By Bobby Tanzilo Senior Editor/Writer Published Aug 10, 2010 at 8:01 AM

Not long after I started at OnMilwaukee.com 10 years ago, I reviewed Scottish band Travis' gig at Marquette's Varsity Theater. Fran Healy and company were on the road for their second record, "The Man Who."

A decade later, Healy is back and we're still listening. In the intervening years Travis' "The Invisible Band" was an editorial office favorite, playing hundreds of times in our old digs. 

In the meantime, Healy also issued his solo debut, "Wreckorder."

Well, kinda.  It's not actually due for release in the States until Oct. 5. But Healy is already on the road, sharing the songs from the record with audiences. He'll do that at the Riverside Tuesday night when he opens for Keane.

Recorded in such far-flung locales as New York, Berlin and Vermont, the 10 songs on "Wreckorder" host guest luminaries like Neko Case and Paul McCartney. 

Although the instrumentation and the arrangements are a bit different, it comes as little surprise that "Wreckorder" sounds a lot like a Travis record. After all, Healy is that band's lead singer and main songwriter.

As on a great Travis record, melodies alternately effusive and melancholy are intoned by Healy's instantly recognizable voice. Although some guitars can be heard to jangle, there is more piano on these tunes and some heavier bass (courtesy of McCartney on "As It Comes"). 

"Sing Me To Sleep," a duet with Case is a high point of the record.

It seems like Healy is performing solo at the gigs and a recent blog entry suggests he's prone to distraction, so Milwaukee, please be on your best behavior.

"Man that was the worst show of the run," Healy wrote of his Saturday performance at Philadelphia's Mann Music Center.

"I got totally side tracked by the guy in the front row blowing tight chewing gum bubbles and popping them really loudly. It was louder than me!! Then I forgot to swallow in 'Anything' and missed a a line when my gag reflex kicked in … then completely f*cked up 'In The Morning.' I was going along great with that during the tour and now it’s like my right hand has forgotten where to go. I gonna keep practicing. I will not be beaten."

Bobby Tanzilo Senior Editor/Writer

Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., where he lived until he was 17, Bobby received his BA-Mass Communications from UWM in 1989 and has lived in Walker's Point, Bay View, Enderis Park, South Milwaukee and on the East Side.

He has published three non-fiction books in Italy – including one about an event in Milwaukee history, which was published in the U.S. in autumn 2010. Four more books, all about Milwaukee, have been published by The History Press.

With his most recent band, The Yell Leaders, Bobby released four LPs and had a songs featured in episodes of TV's "Party of Five" and "Dawson's Creek," and films in Japan, South America and the U.S. The Yell Leaders were named the best unsigned band in their region by VH-1 as part of its Rock Across America 1998 Tour. Most recently, the band contributed tracks to a UK vinyl/CD tribute to the Redskins and collaborated on a track with Italian novelist Enrico Remmert.

He's produced three installments of the "OMCD" series of local music compilations for OnMilwaukee.com and in 2007 produced a CD of Italian music and poetry.

In 2005, he was awarded the City of Asti's (Italy) Journalism Prize for his work focusing on that area. He has also won awards from the Milwaukee Press Club.

He can be heard weekly on 88Nine Radio Milwaukee talking about his "Urban Spelunking" series of stories.