What people are saying about Chandler & Co

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

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

— Paul Vigna, Wall Street Journal

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

… 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

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)

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)

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

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

— Jim Macnie, Village Voice

the best band in the universe …

— Rob Caldwell, Hudson-Catskill Register Star

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

— John Donohue, New Yorker

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

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

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

— Joe Coughlin, the Noise

…[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)

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

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

— A.J. Wachtel, the Noise

What more do you need? A party hat.

— David Greenberger, Harp

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

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

…a truly original musical experience.

— John Black, Offbeat Boston

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

…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!

…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

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

— Dan DeLuca, 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

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

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)

…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

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

— Jim Sullivan, Boston Globe

[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)

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

— Carly Carioli, Boston Phoenix

about “This is What Bears Look Like Underwater”

[Five stars (top rating!)] The album’s almost uniformly ridiculously good… hungry, sad, beautiful, and funny – a collection of music so cumulatively beautiful that imagining its live impact is almost painful.

— Mary Leary, Blurt Online

Make the Small Things Pretty” is a pop song with the damndest sense of dynamics I’ve ever heard, flowing along at an easygoing pace—so easygoing!—and with lush melodic breaks which slow the pace even further, yet somehow it works brilliantly, mostly due to the irresistibly chiming hook in the main guitar line. It’s a song every bit as risky and rewarding as a Brian Wilson confection like “The Little Girl I Once Knew.” Nearly as great is the inimitably loping, gorgeously melodic and impeccably constructed toe-tapper “Paper Roses.” The astonishing thing about this record is that the pace is mostly slowed way down, yet the melodic values are so strong that on the best numbers you can hardly bring yourself to stop tapping your feet all the same.

— Francis DiMenno, the Noise

The disc feels at times like a back-porch session somewhere near Morocco, at other times like a lazy ramble through a smoke-filled pawn shop. All that salt air seems to produce a devil-may-care approach that results in songs that are nonetheless incisive and compelling.

— James Heflin, Valley Advocate (Northampton, MA)

…a record that’s full of sincere joy, lacking a single particle of jaded attitude. Plus, as far as categories go, I’d have no idea where to place it. That’s always a good thing for my ears.

— Mark Saleski, Something Else!

about “Chandler Travis Philharmonic Blows!”

One of the things I love about this latest CD from the Cape’s quirky musician is the delightfully personal feel of having been invited to an afternoon jam session, complete with adult beverages and lots of laughter.

— Kathleen Szmit, Barnstable Patriot

…a flat-out party…more great musical merriment from CTP.

— Greg Haymes, Nippertown

…The Philharmonic is like no big band you’ve ever heard. There’s R&B, jazz, some lopsided Dixieland, blues, and rock & roll. Best of all, this stuff is just hilarious!

— Mark Saleski, Something Else!

Discs like this restore my love for sound and the written word. With its pickled Dixieland ebullience, wicked irreverence and demented melodic sparkle, “Blows!” is unbridled joy clasped between two covers (both of which, incidentally, are hilarious).

— Cory Frye, Covallis Gazette Times (Albany, OR)

…pure, unadorned heart…Even if you’ve never seen the band before, the wild carousing brass, ringing electric guitar, boisterous handclaps and whoops make it clear how amazing it must be to experience the band live.

— Ken Maiuri, Daily Hampshire Gazette

about “After She Left”

Atypically moody and contemplative but also typically smart, funny, sad, and tuneful.

— Sarah Rodman, Boston Globe

“After She Left” recalls Mose Allison working with Burt Bacharach… gentle romantic elegance… 6 stars!

— Steven Rosen, Blurt

…a gently stunning meld of melancholy and chin up/feel-good sentiments… songs, chops, brains, and attitude galore.

— Joe Coughlin, the Noise

Chandler Travis is creatively liberated … [After She Left] works softly over a group of plaintive musings built around the ageless and somber notions of love lost.

— Sean McCarthy, Cape Cod Times

… full of downbeat ballads, but with quite astounding musical and lyric detours sewn inside familiar and engaging pop song structures, like a coyote in a pillowcase.

— Mike Hochanedel, Schenectady Daily Gazette

a rare and unexpectedly sincere solo album

— Richard Gehr, Village Voice

There’s a hushed intimacy and quiet restraint about “After She Left” that seeps directly into your bones… – a complete 180-degree turnaround from the exuberant antics of the Chandler Travis Philharmonic.

— Greg Haymes, Nippertown

An evocative mix of sadness, longing, stubbornness, tradition, humor and kind-hearted acceptance.

— Kathleen Szmit, Barnstable Patriot

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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