The Pat Travers Band will headline Hillbillys Blues Fest in Alcester, SD Saturday (June 15). I've been a fan of Travers since seeing him open for Foghat in the Twin Cities in 1979 (can it really have been that long ago??) With songs like Boom Boom (Out Go The Lights) and Snortin' Whiskey, the band were staples on FM radio during that era and had a solid following of their own which made them 'perennial openers' for bands like Rush, Rainbow, Foghat and others:

The 59-year old Travers grew up in Canada and told me he had an early interest in music, but like a lot of rock and blues musicians of a 'certain' age, it always seems as if one of two artists flip that musical switch: Jimi Hendrix or The Beatles. For Travers, it was the latter, as he told me seeing the Fab Four on Ed Sullivan when he was nine years old, set his career choice.

The band toured non-stop back in the late 70's and early 80's. He says that's just the way it was back then. You wrote on the road while touring. Go in the studio, cut another album, then go back out and tour again. It's helped him gain a worldwide following, the hardest core of the fans refer to themselves as "Hammer Heads:

Travers still plays a lot of the rock favorites in concert, but says he's been drawn into the Blues in a big way over the past couple of years. He agreed with me when I said that all music has it's roots in the blues and told me what led to his decision to become a bluesman and also let me know that he's got a new blues album coming out in July!

I asked Travers about the world of social media and how that has changed promotion. Travers is known for actually managing (with the help of his wife "MT") his Facebook page:

Nearly 35 years after the first time I saw them perform, they're coming back to the area Saturday (June 15) I told him I felt privileged to get a few minutes to talk to him and he humbly replied "I'm just a regular guy who plays the guitar and sings." Yeah, he does that all right. I asked him what fans can expect when they come to the show:

Pat Travers will headline Hillbilly's Blues Fest on Saturday while Molly Hatchet headlines Friday June 14th. Tickets are $25 for each night or $40 for a weekend pass. Plus there is free on site camping! Get all the ticketing details and lineups here.


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