What people are saying about Chandler & Co

The amazing Three-o is our favorite: they can play anything the highly unconventional nine-piece Dixieland/avant-jazz/pop Philharmonic can play, and then some. The focus is tighter, and the songwriting, which has always been at the heart of Chandler’s bands, gets center stage in a way that is not possible with the riotous pageantry of the full Philharmonic.

— Sarah Craig, Caffe Lena, Director

the best band in the universe …

— Rob Caldwell, Hudson-Catskill Register Star

Bob What’s-Is-Name – the best song you never heard, unless you live on the Outer Cape

— Paul Vigna, Wall Street Journal

…playful original songs that mix mind-bending wordplay with jazz, shimmering rock, and horn-fuelled R & B.

— John Donohue, New Yorker

10 Best Concerts of 2011- Chandler Travis Philharmonic at The Linda (November, 2011) …not just my favorite show of the year, quite possibly my favorite concert of all time, period. A rare night of something spectacular happening on stage from uproarious virtuoso start to sublime and quiet end.

— Ted Potrikus, WBCR (Great Barrington, MA)

A keenly entertaining blend of the Ringling Bros. and Ra…[that] puts the harm back in Philharmonic.

— Jim Macnie, Village Voice

Dixieland romps, twisted Mardi Gras marches, sweaty 60’s rock, smoky torch songs, and occasional novelties that sound somewhere between Randy Newman and They Might Be Giants, all with hilariously offbeat lyrics. The world would be a better place if Travis would only visit more often.

— Sam Hurwitt, San Francisco Express

What Frank Sinatra is to New York City, what Bruce Springsteen is to New Jersey, what Elvis Presley is to Memphis, Chandler Travis is to Cape Cod.

— Daniel McDermott, Provincetown Magazine

What really ropes you in is the awesomely courageous and gentle way Travis explores human emotion. All his many love songs are at the heart of it all meditations on this theme– not sentimental wishy-washy fantasies of imaginary happiness, but site specific stories of two way streets, cul-de-sacs, and dead ends. It’s honest in confronting the tragic aspects, as well as the delirious joys, of falling in, out of, and sideways in love.

— Joel Patterson, Nippertown (Albany, NY)

… a strange, wonderful, totally distinct ode to musical mastery and nonsense… imagine Andy Partridge of XTC and Beat poet Gregory Corso, wandering between Saturn and New Orleans to sit in with the Sun Ra Arkestra… at once simple, abstract and wondrous to behold.

— Ed Bumgardner, Winston-Salem Journal

Most excellent show on Mayo Beach…first time I ever saw a trumpeter receive a pizza delivery onstage, eat a slice in two bites, and turn the plate into a mute before the song was over.

— Sally Eckoff, civilian

Not unlike NRBQ meets Sun Ra on the beach, doing bong hits spiked with primo acid and laughing gas.

— Joe Coughlin, the Noise

Travis treads a fine line between chaos and genius. … But even when he was just making noise, it sounded like beautiful music.

— David Hiltbrand, Philadelphia Inquirer

The horn players howl, the rhythm section wobbles, and the boss pulls lions out of his hat…if you’re in favor of Vegas weddings, the Firesign Theatre, and the Bonzo Dog Band, you could have yourself a dada field day.

— Jim Macnie, Providence Phoenix

What more do you need? A party hat.

— David Greenberger, Harp

…when you stripped away the nuttiness, the music was refreshing and strong. The nine players could not hide their competence, no matter how hard they tried.

— David Singer, Schenectady Daily Gazette

[Chandler Travis Philharmonic] exist somewhere on the continuum among middle period Kinks, any-period NRBQ, maybe a pinch of Sufjan Stevens, and every Grammy winner in every category in the history of the world.

— Paul Rapp, Metroland (Albany, NY)

It is often difficult for fans to say just what attracts them to Travis’ music. But attract them it does! As the composer of “a few hundred” songs, Travis offers a wide array of musical moods at each show, allowing every fan to enter and engage in their own way.

— Matthew Robinson, DirtyWaterNews

An ineffable blend of humor, sincerity and lush dreaminess -not to mention that the Three-O is entertaining, charming, and spell-binding to watch!

— Joel Patterson, Nippertown (Albany, NY)

…like a Mexican version of the Bosstones on Caribbean holiday…

— Carly Carioli, Boston Phoenix

…these musicians have got serious chops, as well as a really twisted sense of humor. The Chandler Travis Philharmonic is more fun than a barrel of pancakes.

— Greg Haymes, Albany Times-Union

One of the best shows in recent memory. So get this latest record, Kitty, but get clued into their website and side projects, and know when the Chandler Travis Philharmonic is coming to town, because that is something you don’t want to miss, ever.

— Frank Goodman, PureMusic.com

Dixieland, pop, avant-jazz, rock…and fully over the top

— Jim Sullivan, Boston Globe

smart, swinging and winningly strange… a fairly fantastical free-wheeling show full of memorable tunes

— Dan DeLuca, Philadelphia Inquirer

…dazzling musicianship and fearless merry-making… explores the terrains of love and life’s absurdities with rowdiness, tenderness and a sardonic faith in humanity that never wavers… we’re witnesses and co-conspirators in something that feels magical.

— Joel Patterson, Nippertown!

…a truly original musical experience.

— John Black, Offbeat Boston

Little did I realize one of the greatest nights of my life would unfold in St Joseph Michigan. No foolin’ -Friday June 15, The Chandler Travis Philharmonic dropped into a west Michigan club, Czars, and proceded to tear the roof off the dump. Sheesh, they were great. I was really uncontrollably shaking…

— Paul Tracy Fredrickson, civilian

From the sing-along party anthem “That’s What She Said,” bare-bones and raw, to the “I’ll Simonize your parents, if you don’t Simonize them first” straight-ahead Kinks, Replacements rock vibe of “Wireless” or the lush “I’m Chandler’s Butterfly,” you know you’re going to have a good time.

— David Malachowski, Albany Times-Union

…[CTP’s] gleeful tendency to ignore genre boundaries -not to mention the musicians’ preference for goofy costumes -evokes New Orleans. Elvis Costello-like pop songs, avant-jazz vamps, novelty pieces, and way off-beat lyrics factor into the wildly inventive mix.

— Keith Spera, Times Picayune (New Orleans)

this man should either be locked up or made king of the planet. Despite the apparent anarchy, the band (playing their “psycho-jungle-dixieland”) is incredibly tight.

— Jason Dean Moriarty, the Noise

Great songs. Great harmonies. Clever arrangements, visuals, and just a whole lot of fun.

— A.J. Wachtel, the Noise

about “Waving Kissyhead Vols 2 & 1

Chandler Travis, of ​the ​Chandler Travis Philharmonic is a colorful gentleman. He knows melody, he knows music, he swaggers with a kind of surrealism while his lyrics are laced with a human scale of understanding that can bring, sometimes, a tear to the eye.​

— Trix Ahmad, Artist Direct

Never a dull moment on yet another great and capricious release by the king of whimsy.​

— A. J. Wachtel, the Noise

Great melodic hooks, a savvy bandleader’s restlessness, and an encyclopedic command of various musical styles and influences, animated by a unique, omnivorous songwriting vision.

— John Swenson, Stereophile

So anyway, Elvis Costello and Brian Wilson were strolling down Bourbon Street with Chicago’s horn section, a couple of Replacements, and a handful of modern musical hipsters, with the spirit of Leon Russell following along. When all of a sudden, Ray Davies and the Grateful Dead jumped out from a nearby alley. Now there’s a recipe for some nice, if all-over-the-place (and absolutely schizomusical) pop/rock- the latest by the Chandler Travis Philharmonic, entitled Waving Kissyhead Vol. 2 & 1.

— Mark Scholl, Schizomusica

A boundless and big-hearted quirk-pop band, possessed by the spirit of a New Orleans parade, whipping up a bright new universe and transporting everyone in the room out of any local doldrums.… you can feel your heart get lighter…

— Ken Mauri, Daily Hampshire Gazette

Chandler Travis likes to mess with people. Perhaps paradoxically, it is that very willingness to rebel and challenge that is perhaps a universal need.

— Michael Friedman, Ph.D., Psychology Today

Intellectual and gritty at the same time – quite a feat in my book!

— Robert Baird, Stereophile

With its burst of pure energy and beautiful attention to detail, the album is one that we believe should be in everyone’s collection.

— Michael Brummett & Meredith Schnieder, Impose Magazine

about “Bocce & Bourbon: The Comfortable Songs of Chandler Travis & David Greenberger

Excellent… warm, easy, uplifting and engaging… this lovely and affecting little beaut serves as an ideal introduction to the fine music of these two talented gentleman.

— Joe Wawrzyniak, Jersey Beat

Chandler Travis is an iconoclast. He’s tricky, sneaky insightful and not seriously serious. Pay attention to the man behind the curtain. In a just world there would be a statue of him in a bathrobe made of ice cream at the Sagamore Bridge.

— John Keegan, Boston Groupie News

The collaboration that has created this rich body of warm, quirky, emotionally genuine pop-folk-rock is unsurpassed in the American canon of such songwriting. Like a Half Japanese that you could invite to your family’s Thanksgiving dinner (ie. being both charmingly polite and cleverly idiosyncratic enough to make your literary spinster Aunt Martha fall secretly in love), the work of these two distinct poetic voices has transcended genre while embracing the gist of everything that’s great about this country’s long singer-songwriter tradition.

Softly driven here, precisely unshackled there, busting with an astute sense of observation everywhere, Bocce & Bourbon is humane as hell and funner than even that. A timeless collection, in fact, and possibly, just maybe, legendary.

— Dave Cantrell, Stereo Embers

Bocce & Bourbon celebrates the love of songcraft; it’s an excellent sampling of the many voices the duo [Chandler Travis and David Greenberger] have used over the years.

— Chuck Foster, The Big Takeover

Beautifully crafted songs with strong hooks and memorable melodies… 4 stars (out of 5)

— John Swenson, Stereophile

“Bocce & Bourbon” is 67 minutes of far-afield fun… spreads like a lit fuse spreads to a fireworks finale.

— Rob Conery, Cape Cod Chronicle

Glorious… irresistable… wondrous, insanely catchy… lovely… melodically effervescent and touching… classic.

— Francis DiMenno, the Noise

A nineteen song testament to enduring friendship and the astounding, good-naturedly errant art that has been its by-product.

— Timothy Anderl, Ghettoblaster

Chandler Travis

Chandler Travis has had a long and checkered career in the world of show biz, beginning in the seventies when he and Steve Shook joined up as Travis Shook and the Club Wow. Besides achieving much popularity on the east coast, the duo brought their peculiar blend of comedy and music all over the U.S. and to the nationwide television audience on such programs as the Tonight Show, the Midnight Special, and Dick Cavett. Along the way, they released an album and appeared on stage with everyone from Bonnie Raitt to Bruce Springsteen to especially good pals NRBQ and George Carlin (with whom they toured for many years) to Elvis Costello to– well, you get the idea.

In 1980, Travis was a founding member of the Incredible Casuals, who released four albums (not counting 2007’s “Best Of” collection, “World Championship Songs”), toured consistently all over the world, and are still at it, much to the delight of a small but rabid international following.

In 1988, Chandler began moonlighting as a solo performer, presenting the unlikely mixture of oddball humor and incisive songwriting that continue to be his trademark and appearing with such diverse acts as 10,000 Maniacs, Mose Allison, Roger McGuinn, and (deja vu perhaps?) George Carlin. Upon the arrival of the critically lauded “writer-songsinger” CD, the solo career kicked into high gear with two successful west coast tours and a European jaunt in 1993; “Ivan in Paris” followed in 1998, as did “After She Left” in 2009.

Late in 1996 (much to his own surprise and delight), Travis found himself fronting a nine-piece band, the modestly monikered Chandler Travis Philharmonic -probably the world’s only alternative dixieland / omnipop band. Between three and eighteen CDs followed (depending on whether you count the CTP’s fifteen contributions in 2000 to the improbable and ground-breaking RadioBall series), plus years of extensive touring. The CTP’s latest effort, “The Chandler Travis Philharmonic Blows”, arrived in 2010.

Next up was the formation of two interesting new bands, the Catbirds and the Chandler Travis Three-O, both of whom issued widely divergent debut CDs (very loud and electric, and very soft and acoustic, respectively) in 2013. The crowd went wild!

Most recently, in an attempt to not only sum up the story so far with some of the best tracks from the last three decades, but to advance it with 8 new ones; Chandler released “Bocce & Bourbon: the Comfortable Songs of Chandler Travis & David Greenberger”, which includes work from all his current projects, all in the service of work by his longtime favorite lyricist, David Greenberger, thus setting the world aflame yet again (goes without saying doesn’t it? Or, at least might have…).

Meanwhile, additional new songs, videos, and recordings can be found on a regular basis here at chandlertravis.com.

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