Exposé Online banner

Travis Larson Band — Shift
(Precision Records PRCN-1010, 2013, CD)

by Peter Thelen, Published 2013-07-25

Shift Cover artHaving followed this trio from their very beginnings around fifteen years ago (and it’s the same three players, no personnel changes), they continue to evolve and improve, growing more cohesive with each new release, while remaining within the same basic style – which could best be described as guitar-centric instrumental rock-fusion, with melody first. They take their time between releases, composing some seriously outstanding three-to-four minute masterfully executed pieces. They’re not just punching the clock; there is some serious emotion, brilliance and melodic splendor in every measure. Larson, who composes most of the tracks, uses guitar overdubs generously on the recordings, as well as adding occasional keyboard parts. His choices in techniques, sounds and textures keep their music interesting, sensitive and soulful; it’s not just a lot of rapid-fire guitar exhibitionism as can sometimes be the case in such configurations. One may detect the influence of Steve Morse, Rush, Jeff Beck and others in their music, but over time they have honed their own distinct style. Drummer Dale Moon and bassist Jennifer Young provide tight and seasoned rhythmic structures that support the band’s chemistry well, and Young’s composition “Grace to Wonder” is a splendid étude for multi-tracked bass. There are too many standouts here to enumerate each one, but anyone who appreciates exceptionally composed rock instrumentals with a touch of jazz, informed by progressive ideals will find plenty to enjoy in TLBs latest offering. And if you get a chance to see them play live, absolutely don’t miss it.

Filed under: New releases, 2013 releases

Related artist(s): Travis Larson Band

Latest news

2019-04-24
Help MoonJune Bring Great Music to Life – Like many music lovers around the world, we’ve been thrilled and amazed to hear the recordings that have been released by MoonJune from sessions at La Casa Murada in Spain. Such label stalwarts as Mark Wingfield, Markus Reuter, Asaf Sirkis, Tony Levin, Dusan Jevtovic, Vasil Hadzimanov, and many more have gathered in various combinations at the studio to produce some of the most creative music in recent years. Now, label head Leonardo Pavkovic is offering a compilation, La Casa Murada - MoonJune Sessions, Volume One, as a fundraiser for upcoming sessions. » Read more

2019-04-10
The Pineapple Thief to Tour North America – November and December of 2019 will see The Pineapple Thief bringing their music to Canada, Mexico, and the US, and famed drummer Gavin Harrison will be on board. The band has been touring extensively in Europe, but North America will be new territory for them. » Read more

2019-03-25
Scott Walker RIP – Noel Scott Engel, better known as Scott Walker, was one of the most intriguing and enigmatic musical figures in the second half of the 20th Century. His strange career started with The Walker Brothers, an American pop group that featured no one named Walker and no brothers. After moving to England in 1965, they had a series of hit singles. Scott's solo work started with Scott in 1967. Starting in the 80s, his work took an increasingly avant-garde turn. » Read more

2019-03-20
Freedom to Spend Unearths June Chikuma's Archives – Jun (June) Chikuma is well known for her video game and anime soundtracks, but she also released an album of experimental electronic music back in 1986 called Divertimento where she indulged the kind of spontaneity that wouldn't work in a soundtrack. RVNG Int'l label Freedom to Spend is bringing this overlooked item to broader attention with a deluxe reissue. » Read more

2019-03-03
Seaprog 2019 Lineup Almost Complete – The Seaprog festival in Seattle is scheduled for June 7-9 this year, and they've announced their lineup of performers. The revitalized Trettioåriga Kriget will cap Friday night, perennial favorites Marbin are on Saturday, and District 97 will finish off the fest on Sunday night. In support, they've booked a stellar variety of artists from the Northwest and around the world, including EchoTest, Markus Reuter and Trey Gunn, and the live debut of the amazing Troot project. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Aquelarre - Brumas – South American reissues usually happen without too much fanfare, and such is the case with this, one of several albums by the 70s Argentinian band Aquelarre - yet this is one that definitely should...  (1994) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues