By Tim Schumann
I’ve been attending shows since 1972, needless to say, I’ve seen just about everyone and as most, I’m all about the front man and or the front woman. Front men such as David Lee Roth, Peter Wolf, Peter Gabriel w/ Genesis, Matt Schulz, front women such as Patti Smith, Wendy O Williams, Gen from the Genitorturers and this list goes on and on. In my opinion a band is only as good as the front man, a focal point, if you will, the main source of entertainment, a performer you cannot take your eyes off of and when you leave the venue, you feel moved, you know that that person could not have given you anymore that they did, case in point, it’s how I felt leaving the Lakeland Civic Center after watching Bruce Springsteen for over three straight hours on the River Tour, I myself was spent and to this day have never forgot that epic experience.
Which now brings us to the subject of this review / introduction of a young man that I had heard about this time last year thru fellow concert goers, the stories were mixed, but for the most part were of a positive nature, needless to say, my photojournalist radar was set off, who is this guy? Never heard of this band before and most locals I’m aware of, but its the front man that is the buzz, I thought to myself, gotta check this out, gotta see what El Paso is talking about and on 24 August at The Rockhouse Bar and Grill, that opportunity finally presented itself.
I was in sheer awe as I watched Mr. Johnny Traviezo commanded the stage, it was as if Jim Morrison and Janis Joplin had a child and I was under the spell of said offspring, the feeling was surreal, it was if I was experiencing unbridled greatness in its infant stage. It was the same feeling when I saw Nickelback play to 25 people on a Saturday morning at a 2 day festival in Florida over 20 years ago or the first time I heard Welcome to the Jungle by GnR in 87, my first thought was, Holy shit, who are these guys? Boy, whoever they are, I bet they’ll make it. Of course, the rest of that story is history, which leads me back to Johnny, I can truly say the feelings I had for Nickleback and Guns And Roses are the same I have now for Johnny Traviezo.
Johnny was born and raised here in El Paso, Texas, just turned 21 last week. Been involved in music since the age of 15, his singing influences are Jim Morrison, Frank Sinatra, Johnny Cash and Ronnie James Dio, his guitar influences are Stevie Ray Vaughn, Eddie Van Halen, Paco Pena and Joe Satriani and I can contest, it shows in both categories, 10 fold.
He has been in mutable bands over the years, his last endeavor lasted 2 years and just 2 weeks ago parted company with that band to mixed reviews among his fans here in the BorderLand, truth be told, most championing his decision, encouraging his future efforts as a solo artist, me for one supporting him 100%, some things are just not to be and then again, some things are.
I’ve personally known Johnny now for the past 10 months, photographed him onstage several times, he has a stage presence of a seasoned veteran of Rock and Roll, this is so rare of a man of 21 years old, he has always had the moxy, the swagger, the mindset of a true front man, in a sense, he’s Jim Morrison reincarnated, you can see it, you can definitely hear it in his voice to the point, it’s a bit erie, yet captivating, especially if you’re a Doors fan.
In the Good news Department, Johnny has put together a new band and I mean brand new, so new, they haven’t really done anything yet, but studio time is in the near future and as soon as
this pandemic is over, recording and of course, doing some shows, mainly at our premiere venue, The Rockhouse, can’t wait for it to reopen and I’m sure I’m not alone in stating this.
Johnny Traviezo and the Eternal Flame is the name of his latest endeavor, it consists of Johnny on vocals, Oscar Roman on bass, Angelo Paz on drums and Isaiah Macias doing the honors on guitar.
I asked Oscar and Isaiah during the break on our photo shoot two Sundays ago what was their spin on working with Johnny, both were equally excited, they know what Johnny brings to the table, they both know the sky’s the limit with proper management, direction, encouragement and most of all Johnny at the helm, doing what he does best, entertaining, being a showman.
El Paso has spawned a few stars, Cesar Soto of Ministry, Khalid and At The Drive In, all three I have shot on the national level for various publications, God willing, Johnny Traviezo will be next on that list, stay tuned.
Full Johnny Traviezo Gallery Below:
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