Life took Travisano away from Arizona, to Oregon. He worked for years as an operating engineer, later getting his RN license. "I hit fifty and realized I wanted to do something with my life," he says.
He decided to embark on his blues tour came after purchasing a small handheld recorder, which he used to document modern blues players in Oregon.
"I needed to do my tour now, while I still can," he says, now 61. His first stop was where he discovered the blues, Phoenix. While here, he's recorded events at The Rhythm Room and Goat Head Saloon.
With maps spread out across a table, and his small apartment littered with reference books, Travisano plots out his intended route through New Mexico, Texas, and Louisiana, traveling down the I-10 and Highway 61, hoping to eventually retrace the original Delta blues trail.
"I'm just going to wonder and ponder," he says of his initial trip, which he sees as a fact finding mission, and he intends to retrace his steps when he's done with updated equipment to achieve "a more targeted documentary [with] multimedia involvement."
Travisano reached out with a desire to share some of the recordings he's made here in Phoenix. The following recordings from from the Chico Chism Birthday Bash, held on May 21 at The Rhythm Room. Chism played with Howlin' Wolf and Big Joe Turner (among others), and was a friend of Rhythm Room owner Bob Corritore. Traviasno loved the show, and shared with Up on the Sun some recordings from the event, including songs by The Rocket 88's and George Thomas & The Flamekeepers. "I'm a huge fan of Rocket 88's guitarist Dave Forster," says Travisano.
"I got into the blues a long time ago," Travisano says. "I remember saying back in 1980, 'blues is the music of the working man,' and this country is going to need it." With a weary nod, Travisano makes it clear: the same is true now.
Keep Phoenix New Times Free... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Phoenix with no paywalls.