Travers Chandler says Pardon Me

Pardon Me - Travers Chandler & Avery CountyTravers Chandler and his recently-reformated edition of Avery County have a new album on Mountain Fever Records.

Pardon Me contains a baker’s dozen hard core traditional bluegrass tracks, drawn primarily from lesser-known cuts in the old school bluegrass and country music catalogs. The title track is a Johnny Paycheck number from the 1960s whose full title is Pardon Me, I’ve Got Someone To Kill.

Now that’s bluegrass!

Other songs include classics from Charlie Moore, Earl Taylor, Jimmy Skinner, Paul Williams, Don Stover, and Pete Goble and Leroy Drumm. Joining Chandler on mandolin are John Bryan on guitar, Tom Isaacs on banjo, Merl Johnson on fiddle and Blake Johnson on bass.

Travers comes by his love for traditional music honestly, having worked previously with two of the most notable preservationists in bluegrass music, James King and Danny Paisley.

He shared a few words about the album, his new band, and how the loss of his father and several band members in the midst of the recording affected his outlook.

Pardon Me was a very emotional record for me to make. Its my third solo effort, and right in the middle of recording it I experienced some of the most difficult and trying times in my life. The new band kinda just fell from above and has been the blessing I needed in my life to carry on with my career.

John Bryan is just 21 and posesses one of the most haunting natural tenor voices there is out there. Not to mention his powerful right hand on the guitar. Tom Isaacs is truly the most talented of the old style banjo players I ever heard, and his playing on this record was what put drive in the recording. Round that out with Merl Johnson who remains with the band – the most underated fiddler in bluegrass today. It’s definitely the finest band I’ve ever had, and one that puts us even more squarely in the old traditional sound.

With my prior two albums I drew from the B sides of rarely or underheard records, and this one was no exception. I am a material hound and with the exception of one tune (The Stanley Brothers from Tom T and Dixie) all the songs were selected from the classic country and bluegrass vein. As always we feature a Charlie Moore tune (Blue Monday Morning), and the title track came from a Johnny Paycheck lost master.

Whiskey, my favorite on the album, caught me with the last line: ‘I wish I had died in my cradle, before I went through this living hell.’ Pretty much how I felt at the time.

It’s Honky-Tonk Bluegrass.

I love this album my favorite to date… even the instrumentals like Newton Grove sound angry!”

Here’s a couple of live videos shot earlier this month at a concert for the Borderline Folk Music Club in Rockland County, NY. First up, Travers and the boys pick and sing the new record’s opening track, Charlie Moore’s Blue Monday Morning.


And a feature for Bryan, Paul Williams and Sam Humphrey’s One Kiss Away From Loneliness.


You can hear several tracks from Pardon Me on the Avery County web site.

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About the Author

John Lawless

John had served as primary author and editor for The Bluegrass Blog from its launch in 2006 until being folded into Bluegrass Today in September of 2011. He continues in that capacity here, managing a strong team of columnists and correspondents.