We’ve updated our Terms of Use to reflect our new entity name and address. You can review the changes here.
We’ve updated our Terms of Use. You can review the changes here.

Memoirs of an Opening Act

by Travis & Shook

  • Digital Album
    Streaming + Download

    Includes high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more. Paying supporters also get unlimited streaming via the free Bandcamp app.
    Purchasable with gift card

      name your price

    You own this


Samba 03:49
Henry Wilson 02:39
Picnic Ape 01:51
Breakaway 03:06


It's a long story, but the Cliff Notes version is, we were a duo back in 1968, with Steve being the sensitive, genius acoustic guitar player with a fascinating style all his own, and I was the comic relief, color, and harmony man, and we played and toured constantly with all kinds of people but most notably George Carlin, who was as good a friend and patron as you can possibly imagine, keeping us touring and overpaid for ten years or so, until around the early eighties, when we met Rikki Bates and started the Incredible Casuals.
So you should at least know that most of these recordings are about forty years old. Yikes!
I have no idea how to explain what our repertoire turned out to be, except that we never quite solved the problem of probably trying to do way too many disparate things at once (though I'm proud to say there were certain nights along where we did solve it resoundingly, thank god!) But we tried to play sambas, shuffles, and ethereal chamber music featuring Steve's gorgeous, inventive chord voicings and rhythms, as well as song satires, profanity, rock n' roll, country, and total idiocy. So, that's what's on the album, and good luck! I'll only make my usual claim that whatever it is, I'm reasonably certain it won't be confused with anything else. 


released May 16, 2020

Chandler Travis- bass, bongos, harmonica autoharp, guitar, and vocal
Steve Shook- guitar and vocal

All songs written by Chandler Travis and / or Steve Shook; published by Farfy Music / BMI, except:
4 - S. Burke - D. Burke - J. B. Moore; Cotillion / BMI
9 – N. Holder – J. Lea; Barn Publishing / ASCAP
15 - A. Schroeder – W. Gold; Gladys Music / ASCAP

Produced and mastered by Chandler Travis / Archival assist by P.J. O'Connell
Photos by Ron Pownall and Barry Donahue
Live recordings, mid to late 1970s, at:
The Musicarnival, Cleveland, OH.: 1, 12, 13
Cellar Door, Washington DC. by Dude Sless: 2, 14
Roxy, Los Angeles, CA: 3, 10
Des Moines, Iowa: 4, 6, 9, 11

5- recorded at Intermedia by Bob Runstein, 1971-ish; Tom Staley on drums
7- recorded at Philo, North Ferrisburg, VT, 1978-ish; produced by Bill Scheniman;
Rikki Bates on drums
8- probably recorded at Mt. Cod, Eastham, MA. by Chandler Travis
15- recorded at Trout Towers, Orleans, MA., April, 2006, by Chris Blood


all rights reserved



Chandler Travis Philharmonic Massachusetts

THE CHANDLER TRAVIS PHILHARMONIC is a 9-piece technicolor extravaganza from Boston that includes a horn section, string bass, mandocello, guitar, keys, drums, accordion, and valet. George Carlin and NRBQ are among their longtime supporters; others include Bonnie Raitt, Elvis Costello, Bruce Springsteen, Of Montreal, Ween, and yer mother. ... more

contact / help

Contact Chandler Travis Philharmonic

Streaming and
Download help

Redeem code

Report this album or account