Travis Larson Band, Rate of Change Live
Based in the idyllic California Coast city of San Luis Obispo, Travis Larson’s instrumental-rock power trio has been stirring up a signature brew of Steve Morse-influenced riffs and grooves for ten years now, and to celebrate they’ve created this abundantly stuffed double- live-CD-plus-bonus-DVD package from a show in late 2008. Bassist Jennifer Young handles the tricky unison runs, chordal tapping, and kinetic form changes like the advanced pro she is, and her solo breaks on “Heads or Tales” and “Times Like These” stand out for their restraint and melodic maturity. But make no mistake: This group is about bringing the unapologetic heat and light of a power trio with no singer, and Young (who co-produced the effort) employs the appropriately ass-kicking approach, taking up her fair share of the sonic space on heavy riff-driven tunes like “Dirty Magic” and “Edges,” and plenty more when required.
- Bryan Beller