The Chandler Travis Philharmonic (photo by Timothy Reidy)
Photographs by Timothy Reidy and Rich Borden
Yes, it was Halloween weekend, but the truth of the matter is that the members of the Chandler Travis Philharmonic weren’t dressed up to go trick-or-treating. This is pretty much the same way they always dress when they leap into the spotlight to crank up their unique hybrid of Dixieland jazz and rock ‘n’ roll.
NAME: Fred Boak
BAND AFFILIATION: Chandler Travis
Philharmonic (and Chandler Travis Three-O)
INSTRUMENT: Voice, Vuvuzela and Valet to Chandler
1. THE FIRST ALBUM I EVER BOUGHT WAS … The Beatles’ Let It Be – pretty sure I got both the 45 and the LP at the same time. I definitely remember being totally entranced by “You Know My Name (Look Up the Number)” (the flip of the “Let It Be” 45) and the fact that the single and album versions of “Let it Be” were different – oh, that Leslie guitar solo!
2. THE FIRST CONCERT THAT I EVER SAW WAS … I like to say Frank Zappa (at age 15), though I saw both Woody Herman & His Young Thundering Herd and Maynard Ferguson play shows at the local high school, plus a whole bunch of classical shows, and I think even Nick Seeger at some Boy Scout event before that. But on my own, paying with my own money … Frank. Great lineup, too – Terry Bozzio on drums, Adrian Belew on guitar, Patrick O’Hearn on bass, Tommy Mars & Peter Wolf on keyboards, Ed Mann on percussion – the same lineup as in the “Baby Snakes” movie.
The Chandler Travis Philharmonic (photo by Joe Deuel)
The mighty musical maverick Chandler Travis has made the Capital Region the second home for all of his bands – and there are quite a few of them, including the Catbirds, the Chandler Travis Three-O and the Incredible Casuals. But the big daddy of them all is the Chandler Travis Philharmonic, which features seven (or eight) or nine musicians, all armed with a sense of humor and sartorial style to match their considerable musical brilliance.
Here at Nippertown, we’ve reviewed the band so many times that we’ve just plain run out of adjectives. And metaphors. And accolades… So we’re just gonna leave it at that. If you’ve already seen the CTP, well, then, we don’t have to tell you a thing. And if you haven’t seen them, well, what have you been waiting for?
BUT WAIT… we’re giving away a pair of FREE TIX for Saturday’s show to two lucky Nippertown readers! To enter the contest, just post a comment below. Please leave your email address, too. We won’t publish it, but we’ll use it to contact you if you win. The winners will be selected at random and notified on Saturday. Good luck! Congratulations to the winners, who have been notified by email.
Review and video by Joel Patterson
Photographs by Al Goldberg and Timothy Reidy
Okay, so you’re determined to write an algorithm that will capture the magic that is the Chandler Travis Philharmonic. The pj’s and bathrobes, that’s easy to program, and the goofy hats. Every one a charming misfit – but devastatingly fluid on their chosen instrument. So far this is little more than online gaming – witty characters doing a splashy, pseudo-campy routine. A Motown/Dixieland/salsa/Mersey beat/big band octet, or a nonagon.
What you’ll have to do is something that algorithms rarely do – include your audience as part of the show. Make every song a vital puzzle piece that helps the world make sense. Carry your listeners along like you’re leading a caravan into a land of hopes and dreams and half-submerged memories and delirious, delightful wonders. You’d better get coding!
Off The Record (photo by Al Goldberg)
Big Creek (photo by Timothy Reidy)
The Chandler Travis Philharmonic (photo by Al Goldberg)
Chandler Travis made a Capital District stop, once again, at the Linda, this time dragging the rest of the Philharmonic with him. The last time in town – at Amsterdam’s Riverlink Park – they were missing their mandocello-accordion player, Dinty Child. All nine members made this one, albeit with a slightly different line-up. I have seen the Philharmonic several times, but I do not believe it has been the same line-up twice, as Chandler has a stable of fantastic musicians he can draw from in case someone can’t make the gig. Trumpeter Keiichi Hashimoto and pianist Cliff Spencer came along for the ride this time.
Anyone who has seen Travis knows that he possesses a dry wit that can border on hilarity, so it should be no surprise that he would have good friend Pete LaBonne along to warm up for him. LaBonne has that same sense of understated humor. He may not be quite as polished as Travis – possibly due to living in a small cabin in Upstate NY… without power – but he can be just as funny. LaBonne hit the stage to a chorus of “PETE… PETE… PETE,” which of course, he joined in on. As he ran through his short set, all the members of the Philharmonic left the green room and sat with the audience to catch it, a tribute to how they all felt about him.
Please support this website by adding us to your whitelist in your ad blocker. Our advertising allows us to keep publishing Nippertown,
and keeps you informed about upcoming shows and events. Thank you!