Hit songwriter Travis Meadows is touring with his latest release First Cigarette (Blaster Records). The new album features Meadows’ unflinching candor and peerless songwriting. After hearing him at Austin’s Saxon Pub recently, here’s why we think he’s worth checking out.
1. Lasting impression
An unforgettable performer with a soulfully authentic voice, it’s not just the sound and style of Travis Meadows that leaves a lasting impression. His storytelling between songs will leave you impressed and maybe even a little nostalgic. I particularly enjoyed the song he wrote about his grandfather, and the stories that he told about him before the song.
Playing in small venues and on weeknights at places like Austin’s Saxon Pub creates a very relaxing atmosphere. Uncrowded, you can sit by the bar and listen to his music for a solid hour and a half. Meadows doesn’t stop for breaks and at the end he seems genuinely disappointed that time is up. (“That went by fast.”)
3. Fun for all ages
His performances are fun for all ages (as long as you are 21 and up). I brought my college-aged cousin and she enjoyed it. The crowd was a mix of people from all life stages.
4. Talented songwriter
Humble, yet a talented songwriter, Meadows has written songs for other artists including Dierks Bentley’s “Riser”, along with songs for Jake Owen and Eric Church. And, before he plays them, Meadows always has a story to tell about writing the songs. (Lucky us! He sang “Riser” at the Saxon Pub.)
Even though Travis Meadows will cover a song or two that he wrote for another artist, his other songs are unique, authentic and it’s likely you’ve never heard them before from another artist.
He has a “story of survival” that he’s not afraid to share. Meadows is a recovering alcoholic after dealing with the abandonment of his parents, the death of a sibling and surviving cancer, all before the age 14. His latest release, First Cigarette, features a much brighter outlook, reflecting where Meadows is currently at in his life and expanding on themes of recovery and survival. Rolling Stone recently called First Cigarette “an album that’s equal parts hurt and healing, and one that may linger long after the smoke has cleared.”
Cover photo Joshua Black Wilkins