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4.9 out of 5 stars
Live! Go For What You Know
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24 of 24 people found the following review helpful
on July 31, 2002
Pat Travers was always underated like his close peers Frank Marino and Robin Trower. He was an amazing guitarist. This live album is a dose of him at his heavy metal best. If you like Mahogany Rush, Robin Trower, Ted Nugent, Montrose or just 70's metal in general, you will love this. This is a classic live record. Tommy Aldridge was at his best in Travers band(he was sounding better then any of his work with Black Oak, Whitesnake, or his one album with Ozzy). The energy is amazing. Like many 70's metal classics, this is underated and largely unknown.
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
on October 5, 2005
"Go For What You Know" (1979) was a series of live shows in Austin, TX and 3 different music halls in Florida. On this tour (1978-89) the band was in rare form. Meet the band: Pat Travers (guitar & vocals), Pat Thrall (guitar), Mars Cowling (bass), and Tommy Aldridge (drums). Thrall and Cowling were wonderful back-ups to Travers and both under-rated on their guitars. Aldridge came to be a journeyman drummer having stints with Travers, Black Sabbath, Black Oak Arkansas, Whitesnake, Gary Moore, and recent live albums with Ted Nugent and Thin Lizzy. "Go For What You Know" is 8 songs long and clocks in at approximately 42 minutes. The feeling you get from this album - energy accompanied by amazing musicianship. This band, with the best line up of players it ever enjoyed, was NEVER better. Other 70's bands like Deep Purple, UFO, Frampton, Kiss, Rush, Foghat all had their own classic "live" albums... and this one was right up there with them. Travers brought his Canadian blues rock style to the stage in great fashion... playing small intimate clubs was his speciality. The songs: 3 songs from "Makin' Magic" (1977) are here - "Stevie", "Hooked On Music" and the title song; 2 songs from "Putting It Straight" (1977) - "Gettin' Betta" and the title song; 2 songs from "Heat In The Street" (1978) - "Go All Night" and the title song; and the mega hit "Boom Boom (Out Go The Lights)" from his early (unheard of) self titled album (1976). Like Peter Frampton's songs from "Frampton Comes Alive" - so many of the songs actually sound better 'live' than they did on the studio album... I think the same holds true with Travers. His versions here of "Boom Boom" and "Stevie" are simply electric and the crowd is totally into it (hard to narrow down the best songs here - they're all great). This is truly a great "live" recording and essential in any rock & roll library... the only thing bad about this album I can say is that it's not long enough! A classic.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on June 25, 2003
I finally got 'Live! Go for What You Know' by Pat Travers after years of only being vaguely familiar with him, most notably for the hit, 'Boom Boom (Out Go the Lights)', which happens to be one of the tracks on this album.
The first thing that hit me about this band is how tight and focused they sound. They hit you like a big wall of energy. From track one to the end, they just don't stop. I just love the crunchy yet bright tone that both Pat Travers and Pat Thrall get out of their guitars. Whatever effects pedals they were using, I've got to get 'em!
Along with interesting embellishments, licks, and rhythmic changeups, the other thing that really struck me later after repeated listening is just how great of a sense of rhythm these guitarists have. Everything sounds so taut and punchy (ESPECIALLY for a live recording), you can just tell these guys were RIGHT ON and groovin' as a band. My favorite tracks are tracks #3 and #8, 'Go All Night' and 'Makes No Difference'. These guys don't just go out and slog through another number-- they attack these songs as if it were the last time they were ever going to play!
You can just FEEL the energy and the enthusiasm for the music on this record. It was an 80's classic, but it should be remembered as a great example of Pat Travers and his awesome band at their peak. It still compares very, very favorably to any live recorded performance out there, ever.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on June 14, 2001
September 14, 1979, a night before my 22nd birthday, I witnessed the most intense, jaw dropping concert, that I have ever experienced in my life. It was the kind of concert, that left me speechless, so totally blown away, that I couldn't describe it accurately to anybody. The fact that I remember this concert vividly to this day, 22 years later, should give you a hint of the impact it had on me.
Anyway, on that night, I went with a friend to see Pat Travers Band (this group exactly on this album). The show was at the Calderone Concert Hall in Hempstead, New York....
It was the last night of their American tour, and I was there. Pat Travers Band played what was undoubtedly, one of the most powerfully intense and SERIOUS concert of his career.
My friend who was with me, and older than me, told me that the show was as good as when he saw Jimi Hendrix at Madison Square Garden years before.
In closing, although the sonic quality of this album pales in comparison to the show I saw, it's a VERY accurate musical depiction of the show that I saw, at around the same time that this was released. This is the Pat Travers Band at their PEAK, so go BUY IT!!!!
The thing that I keep thinking about, is, that if this band played in front of a Woodstock crowd, for instance, back then, they would have been HUGE instantly! The Pat Travers Band was one of the most underappreciated, unknown LEGENDARY bands EVER!
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on September 7, 2005
I'll keep it short and simple. There has NEVER, been ANY, band in the history of Rock'n Roll to play this well on a given night and be lucky enough to have it recorded. And I'm including Rush and Dream Theater in that statement. The interplay between Travers, Thrall, Aldridge and Cowling defies description. Each member was playing at 100% of their ability and IT SHOWS!!!! Pat has never been able to recreate that magic with any of his future lineups. The only thing I find criminal is that this wasn't a double album.

P.S. Peter "Mars" Cowling IS without question, one of the greatest bass players on the planet - and nobody knows who he is!!!!!!! It just aint fair.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on October 22, 2011
I'd followed this band somewhat many years ago but was listening to a lot of different rock guitarists so didn't pay that much attention to them. Trolling for some new material I came across this CD. One thing I will say right off the bat is that there is very little music (if any) in this genre today that combines unsurpassed musicianship, energy, good songs, and the sheer joy of listening to players so intent in giving their audience a great show. The emotion that comes out of your speakers at the first blast of "Hooked on Music" is a classic moment in rock history. Credit must go also to the amazing engineering that captured the mood of the band, hall, and audience so effectively. And listen to one of the unsung heroes of the band, Peter "Mars" Cowling, absolutely write the book on dynamic and articulate bass playing. In his hands the bass takes on a supernatural presence. Travers and Thrall blend spectacularly and are never competitive. Little needs be said about Tommy Aldridge's stick work. And who writes songs like "Stevie" anymore? Heartfelt, expressive, with tempo changes that create movement, beautiful shimmering chording, and a dramatic finish. Most metal today is to focused on aggression and impact, and to tell you the truth, boring due to it's one-dimensionality. We can be grateful this music survives and is still widely appreciated today.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on October 31, 2003
From the introduction, "From the streets of Toronto, to the Streets of London; Now here he is to Kick Your Ass!! The Pat Travers Band!!" This album does exactly that. It kicks from the first bar of the first tune to the last bar of the last tune!! This is not just an in-your-face rocker, however. These are finely crafted tunes and the band is ultra-tight. Pat Travers and Pat Thrall (one of the finest rock guitarists of all-time in his own right) work incredibly together with impecable taste and flare. Mars Cowling is an incredible bass player with killer lines throughout. Tommy Aldridge, on drums, is also out-of-this world on this record (also known for his stints with Ozzy, Whitesnake, and Black Oak Arkansas)! Unless you're totally out-of-touch with music, you'll absolutely love this album. This one deserves the Hall of Fame!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on August 4, 1999
This is certainly one of the better live hard-rock CD's that is available, and it also functions as a sort of a time capsule, preserving a glimpse of an era when guitar gods like Travers, Robin Trower, and Frank Marino were revered and wildly popular. Today's spare, minimalist approach did not apply back when this CD was recorded. No, the emphasis was on blistering, fast, high volume guitarists who played every soaring, bombastic song as if it were their last. Travers is sensational here. He and his co-guitarist, Pat Thrall, create stunning walls of heavy-metal mayhem. If there's a better live guitar-god song than "Makes No Difference" I've never heard it. Plus, the drummer on this CD, Tommy Aldridge, was at the time the best hard-rock drummer on the planet, and his playing here is unbelievable. Listen to him absolutely rip apart "Go All Night". Killer! This is a damned good CD. It's hard to imagine anyone who likes hard rockand roll being disappointed in it.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on April 11, 1999
Pat Travers and his band played circles around any band in the late 70's and 80's. His bandmates, Pat Thrall, and Bassist Mars Cowling, along with phenom drummer, Tommy Aldridge were the tightest and funkiest!!!! This CD is only rivaled by out of print LP PUTTING IT STRAIGHT (Life in London). If you are a Guitarist and dont have a single Pat Travers album, then get busy and order it!!!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on March 1, 2001
I was in a small but Crowded guitar oriented music shop when I put this CD in. The CD player was running through th PA system and I am friends with the shop owner so I turned it up, however, not as loud as I wanted to but it was quite loud (95db). A few minutes into it a kid about 17 years old walked up to me and screamed over the music, "who ... is this?" Between tracks I hit the pause button and chatted with this kid. He was litterally moved to almost tears, his eyes were briming with moisture and the hair on his arms was standing straight up. He said, "That is the most incredible thing I have ever heard" He, at that point in his life had been playing guitar for about 7 years and he was struck dumb by this record. He gushed over it in his descriptions "the drums, my god!, the bass is super tight and those two guitar players!!!" If you play in a ROCK band and you don't know every single note of this record you are in for the surprise of your life, because this collection of players is as solid as any four guys I have ever heard, ever. The sheer ATTACK is beyond comprehension. Order one copy right now and get ready to practice your butt off because none of it is easy to play but it is rewarding. (Caution!!! Do not attempt to drive while listening to this CD)
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