Hayes Carll (Song 25) said that Travis Linville is "criminally underrated." Which is exactly what I was thinking. And he's not alone in the underrated bucket. Isn't this the sad, often untold story of music? Amazingly talented musicians whose music is virtually unheard. I mean, sure, it's easier to publish music these days with YouTube and other digital platforms. But to get people to listen to it? That's a whole other story.
I first discovered Travis Linville about 10 years ago or so as part of my search for some new alt-country / folk music. Somehow, I found Travis Linville, whose songs are sweet and soulful, and who is an amazing guitar player and musician. I kept waiting for him to do a show here in the Philadelphia area. And then, lo and behold, several years ago I saw a promo for Travis appearing at the Tin Angel (RIP) with Hayes Carll. I mean, how great was that?!?!? Two of my new favorite singer-songwriters in concert together. So I bought a bunch of tickets, invited a group of folks to join me, and off we went to the Tin Angel. And we heard some great music. Very great. But, as it turns out, it was all Hayes Carll music - - because Travis Linville, although on the bill, was just the "sideman" (or accompanying guitarist) for Hayes. Which was okay. I mean, I love Hayes Carll, and his show was great. But I was very much looking forward to hearing Calvin's Song, Hard Knocks, Waterwheel and some of my other Travis Linville favorites.
In any event, Travis Linville, who was born and bred in Oklahoma and is pushing 40, is a guy that deserves a heck of a lot more listeners than he's had. I don't mean to suggest that he hasn't been successful. But he's so under the radar, it's ridiculous.
Travis Linville has a new album, Up Ahead, that was just released in February. I just discovered it, and I bought a copy of it on iTunes. (Yes, I still buy music to support musicians.) And here's a song from the new album called Bar Room. Please listen. I think that you'll like the song. And I think that you'll like Travis Linville, too.