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Interview:
Guitar hero Pat Travers keeps putting out the lights
 

By GARY GRAFF
for Journal Register Newspapers

» See more SOUND CHECK

Pat Travers may be best-known for late 70s radio hits such as "Boom Boom (Out Go the Lights)" and "Snortin' Whiskey," but rest assured that music is still a going concern for the Toronto-born guitar hero, who now resides in Florida.

Travers, 58, is actually working on a pair of new albums. He recently finished recording "Pat Travers Plays the Birth of the Blues: The Twenties," putting a modern spin on vintage songs by artists such as Son House, Bessie Smith, Furry Lewis and others. "There's a lot of great songs on there," says Travers. "This stuff really is the birth of the blues."

His job, however, was "to come up with some arrangements that would make the material accessible to modern ears. We're used to music that follows the rhythm, and back then the music followed the vocalists, which is different than what we're used to. So I had to adapt that a little bit to make it sound more familiar."

With that in the can, Travers is now focusing on a new deal with Italy's Frontiers Records. The company will first release a live album that he recorded during February in New York City, and then Travers will start work on a set of original material he hopes to have out in 2013.

"I've been going into the studio as often as I can," he says. "I've got some really good stuff, so it feels like this is gonna be a great CD." He's also selling an album of new material at his shows and plans to prepare more songs for download sales on his web site.

"There's not going to be any big drought, I can tell you that," Travers says with a laugh. "There's a lot of music coming, which feels great."

The Pat Travers Band performs Friday, May 4, at the Magic Bag, 22920 Woodward Ave., Ferndale. Doors open at 8 p.m. Tickets are $20. Call 248-544-3030 or visit www.themagicbag.com.

Web Site: www.themagicbag.com

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