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Tenerife live entertainment: The Traveller Blues Band voted Best Band
Who are The Traveller Blues Band?
The Traveller Blues Band won the title of Best Band Bar None 2011 in a battle of the bands contest on Tenerife in the Canary Islands. It didn't surprise me that they were the winners because this group of musicians can certainly deliver the goods. The Traveller Blues Band can really rock or play top class blues. They can also switch to folk rock music as well.
The band are led by Whiskey, who besides being the lead singer, plays lead guitar, slide guitar, dobro, penny whistle and trumpet. The others in the Traveller Blues Band are Bluegrass on rhythm guitar, blues harmonica, and vocals, MadDog on bass guitar, electric stand-up bass and backing vocals, Ket on drums and newcomer Gabby on tuba and percussion.
Traveller Blues Band photosClick thumbnail to view full-size
Traveller Blues Band songs
The Traveller Blues Band play a real mix of songs and styles and as well as covers of many top acts they also perform a few original compositions, which is a brave step forward on Tenerife and one that I applaud them for.
Amongst songs you can expect to hear them play are CrossRoads Blues, the Gun 'n' Roses hit Sweet Child of Mine, Moonshadow by Cat Stevens, and Red, Red Wine, originally written by Neil Diamond but a massive hit for Birmingham band UB40. Incidentally it is this Midlands city that is where Whiskey came from before he made Tenerife his home.
He is an ideal frontman because besides being an excellent singer he plays a number of instruments and plays them really well. Whiskey can switch from playing a blistering blues on lead electric guitar to a rousing Levellers-style folk rock on which he plays penny whistle as well as sings, and he can even play a trumpet. His slide guitar playing really gives the band the bluesy sound though.
That is where the Traveller Blues Band stand out above the rest: their versatility and blend of a number of instruments most traditional rock bands don't use. Whiskey explained to the crowd that yes, they play cover songs but not like the acts that made the songs famous. The Traveller Blues Band make the hits their own and perform them in their own style.
Gabby, who plays tuba, has only recently joined the band, and his main instrument is a good example of what I mean. The Traveller Blues Band have a really unique sound and that is one reason of many why they won the Best Band Bar None 2011 contest.
AJ's Bar None was an excellent venue for the band to perform at. It is run by Andy James, who is a performer himself, and on one number he joined the Traveller Blues Band to add his own vocals.
More Traveller Blues Band pics
All about The Traveller Blues Band
Bluegrass, from the band, was telling me how they formed the group after all agreeing that the island needed something fresh. There are plenty of acts singing cover songs over backing tracks but very few that actually play instruments and fewer still that write and perform their own material.
They first got together in 2009 but have swiftly made a name for themselves by playing a very large number of gigs that have resulted in a large fanbase and exposure in the local media, including the radio stations Atlantis FM and Coast FM. It was actually Jon Max from Atlantis radio that made the presentation to the band of their winnings.
Whiskey accepted the trophy and the prize money and made a short speech about how although they had won there were very many excellent live musicians out there too. That is what is important - for real live music to have venues on Tenerife where it can be heard, venues like AJ's Bar None in Torviscas.
Besides being talented performers,the Traveller Blues Band also know how to sell their music and to promote themselves. They have a number of websites and their distinctive black stage gear has established the band's image. They are visual as well as musical.
Traveller Blues Band are what Tenerife has needed because they are a band that are determined to succeed and know what it takes to do so.
Traveller Blues Band links
- Traveller Blues Band on Facebook
Facebook site for the Traveller Blues Band
© 2011 Steve Andrews