Chandler Travis Philharmonic
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Chandler Travis Philharmonic

Harwich, MA 02645, USA | Established. Jan 01, 1996 | INDIE

Harwich, MA 02645, USA | INDIE
Established on Jan, 1996
Band Alternative Roots





“Dixieland, pop, avant-jazz, rock...and fully over the top.”
- Jim Sullivan, Boston Globe

"A keenly entertaining blend of the Ringling Bros. and Ra...[that] puts the harm back in
-Jim Macnie, Village Voice

“this man should either be locked up or made king of the planet. Despite the apparent anarchy,
the band (playing their “psycho-jungle-dixieland”) is incredibly tight.”
- Jason Dean Moriarty, the Noise

“He’s a true New England eccentric, a master of daft power pop, and live, he plays in his
-Rob Tannenbaum, Village Voice

“ a Mexican version of the Bosstones on Caribbean holiday...”
- Carly Carioli, Boston Phoenix

"...a truly original musical experience."
-John Black, Offbeat Boston

“...Jonathan Richman for adults...”
-Christopher Walsh, The Republic of Letters

“Fast and giddy and loose as a clown’s drawers, his Philharmonic sounds like the ‘Q saluting
Louie Jordan.”
-Rob Tannenbaum, Village Voice

“‘Pancake’ is a skillful, fun, sometimes funny collection that is played with joyous, wreckless
abandon, and the Philharmonic is the best damned music show you can see in a small club
-Al Canali, Music Revue (Northampton, MA.)

“ filling a music store with laughing gas, then turning eight wonderfully talented
virtuosos very loose inside...seriously sharp and spirited...”
Michael Hochanedel, Schenectady Daily Gazette

“They put the fun back in dysfunctional!”
-Tim Wood, Cape Cod Chronicle

“‘Let’s Have A Pancake!’ uses accordions, horns, mandocellos, guitars and drums to decorate
pop songs of inconceivable appeal and inarguable ingenuity. Expect the unexpected is the only
-Ed Bumgardner, Winston Salem Journal

“The Chandler Travis Philharmonic are a huge cosmic accident...very odd, very beautiful, and
you know there’s a message in it all. We need more bands with this kind of nerve and the tunes
to back it up...a delicious, nutricious, and total mind-fuck.”
-Joe Coughlin, the Noise (Boston)

“...might be the most unconventional act on earth...a Cape Cod version of surf-punks Sublime,
substituting Dixieland for ska in a lively mix that will make a great sound track for your next track sounds like Loaded-era Velvet Underground gone berserk...”
-Michael Strohl, Valley Advocate (Northampton, MA)

Scott Schinder, E-Pulse

“An eight-piece monster of a band [with] a big raucous sound...seriously energizing...”
Shawn Stone, Metroland (Albany, NY)

“The entire lot were dressed with a casual exuberance that belied a purposefulness of sartorial
intent, which was completely consistent with the show itself—a talented group of highly skilled
professionals flawlessly playing music that seemed free and spontaneously created. Trumpet
player Keiichi Hashimoto spent the first half of the show in an Afro wig, then switched to what
appeared to be the headpiece of a bunny costume—a sort of bonnet with long droopy ears.
Both of these approaches managed to make him seem oddly regal. Of course, he’s also an
astounding player, and he used the
ambience of the room to blow gorgeous solos up to the rafters.
The not-so-secret ingredient to this troupe is the uniformly high caliber of the players, [and]
what made the set such a compelling whole was the unswerving commitment of all eight
members. There was never a moment when one of the horn players seemed anything less than
fully amazed and delighted to be a part of every single moment. They were right to feel that
way, for this is rare and engaging music, drawing on Dixieland, Tin Pan Alley, ska, the Kinks,
and much more.”
-David Greenberger, Metroland (Albany, NY)

“Dixieland romps, twisted Mardi Gras marches, sweaty 60’s rock, smoky torch songs, and
occasional novelties that sound somewhere between Randy Newman and They Might Be
Giants, all with hilariously offbeat lyrics. The world would be a better place if Travis would only
visit more often.”
- Sam Hurwitt, San Francisco Express

“The horn players howl, the rhythm section wobbles, and the boss pulls lions out of his hat...if
you’re in favor of Vegas weddings, the Firesign Theatre, and the Bonzo Dog Band, you could
have yourself a dada field day.”
-Jim Macnie, Providence Phoenix

“Not unlike NRBQ meets Sun Ra on the beach, doing bong hits spiked with primo acid and
laughing gas.”
-Joe Coughlin, the Noise (Boston)

“Little did I realize one of the greatest nights of my life would unfold in St Joseph Michigan. No
foolin' -Friday June 15, The Chandler Travis Philharmonic dropped into a west Michigan club,
Czars, and proceded to tear the roof off the dump. Sheesh, they were great. I was really
uncontrollably shaking...”
Paul Tracy Fredrickson, civilian
- various


"The Chandler Travis Philharmonic Blows" (Sonic Trout, 2010) "After She Left"- Chandler Travis (Sonic Trout, September 2009)
"Kitty (aka "Tarnation and Alastair Sim" (Sonic Trout, 2007)
"Another Christmas Gift for You" (Sonic Trout, 2003)
"Llama Rhymes" - (Sonic Trout, 2003)
"Let's Have a Pancake" (Sonic Trout, 2000)
22 other albums released in 2000 (the RadioBall series) on Iddy Biddy
There's also 2 other Chandler solo albums:
"Ivan in Paris" (Sonic Trout, 1998)
"writer-songsinger" (Sonic Trout, 1996)



Why unusual? Well, do you know of any other alternative dixieland/omnipop bands? Or any other band that put out 22 full-length cds in one year, as the Philharmonic did in 2000 with the RadioBall series)? Or anyone that numbers both (the late, lamented) George Carlin and NRBQ among their staunchest longtime supporters? Both appear on a CTP album or two; other longtime fans include Bonnie Raitt, Elvis Costello, and Bruce Springsteen (all of whom Chandler has appeared with a few times) -not to mention a diverse selection of relatively recent converts like Of Montreal, Ween, and the Story.

The Chandler Travis Philharmonic is a 9-piece ensemble from Boston and Cape Cod that includes a horn section, string bass, keyboard, mandocello, guitar, drums, accordion, and singing valet. It’s possible they might be the missing link between the Kinks and Sun Ra…

There’s some chance you may be aware of Chandler’s other band, the Incredible Casuals, or of his earlier work with Travis Shook and the Club Wow; either solo or in one or another of these guises, he has appeared with Elvis Costello, Green Day, Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band, John Cale, Bonnie Raitt, NRBQ (longtime buds Terry Adams and Al Anderson from the ‘Q played on the first Philharmonic album), Charles Mingus, the Beach Boys, Allen Ginsburg, the Replacements, George Carlin (a guest star on two CTP albums, and a traveling companion for decades), Of Montreal, etc., etc.

The Philharmonic was born in the fall of 1996 at the Lizard Lounge in Cambridge, on the occasion of Chandler doing a guest shot there with a house band led by multi-instrumentalist/singer Dinty Child. When asked if he would like to add any additional instrumentation, Chandler, having always hated when elderly bands run out of ideas to this extent, facetiously suggested “oh yeah,let’s get some horns and chick back-up singers.” Strangely, Dinty complied with the horn part, and the CTP was surprisingly hatched!

Since then,the band -all colorfully garbed 8 pieces of them, plus singing valet Fred Boak -have introduced the concept of alternative dixieland and omnipop to audiences all over Massachusetts and far beyond (San Francisco,Chicago,and especially New Orleans and New York City have proved particularly responsive -the Village Voice declared them “keenly entertaining”, calling Chandler “a true New England eccentric and a master of daft power pop”, and the band “a blend of Ringling Bros. and Ra” that “puts the harm back in Philharmonic”, and the New Yorker has repeatedly concurred.)

The band released its debut album, “Let’s Have a Pancake”,along with 26 other website-only full-length CDs (the improbable and ground-breaking RadioBall series) in 2000 as a means of welcoming in the new century; six more “official” Philharmonic releases followed, the most recent being 2017′s “Waving Kissyhead, Vol. 2 & 1.”

Expect amazing musicianship, sharp turns, incisive songwriting, elegance, anarchy, and hilarity. In short, expect the unexpected!