We came across Ryan Scott Travis’ new album, “The Guadalupe Breakdown” last month and were captured by the warm, melodic stylings of the Boerne, TX native. The unique mixture of folk, Americana, and country, leave you wanting more at the end of every track! His vocals are soothing and entrances the listener as the story unfolds through his vivid imagery and colorful lyrics! This album is a fantastic piece of composition and we’re looking forward to what 2016 holds for this singer/songwriter. We had a chance to chat with Travis about growing up in the Hill Country, his new album, and what the future holds, here’s what this rising star had to say:
Texas Music Pickers: Tell us a little bit about yourself.
Ryan Scott Travis: For the last few years I have been a displaced Texan based out of Nashville, Tennessee. But I was raised in the Texas hill country where my family still lives. I’m sure if you listen to my music, you’ll find that most of my songs also live out there in the hills near Boerne.
TMP: Who would you describe as musical influences?
RST: David Gates of Bread had an enormous impact on my melodic choices. He may have written some of the most romantic tunes of all time. But lyrically, listening to Guy Clark over the years has really challenged me to try saying big things with little words. His songwriting somehow strikes the balance of expressing huge emotional ideas with simple, salt of the earth words.
TMP: How would you describe your style of music?
RST: Cutting the last album we were definitely chasing down an early 70’s Progressive Country sound. We ended up with a record that really walks the line between country and folk, with what we hope is reverence for both genres.
TMP: Tell us about the new album, “The Guadalupe Breakdown”.
RST: I really wanted to treat the listener to a story. No doubt the songs were born out of my own experiences over the last few years. But from these songs came characters that fall, dance, fight, make up, and come to better understand grace, distance, and friendship.
TMP: The album has received a pretty warm reception so far. What’s been your reaction been to such a positive response to it?
RST: Just honored and very thankful. Especially grateful to the musicians you hear on the album. If you want to know why the record feels so darn good, let me point you their way!
TMP: If you had to pick just one song from the album, which song are you the most proud of?
RST: It doesn’t get the attention that other songs on the album get, but the last track “Friends/Yarn” is a song I’m thankful I stumbled into. At the time the song was written I was still grieving the loss of my grandfather, who built our family with so much love and humor. Instead of writing a song expressing the loss I felt, I found a hopeful song that spoke of my friendship with him, and with my family, and with the many relationships I often find myself geographically far away from.
TMP: Our favorite song from the record is “Yellow Rose My Darling”. Can you provide us with some background on it?
RST: A month after I moved to Tennessee, I figured it’d be funny if I jokingly wrote a love song for Texas to send back to all my friends who had stayed in state for college. About half an hour into writing it I was crying like a baby. Haha and as it turns out there wasn’t much to joke about. But I have been humbled by how many people have connected with the song. The sad little joke-song turned out to be one our favorite boot-tappers to play live.
TMP: What is your favorite thing to eat while out on the road?
RST: Over and over again I find myself plowing through bags of dill pickle sunflower seeds on the road. But if I feel like really splurging, I’ll find a local Tex-Mex eatery in whatever town or state we happen to find ourselves in. Sometimes this is a risky decision.
TMP: Can you share a funny story with us about something that has happened while out on the road or performing?
RST: Last time we were at Floore’s Country Store, we were relaxing in the green room before the show. As most folks know, the green room at Floore’s is really just Willie Nelson’s old side house he used to live in. Well, our bass player Luis found this old rusted pogo stick in the closet. So he pulls it out and starts jumping up and down on it. The metal parts on the pogo stick started to make this loud ungodly squeaking noise and I was pretty sure it’s rusted old springs were going to snap at any second. Then suddenly a girl working the bar that night rushed into the room, red-faced and angry. She took the pogo stick away from Luis, saying that it was Willie’s and we were about to break it. The crowd was great that night in Helotes, Texas, but we’ll always remember the show as the night we almost broke Willie Nelson’s pogo stick.
TMP: What is on the horizon for Ryan Scott Travis?
RST: We’ll keep touring through 2016 to promote the The Guadalupe Breakdown. In between shows I’ll still be hunting down new tunes for the next project.
TMP: Is there anything else you’d like your fans to know
RST: When judging the local Tex-Mex eateries on the road, I will normally judge their culinary legitimacy on how good their Huevos Rancheros are. Not great road-food, but if a restaurant can get a Tex-Mex breakfast right, they get an A+ in my book.
Check out the title track, “The Guadalupe Breakdown” below!
Check out a live version of one of our favorite tracks, “Telling God He Overspent”, below!
The Prophet Bar
The Grand Stafford Theatre
Hill Country Young Life Club
The LBJ Ranch
w/ Michael Martin Murphey
Music addict, a sucker for heartbreak songs, and avid Houston sports fan! I’am also the Editor-in-Chief of Texas Music Pickers.