Friday, September 16, 2011

Pat Travers - Fidelis

Thumbs up Thumbs up Thumbs up Thumbs up Thumbs up  

As anyone who knows me can tell you, I'm one of Pat Travers' biggest fans from way back, and yet somehow I missed this album when it came out over a year ago...  That's what getting older does to you.
After listening for a few weeks, it has become very apparent that this is his best effort since 1982's Black Pearl.  The man is 57, has been recording since 1976, and still has the energy, conviction and drive of someone decades younger. He also seems to have regained his writing touch. Eleven original PT-penned(!) songs with some genuine surprises and lots of smokin' guitar work as always.
Standout tracks include "Edge of Darkness", "Then I'll Fall", "Save Me" and "Josephine" which features an out-of-nowhere reggae-style break that hasn't been heard since his early-80s heyday. There are no duds sprinkled in among the running order, but some "funny voices" threaten to spoil a couple of the songs.

There's a great story on the recording and writing of this album that I'll try to link to when I find it.  The name "Fidelis" alludes to several things including keeping the faith, also the longevity and loyalty of many of his fans.  His lovely wife Monica sings backup on several of the tracks and does a bangup job.

Overall, PT's vocals are among the best he's ever recorded and are finally a match for the power and passion of his guitar work.  Never the strong suit of his early recordings, his voice has matured and has become a powerful instrument on its own and acquired a gritty, soulful feel that perfectly suits his style.

Highly f#$!ing recommended, not the least of which is the fact that it was recorded at an undisclosed remote location in Northern Ontario, which is also name-dropped on the cut "Then I'll Fall". The verse in question never fails to raise the hair on my arms. Always the sign of a good piece of music in my book. Comeback album of the year, even if that year was 2010.

Get it now...  and for God's sake if you get the chance, see him live.

R.I.P. Radio
“The true sign of intelligence is not knowledge but imagination.”


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