What people are saying about Chandler and the Philharmonic

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

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

— Paul Vigna, Wall Street Journal

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

— Jim Macnie, Village Voice

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

— John Donohue, New Yorker

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

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)

the best band in the universe …

— Rob Caldwell, Hudson-Catskill Register Star

… 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

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

— Carly Carioli, Boston Phoenix

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

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

— Joe Coughlin, the Noise

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

— Jim Sullivan, Boston Globe

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

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

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

…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

…[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 rock’s true originals.

— John Swenson, UPI

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

He’s a true New England eccentric, a master of daft power pop, and live, he plays in his pajamas…

— Rob Tannenbaum, Village Voice

…a truly original musical experience.

— John Black, Offbeat Boston

…Jonathan Richman for adults…

— Christopher Walsh, The Republic of Letters

What more do you need? A party hat.

— David Greenberger, Harp

…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

…a one-of-a-kind songwriter whose absurdist wit coexists with a bruised idealism that gives his best tunes a deep and haunting resonance.

— Scott Schinder, Time Out New York

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

[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)

about “Waving Kissyhead Vols 2 & 1

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

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

— A. J. Wachtel, the Noise

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

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

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

— Robert Baird, 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

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

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

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

— Rob Conery, Cape Cod Chronicle

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

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

— John Swenson, Stereophile

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

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

— Francis DiMenno, the Noise

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

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

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 Philharmonic

The Chandler Travis Philharmonic is a 9-piece ensemble from Boston that includes a horn section, string bass, keyboard, mandocello, guitar, drums, accordion, and singing valet. It’s possible they might be the missing link between the Kinks and Sun Ra…

There’s some chance you may be aware of Chandler’s other band, the Incredible Casuals, or of his earlier work with Travis Shook and the Club Wow; either solo or in one or another of these guises, he has appeared with Elvis Costello, Green Day, Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band, John Cale, Bonnie Raitt, NRBQ (longtime buds Terry Adams and Al Anderson from the ‘Q played on the first Philharmonic album), Charles Mingus, the Beach Boys, Allen Ginsburg, the Replacements, George Carlin (a guest star on two CTP albums, and a traveling companion for decades), Of Montreal, etc., etc.

The Philharmonic was born in the fall of 1996 at the Lizard Lounge in Cambridge, on the occasion of Chandler doing a guest shot there with a house band led by multi-instrumentalist/singer Dinty Child. When asked if he would like to add any additional instrumentation, Chandler, having always hated when elderly bands ruan out of ideas to this extent, facetiously suggested “oh yeah,let’s get some horns and chick back-up singers.” Strangely, Dinty complied with the horn part, booking (among others) genius trumpeter Keiichi Hashimoto, and the CTP was surprisingly hatched!

Since then,the band -all colorfully garbed 8 pieces of them, plus singing valet Fred Boak -have introduced the concept of alternative dixieland and omnipop to audiences all over Massachusetts and far beyond (San Francisco,Chicago,and especially New Orleans and New York City have proved particularly responsive -the Village Voice declared them “keenly entertaining”, calling Chandler “a true New England eccentric and a master of daft power pop”, and the band “a blend of Ringling Bros. and Ra” that “puts the harm back in Philharmonic”, and the New Yorker has repeatedly concurred.)

The band released its debut album, “Let’s Have a Pancake”, along with 26 other website-only full-length CDs (the improbable and ground-breaking RadioBall series) in 2000 as a means of welcoming in the new century; five more “official” Philharmonic releases followed, all on the Sonic Trout label, the most recent being 2015′s “Bocce & Bourbon: the Comfortable Songs of Chandler Travis & David Greenberger”, which also features work by most of Chandler’s other projects (including the Incredible Casuals, the Chandler Travis Three-O, and the Catbirds.)