Chandler Travis is a man of many hats. He's a founder of the Incredible Casuals, the New England power-pop plus band who the Inquirer's David Hiltbrand once called "one of the truly great obscure rock bands in America."
In addition to being a member of the ruggedly rocking Catbirds, whose debut Catbirds Say Yeah, comes out this month, the New Englander front the Chandler Travis Philaharmonic, a smart, swinging and winningly strange big band which also performs in scaled down versions as the Chandler Travis Philharmette and Chandler Travis Three-O, which has four members.
It's in the latter incranation that Travis will perform at the World Cafe Live upstairs on Thursday night, with local rock and roll ace Pete Donnelly sharing the bill. Besides doing his own top-notch material, Donnelly, plays with the Figgs, who often back up Graham Parker, and is now a member a NRBQ, whose music, as Nick Cristiano pointed out in a preview in last Friday's Inquirer, hits in the same ballpark as Travis.
I took the picture above while watching the Chandler Travis Philharmette do a fairly fantastical free-wheeling show full of memorable tunes in their native habitat of Cape Cod. Travis is the one in the middle on guitar; note the guy on the right in the Santa hat and bathrobe in the middle of July.