Travis Larson Band — Shift
(Precision Records PRCN-1010, 2013, CD)
by Peter Thelen, Published 2013-07-25Having 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.
Related artist(s): Travis Larson Band
Ginger Baker RIP – Legendary English drummer Ginger Baker has died at the age of 80. After coming to fame with Cream in the 60s alongside Eric Clapton and Jack Bruce, he became one of the most recognized and influential drummers of the rock era. On September 25, his family announced that he was critically ill, and on October 6 his death was confirmed. » Read more
Alex's Hand Seeks Spa Treatment – American / European band Alex's Hand has a new album in the works called Hungarian Spa, which looks to be their biggest and best yet, featuring a large roster of guest musicians. They're seeking funding to take the project on the road, and are looking for help from the crowd of wisdom. » Read more
Legendary Co-Founder of The 13th Floor Elevators Passes Away at Age 71 – Sadly, Roky Erickson passed away on May 31, 2019. Known as the father of psychedelic music and co-founder of the ground breaking 13th Floor Elevators, Roky had a profound influence on music from the 60s to today. Plagued by his own personal demons, Roky had a difficult life and is now free of these burdens. » Read more