WHO IS HE? The veteran Canadian blues-rock guitar hero whose career stretches back to the late ’70s and FM mainstays like Boom Boom (Out Go the Lights), Snortin’ Whiskey and Heat in the Street — and who is still going strong at age 65.
WHAT IS THIS? Just what it says: Travers’ zillionth studio album (and the followup to his 2015 corker Retro Rocket) finds him revamping jazz and jump-blues standards by the likes of Benny Goodman, Glenn Miller, Duke Ellington, Louis Jordan and others — and surrounding his searing guitar work with a brassy big band.
WHAT DOES IT SOUND LIKE? An interesting if slightly inconsistent musical detour on Travers’ apparently endless road.
WHAT WOULD BE A BETTER TITLE FOR THIS ALBUM? He really couldn’t make it any clearer.
HOW SHOULD I LISTEN TO IT? Either by yourself or with open-minded fans of jazz and/or Travers.
WHAT 10 WORDS DESCRIBE IT? Different, bluesy, potent, direct, gritty, anachronistic, zippy, varied, blazing, bold.
WHAT ARE THE BEST SONGS? Let the Good Times Roll and Is You Is Or Is You Ain’t My Baby both benefit from Travers’ beefy vocals, but his smokin’ sprint through Woody Herman’s Apple Honey is a blast. Too bad there aren’t a few more high-octane cuts like that.
WHAT WILL MY FRIENDS AND FAMILY SAY? ‘This is too weird.’
HOW OFTEN WILL I LISTEN TO THIS? Well, it’s definitely an acquired taste. It just depends on whether you want to acquire it or not.
IF THIS ALBUM WERE A SUIT, WHAT KIND SUIT WOULD IT BE? A black leather zoot suit.
SHOULD I BUY, STREAM OR STEAL? Swing through the tracks online.