When an artist decides to remake classic tunes, it can be a slippery slope, but that is exactly what Pat Travers wanted to do in his latest release, Blues on Fire. Travers is one of the most prolific and influential guitar players of this generation and the perfect artist to take on the challenge of bringing back these classic blues songs.
Having come off an exhausting European tour, Travers sat back and took a little journey back to his roots; listening to the delta blues and knew the time was right to showcase these early twentieth century legendary artists, which include Blind Willie Johnson, Bessie Smith, Henry Thomas and Son House. He handpicked the twelve songs that appear on Blues on Fire. Travers’ hard hitting blues style can be heard with the first note of the album in Blind Blake’s Black Dog Blues. You feel the energy that Travers gives as he brings these songs to life, delivering his blend of rough vocals and emotional style that has many current metal guitar players including Metallica’s Kirk Hammet, listing Travers as one of their influences. Travers produced and performed all the vocals, guitar and bass lines for Blues on Fire, with Doug Bare on the piano/organ, Carl Cleaver on piano and Sean Shannon on the drums. The classic blues steel guitar sound can be heard perfectly on the tracks Nobody’s Fault But Mine and Back Water Blues. The delta blues sound is full of emotion and lyrical poetry that can be experienced through Bulldozer Blues and Dark Night Blues, two tracks that stand out as the highlights.
From beginning to end Blues on Fire is a journey back in time, with a modern twist that will have any fan of the delta blues smiling, if smiling is an emotion the blues brings out.