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Pat Travers

While most bluesy hard rock acts of the '70s and '80s hailed from the United States (the South, to be exact), there were several exceptions to the rule, such as Canadian singer/guitarist Pat Travers. Born in Toronto on April 12, 1954, Travers first picked up the guitar just prior to entering his teens, after witnessing a local performance by the great Jimi Hendrix. It wasn't long before Travers was studying the other top rock guitarists of the day (Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck, Jimmy Page, etc.), and paying his dues by playing in bar bands in Quebec. His first true touring gig came his way when he hooked up with '50s rock & roll vet Ronnie Hawkins (best known for performing with a backing cast that would eventually transform into the Band).

But Travers' main love was hard rock, so after a year, he packed up his belongings and headed to London. Shortly after touchdown in the U.K., Travers recorded a demo that would land him a recording deal with Polydor and result in the release of his debut, Pat Travers, during the spring of 1976. A performance at England's annual Reading Festival the same year only piqued further interest, which resulted in two more releases in 1977, Makin' Magic and Putting It Straight (both of which followed a pre-Iron Maiden Nicko McBrain on drums), before Travers returned to North America and set his sights on the U.S. rock market.

Featuring drummer Tommy Aldridge, guitarist Pat Thrall, and bassist Mars Cowling, the new Travers band lineup premiered on 1979's Heat in the Street. This led to Travers' most commercially successful period, resulting in a pair of Top 30 releases, 1979's Live! Go for What You Know (considered by many Travers fans to be his finest hour) and 1980's Crash and Burn. But soon after the dawn of the '80s, bluesy hard rock seemed to quickly fall out of favor among the U.S. record buying public, in favor of slickly produced arena rock, and later, MTV-approved bands.

As a result, each subsequent Travers release sold less, as his last albums to appear on the U.S. album charts included 1981's Radio Active, 1982's Black Pearl, and 1984's Hot Shot. Unhappy with Polydor, Travers opted to take a break from releasing albums for the remainder of the decade, but continued to tour. Travers' 1990 comeback album, School of Hard Knocks, failed to re-spark interest on the charts, although he continued to issue new studio albums (Blues Tracks, Just a Touch, Blues Magnet, etc.) and archival live sets (King Biscuit Flower Hour, BBC Radio One Live in Concert) throughout the decade.

Travers continues to tour and record regularly (playing alongside the likes of Night Ranger's Jeff Watson, Cinderella's Tom Keifer, and Rick Derringer), and in 2001, performed as part of the Voices of Classic Rock tour. Travers emerged from the recording studio once more in 2003, with P.T. Power Trio, a recording that featured covers of songs by the likes of Cream ("White Room"), Robin Trower ("Day of the Eagle"), and ZZ Top ("Nasty Dogs and Funky Kings"), among others. ~ Greg Prato, Rovi
full bio

Selected Discography

Comments

f#*%king A
I have seen Pat 14 times now first time 1980 with Crash and Burn album this song rocked love ya Pat keep Rockin
this is one of my fav PT songs...
Sorry Pat i also like Trower's version much better!
this is Robin Trower from someone who was there
God bless rock and roll at its best
Saw him twice in an arena opening for Foghat (blew them away) and then Rainbow (blew them away as well). 4 times in clubs. Kicked a** every time!!
Travers and Marino ---two Canadian guitar legends!
Snortin whiskey
rtanguay15
Saw Pat at the Catskill Mountain Thunder 2013 - Kicked A**
Saw him in 77 and have enjoyed his rockin manner ever since. Enough to get me a 64 Melody Maker. His albums were the only thing my first wife and I fought over
kevinmc22
Love Pat Travers
kermjohn
Don't read this because it actually works. You will be kissed on the nearest possible Friday by the love of you life. Tomorrow will be the best day of your life. However if you don't post this you will die in 2 days. Now you've started reading so don't stop. This is so scary put this on at least 5 songs in 143 minutes. When done press f6 and your lover's name will come on the screen in big letters. This is so scary because it actually works
647659844
saw him 2 years ago at Run 21 biker fest in Birkenfeld Oregon. The man still rocks like he did when I first saw him in 1979.Got backstage and then invited into Pat's trailer to smoke and drink. we talked about Loony Tunes, you know Bugs Bunny and the Road Runner, go figure
Saw PT open for Foghat, great show, Boom Boom, out go the lights!
jclarkproduc t i o n s
i like this shat man.
Love Robin Trower's version much more...sorry Pat.

My first concert 1979 in Peoria, Ill. Been a fan ever since. Saw him play a small club in FT. Myers Fla., must have been '91 or '92, still had Mars Cowling on bass, awesome!!
professorjef f 3
Seems like the heyday of blues was 60s-70 when so many great artists were about. Trower, Winters, Almond Brothers, and the probably too often forgotten Pat Travers. Nice!
pat travers is 1 of the most underated blues players ever, period
mjs195969
Playing ultimate Hard Rock/Metal. 24/7. ( Trower, too ). Feed your head @
RedEyEsRadiO .
paul.and.gle n d a z u r f l u h
Saw Robin Trower 1975 in Ellensburg ,Washington @ Central Washington University. Three Semi's for the speaker equipment alone. A new group called Kansas was the warm up act. A Outstanding show, so loud it was heard 3 blocks away outside of the pavillion.
robin trower rocked in the 70s!
Never heard of him, but he's a pretty good bluesman.
Nobody rocked out Hot Rod Lincoln like Travers...
Love Pat Travers:), I broadcast live on www.vaughnli v e . t v playing air guitar;)
The man knows how to rock...been listening since the 70's. He just keeps getting better and better!
one of those very under-rated early-stuff- i s - b e s t co-opted artists.....
Heard "Day of the Eagle" on PT Power Trio. Song was good but the sound quality sucked. You can definitely tell the Jimi Hendrix influence.
mcsellhomes
This guy has been around as long as I can remember...a n d he is going stong!
Rock on !
mrsjdepp
Hey BayBee, we had some good times together, love ya still
dominick45
Who doesn't love Crash and Burn?
i love pat, been a fan since puttin it straight went out and bought a melody maker and a marshall stack with a wahwah and phase shifter and started playing gettin betta in my band.....hah a yes radio active and heat in the street are being forgotten, both grrrrreat albums...... . p l e e e e e z z z z ! ! ! !
Pandora must subcontract their research out to India or something. They forgot: Heat in the Streat ,As well as Radioactive, Black Pear, Hot Shots,School of Hard Knocks, PT=MC2 and the New Fidelis!
a.b.swiger
great article- i have loved Pat Travers since the 70's!
pat comes around my area a lot never miss him in springfield virginia and the girl of rock and roll susie lives right around the corner from me and she was also married to richie blackmore too.
Yeah man, Pat Travers... haven't heard Snortin' Whiskey in 20+ years, great tune. Fun riff to play on guitar...Got t a revisit all his stuff...
graskal
Pandora forgot that Pat had another album (1978) called Heat in the Street. Check it out Rockers! It's Insanity!
Pat Travers is a bad Muthaf*#@er, now thats putting it straight !
Does anyone know where to get the lyrics for this song? I need it for my band we are going to try it out.
he's been one of the greatest on the guitar since he started with little or no recognition
jon6464
I saw Pat & band at an outdoor weekend concert in a farm field just outside Indianapolis in '76 or '77 and they rocked. 'Snortin' Whiskey...' is one of my all time favorite crank it up jams.
Snortin Whiskey greatest ode to abuse ever!
I tunned into this station to hear some good old sold roots classic rock. I got to tell you that when a buddy of mine turnned me on to this station I never expected this. That is to say that this is GREAT! I haven't heard some of these song in yrs and just want to say thanks it is not that easy to find good music like this anymore.
thanks indyzprez, that gives me another idea for my station the Max Websters, saw them open for RUSH about 10 times!!!
indyzprez
I want a Canadian G3 U.S. tour with Frank Marino, Pat Travers and Kim Mitchell I could die fullfilled.
msehrhart
His biggest hit, Boom Boom, was probably his worst song! Go figure.

HEAT IN THE STREET should get this guy into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame!

Check out 'Hammerhead' , baby!
Why isn't "Go for what You Know" part of the selected discography? An obvious Pat Travers Fan...NOT!!!
ok...I can't begin to tell the unknowing what a great freaking band Pat Travers, Tommy Aldridge, Pat Thrall and Mars Cowling made. Go For What You Know and Crash And Burn are a must for anyone who likes heavy blues rock. Aldridges bare handed live drum solos were sick. Alot of the duet guitar and bass lines are precursors to what Vai and Sheehan were doing later. And Travers compositions , while blues rock have a distinctive signature.
pipefitter46
to mervin failing" have you herd much of LESLIE WEST???????? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ?
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