Pat Travers – Putting It Straight (1977)

PatTravers_PuttingStraight3.5 out of 5 Stars!

Why Canadian guitarist Pat Travers never made a bigger impact on the music-buying public is a question I’ve often wondered. I mean, in the mid-’70s when he emerged on the scene, his playing was well above average, comparable to other “axe-slinger heroes” in the same genre and during the same era, he surrounded himself with other top-class musicians (Tommy Aldridge and Pat Thrall immediately spring to mind), and his material (Hard/Blues Rock with a hint of both Jazz and Southern Rock) was certainly as rocking and as well-produced as bands such as the similar Montrose.

To me, it likely boiled down to the fact that Pat didn’t have an outstanding lead vocalist who might have given the sound of his group a more identifiable stamp. Instead, Pat sang his own material, and although his vocals are more than acceptable, they also seemed rather “generic” to me, not very recognizable. Or perhaps the record company just didn’t give a damn enough to promote his band the way it deserved.

Putting It Straight, Travers’s third album, is a prime example of what I’ve mentioned. While tunes such as the rockin’ opener “Life in London” as well as “Speakeasy,” “Gettin’ Betta,” “It Ain’t What It Seems,” and the two-part “Dedication,” are all top-class, energetic boogie tracks with strong guitar riffs and solos, with the occasional keyboard accompaniment and solid rhythmic background, I can’t help thinking that perhaps a stronger vocalist might have really set the tracks on fire.

Anyway, regardless of why this talented gent never made a bigger impact, Pat Travers is still a rather obscure name to many record-buyers in the world, and it’s a crying shame.

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