Released: 2005, Escapi Music
Reviewer: Anders Sandvall
Travers and Appice released their debut album as a trio together with the bass player T.M Stevens last year, the other guys are none other than the drum legend Carmine Appice and guitar player Pat Travers. Their named their debut IT TAKES A LOT OF BALLS and after the release they went out on tour in Europe and America. IT TAKES A LOT OF BALLS has been reviewed in metal-rules, just check out the data base for further info.
This live album was recorded in The House Of Blues in Myrtle Beach in the US during September 2004. The producer of this album is Fabrizio Grossi, who is well known for his work with many of the acts from the Frontiers label. Surprisingly Fabrizio has done a standard job with the production and for one he doesn’t impress at all. He has faded down the audience in between the songs and that is a major fault in my book when it comes to live albums, you don’t get the same live feeling as you do when you hear the crowd go nuts and applauds in between the songs. It doesn’t say if this was recorded during a single show or if this is the result of several shows.
One can wonder if Travers & Appice really fit into this fanzine with their dirty blues testosterone with hints of 70’s retro hardrock when we mostly promotes harder acts but yes I think so because of Carmine’s long background as musician to several of our greatest metal acts and heroes to this date. Carmine have played with Ted Nugent, Ozzy, Blue Murder and not to forget his own band King Kobra.
Travers is an amazing guitar player with a real heavy and varied guitar style and that added with Carmine’s solid drumplay makes the music sound really heavy. T.M Stevens contributes with both a mean bass play and lead vocals on a few songs.
It feels like the guys have a wonderful fun time up on stage and you can really feel the energy, power and enthusiasm they have together. They run through 12 songs and on my promo there’s a bonus track called “Keep On Rocking”, there are 6 songs taken from the debut album (all of the songs marked with an * in the tracklist are taken from the debut). Where the other tracks come from I don’t know, because I haven’t listened to Travers before, except for the Rod Stewart song Do Ya Think I’m Sexy”, or any other that Carmine has written or played on, which Carmine co-wrote with Rod. The original version is not in my taste but in this version it sound much better and for once is a cover better than the original.
Stevens gives proof of his amazing bass skills on the album where he makes the bass sounds like a guitar. His solo ends abruptly and segues into the song “Gotta Have You” where it sounds like it’s Steven on vocals. Then comes “Turn Me On” also with Stevens on vocals. The ballads are represented by “Can’t Escape The Fire” and the blues influenced “Crash And Burn”. Carmine does a drum solo in the middle of “Evil” and this man hasn’t failed to amaze me yet.
If you enjoyed the debut album by this experienced trio I can’t imagine that you’re going to dislike this live album, it’s packed with everything that defines Travers & Appice such as great drum/guitar/bass play and excellent songs. The only negative thing is the production where Fabrizio is way out of line when he cuts out the audience in between the songs. The quality of the material is also a bit standard. It wouldn’t hurt the guys if they had some more edgier songs to play.
This live album comes with a bonus DVD when it’s out in the stores.
Killer tracks “Taken”, “Better From A Distance”, “Evil” and “Boom, Boom”.