Tuesday, 7 February 2012
Review: Travis Colby Band
Travis Colby Band - Quick Fix (Independent)
Talk about fresh, the Travis Colby Band are content to describe themselves as a blues-funk band, but that tells just one part of the story. A first listen to “Quick Fix” invigorates like a perfect power-shower, a big cup of coffee, the first cold beer of the night or a personal, man-size tsunami – it’ll almost knock you off your feet and into the (blues) rocks, but not quite.
So, blues-funk it is, but swing, lounge, jazz, R&B and a little rock ‘n’ roll all have their place. Travis Colby is a guitarist, pianist and singer, and indeed, both other members of the band, Jeremy Kindsvatter and Bart Lingley, are multi-instrumentalists. Between them they can boast careers playing with Luther ‘Guitar Junior’ Johnson, Tinsley Ellis, The Fabulous Thunderbirds, Dixie Chicks and Sheryl Crow. These are first-rate musicians, and their experience and energy are all over their debut LP.
Their ability to write and play great songs in different styles, then to merge them into one satisfying whole, shouldn’t be underestimated. In less talented hands “Quick Fix” might have been an unfocussed muddle, but not here. Beginning with “Look Out!”, its uptempo beat and swing rhythm has surely filled dance floors throughout their home state of Rhode Island. The title track introduces their funkier side, without sacrificing a single jot of urgency, while keys and brass fill out the grooves. The slow blues of “The Reverend” showcases Colby’s exceptional guitar skills and “Triscuit Jam” wouldn’t have sounded out of place on one of those “Hammond Fever” albums that used to be popular with chaps who wore berets.