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MUSIC | Bill Travers, perfect music for a Sunday afternoon (after the football season)
Got dragged out to South St. Paul—by the time we got there it seemed like West Hell—and was never more glad to have taken a long trip. At the VFW, the Travelin' Moburys were holding down the fort on a Sunday night, playing, like it's said, sweet country music. That's, from left to right on the stage, Bill Travers, Laura Moe, and Francis Duxbury III.
On sitting down to catch the show, weren't real impressed at the sight of Bill Travers. Scraggly head of snow white, pretty much a couldn't-give-a-damn demeanor. Guitar slung loose. I'd never heard of him, so how good could he be? Pretty goddamn good, it turns out. The guy plays fluid as water and is a fine singer.
It's ironic that his album is titled The Legends. An excellent offering, Travers covers the greats. Classics like "Six Days On The Road," "Your Cheatin' Heart," "Help Me Make It Through the Night," among a dozen standards, Travers making each and every one of them his own. The ironic part is that given due exposure, i.e. the right airplay, it wouldn't be a far stretch for Travers to qualify as a legend himself. It's written all over him. The trademark of a singular performer in a genre glutted with formulaic want-to-be's, country rocker Bill Travers plays with grace and sings with uncanny authority. Case closed.
Listening to Travers pay tribute Merle Haggard, Hank Williams, Kris Kristofferson and such is a field day. Highly recommended for a Sunday afternoon—after the football season, I guess. Put The Legends on, pour a taste and let Travers take you there. He's got one of them rich, low-register vocal ranges and mines it for gold.
A grand tip of the hat is due Travers's partner on this outing, producer-engineer Don Kaste, who captured pure magic. The ballads shine, the up-tempo numbers rock, and there isn't a throwaway track on the entire thing.
You can catch Bill Travers as part of the Travelin' Moburys most Sunday nights at that VFW in South St. Paul, 6 to 10 p.m. They're also at Minnesota Music Cafe in St. Paul, every Tuesday evening, 5:00-7:30. Go down, catch the show, and pick up a copy of The Legends. If you appreciate country music played and sung the way it oughta be, you're going to love this album.
©2011 Dwight Hobbes