rd Ave., NYC.; 212 683-6500) on Monday, March 18 at 8 PM.
The band's last album, "The Chandler Travis Philharmonic Blows!", came out in 2010, so it can't be that. Chandler is involved with two new albums that just came out (hint, hint) with two new bands, the Catbirds (the loud, propulsive "Catbirds Say Yeah") and The Chandler Travis Three-O (the relatively quiet, sedentary "This Is What Bears Look Like Underwater"), and, while the Philharmonic will perform some songs from the latter, even by the peculiar Travis yardstick, promoting your new band with an appearance of your old one seems unorthodox.
The irreverent guitarist-singer-composer usually still performs barefoot and in his pajamas, always infusing his live shows with a spontaneity to the point that the Philadelphia Inquirer observed, "What the Sun Ra Arkestra was to jazz, this Cape Cod ensemble is to pop, taking the music to places so foreign it should be carrying a passport." The New Yorker cites the Philharmonic's "original songs that mix mind-bending wordplay with Dixieland jazz, shimmering rock, and horn-fueled R&B", and the CTP has always given performances of virtuosic abandon, prodded along by Chandler's longtime partner, the remarkable Rikki Bates on drums, and a host of other truly remarkable musicians including mandocellist Dinty Child, singing valet Fred Boak, and their vastly over-qualified horn section, the June Trailer Dancers, under the direction of Berke McKelvey.
ABOUT CHANDLER TRAVIS In 1969, Travis and fellow Cape Cod musician Steve Shook formed Travis Shook & the Club Wow whose comedic pop landed them on the Tonight Show, the Midnight Special, and Dick Cavett, setting the stage for many years of touring (and occasional recording) with longtime cohorts George Carlin and NRBQ. Then there's the Incredible Casuals, a fixture on the New England scene, with whom Chandler Travis still performs consistently. In 1988, he began moonlighting as a solo performer, presenting the unlikely mixture of oddball humor and incisive songwriting that continue to be his trademark via three solo albums, the most recent being 2008's "After She Left". Late in 1996 Travis formed his nine-piece band, the modestly monikered Chandler Travis Philharmonic-probably the world's only alternative dixieland / omnipop band, which released their fourth "official" album, "The Chandler Travis Philharmonic Blows", in 2010 (accompanying a series of unofficial albums known as RadioBalls from 2000).
For more information, visit www.chandlertravis.com.
Pictured: Chandler Travis and Rikki Bates Live at the Living Room in New York, NY on November 14, 2011. Photo by David Kumin.