LIVE: The Chandler Travis Three-O @ Caffe Lena, 8/26/11

Chandler Travis and Fred Boak
Chandler Travis and Fred Boak

CTP3O at Caffe Lena?

No, it wasn’t the latest Star Wars droid. It was, instead, another Chandler Travis musical project coming to Nippertown. As in his many other bands, Chandler is the ring master of the circus, albeit a little smaller circus than others. Billed as a trio – er, rather a three-o – the actual line-up caused Sarah Craig, Caffe Lena’s director, to quip that math wasn’t the reason they went into music. The band began entering the stage with bassist John Clark first – the rest of the band letting him hang out by himself for awhile, swinging in the breeze, as he said. Maybe it was less than three, as the rest of the light crowd chuckled. Eventually, the other bandmembers showed up – a grand total of four, with valet Fred Boak joining in.

Chandler used the smaller, more nimble, line-up to fully utilize the Lena setup. Shifting from the stage, to traveling minstrel, Chandler wandered (sometime running) through the audience along with the lone representative of the June Trailer Dancers (the horn section from the Chandler Travis Philharmonic) Berke MacKelvey (soprano and alto sax, bass clarinet, keyboards and please forgive me if I forgot something) in tow. Even the upright bass was unplugged and brought into the audience. Luckily, there were no injuries.

The set list included Chandler Travis Philharmonic staples such as “Anne” and “You and Me Pushing Up Daisies” (with lyrics by David Greenberger, who was also in attendance, creating another source of one-liners for the friend of comedian George Carlin. Being more nimble also allowed them to perform songs from some of Travis’ other projects, Travis Shook & the Club Wow and the Incredible Casuals.

If you have never seen a Chandler Travis show, do yourself a favor and go. Luckily, you will have a chance at the Linda in November when the full Philharmonic will be performing. While the crowd was not very large, there were certainly fans. And while some may not have known much about the band when they arrived, they definitely left as fans. Who else can have your sides aching from laughter while at the same time appreciating the musical abilities? A full night of entertainment rolled up in one. Although they have performed in the area several times in the last year, they are actually from Cape Cod, so hopefully they got back home through Irene in one piece.

Review and photographs by Ed Conway

Chandler Travis returns to town at 8pm on Saturday, November 19, leading the Chandler Travis Philharmonic into the The Linda in Albany. Tix are $17.

John Clark and Berke MacKelvey
John Clark and Berke MacKelvey
  1. Denise says

    Thanks Ed ! and Nippertown for this review and great pics…Yes the crowd was smaller than usual..( SO much going on down in the streets of Saratoga during race track season and especially, as it turns out, on Travers Eve when Saratoga now throws a “Travers Eve” Party in the streets with what seemed like live local bands on every corner ..all free to the public… very nice while also being very distracting, I would think ,from all the wonderful music-magic- and yes comedy happening at the top of the stairs in Caffe’ Lena waiting for all who made the venture…sure glad we did ! Thanks Caffe’ Lena and Chandler Travis Three-O..see you Chandler Travis Philharmonic on November 19th for a show booked by Howard Glassman at The WAMC Linda….Chatterbox

  2. Kathy says

    Ed’s pictures and review say it all! Such a great show! …the photos definitely show character of each of the members of Chandler Three O! Way cool!!!

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