Travis’ song writing is at once poetic and thoughtful, combining a truly original intellectual viewpoint with a dose of humor and wit. While his music fits in the broad category of folk-rock, it also defies categorization and couples unique lyrics with a down home, honest voice.
As a former captain of the Hudson River Sloop Clearwater, Travis often played a long-neck banjo and sang topical and traditional folk music for adults and children, but always lurking in the background were his thoughts and ideas for creative original material in updated forms, and he began to write them down.
Learning largely from Library of Congress field recordings and Folkways records (now Smithsonian Folkways), his roots are firmly set in the time-honored music of many cultures, but mostly early to mid 20th century ballads and blues of the U.S. In this context, his song “Down In Clarkstown” is a descendant of a form of 18th century European ballad, and the 12-bar blues songs are a tribute to African American roots, such as levee camp work songs and field hollers. But make no mistake, the material on Travis’ 2016 release “This Is Me Now” are very modern and the songs on his current recording project will build from there.
Travis is personally modest and probably wouldn’t mention it himself, but if you asked him about it, you would learn that he has won a Grammy Award in 2010 as one of the producers of “Tomorrows Children,” winner of “best children's album” and that he has shared the stage with many, many well-known folk performers before stepping out on his own in recent years.