The Bay Area.

It is a testament to how busy I’ve been that I’ve not been able to carve out some time to keep up with his blog.

I’ve a lot of ground to cover, so here it goes…

After my “Kindness of Strangers Tour ended so abruptly (due to a traumatic car accident) I was able to make it back to California and I’ve been living in an artist loft in Vallejo ever since. I’ve been putting together a backing band and so far we’ve played a handful of shows all over the Bay Area including 2 shows in San Francisco (one at the 50 Mason Social House, and more recently at Hotel Utah).

It’s been a push auditioning players and teaching them the songs and booking shows and building relationships with the clubs and promoters in this part of California. Things work a bit different than they did in LA, mostly for the best and I am getting a handle on the indie rock scene up here.

One thing that I’ve been noticing is that most of the shows I’ve played up here have been super well attended. I played to a packed room last night at Hotel Utah…on a SUNDAY night at that! I’m also noticing that people are dancing and clapping along at most of my gigs as opposed to just watching passively. Lastly, I’ve also noticed that I am selling more CD’s than usual AND the venues are paying us for playing the shows. After 10+ years of slogging it out in LA, I have to say this is a breath of welcomed fresh air.

I’ve also been getting back into my visual art now that I have a space set up for doing my art. I’m going to be part of a collective show that is happening at 707 Marin Street, Vallejo CA on Saturday & Sunday, November 7 & 8, 2015, 11am to 5pm. I’m going to also be performing acoustic with my band at this art show.

Here are a few pictures of the work I’ve been doing in my studio. If you are interested in purchasing any of my art, the originals are for sale and you can contact me direct via email: artrock1986@gmail.com and I will give you more information regarding price.

painting2

Out Here In The Dark

In addition to getting back into my vidual art, I’ve been working a part time job in order to make some money to throw at problems. My motorcycle is in need of minor repairs and keeping up with bills and trying to chip away at some credit card debt. I’ve also been in the process of booking gigs all over the bay. Our next confirmed performance is at The Hub which is an art gallery/performance space located in downtown Vallejo. The BTB are headlining and David El and O Happy Daggers are opening. It should be a great show! I’ve designed a poster for the event which I quite like. Check it out:

BrianTravisBandPoster2

If you like the look of my poster design and you’d like to see more of my design work, you can go to my official online portfolio here: https://coyotemusecreations.carbonmade.com/

One last thing, I decided to treat myself for my birthday weekend and took a trip to Harbin Hot springs. I had never ever been there before, but I packed my tent and sleeping bag on the back of my Motorcycle and rode up to Harbin and enjoyed 24 hours of blissful soaking in the hot springs along with the rest of the Harbin residents and visitors who were there that weekend. I was blown away by how many stars I could see from the upper sleeping deck once the sun went down. The super hot pool was INTENSE and I could only stay in it for a few minutes tops. I had a wonderful time and left vowing to return again soon. Sadly, the fires that have been ravaging California decimated Harbin a few weeks ago and nothing is left of the retreat center except ash and charred remains of some of the structures. It’s incredibly sad but not nearly as sad as how many people have lost everything from these fires. Many people are displaced and have lost everything and I’m sure that in the near future I will be playing benefit shows that will raise funds to help all who are displaced from the fire.

Rather than leaving this post on a sad note, I’m going to instead post this footage of my band performing at Saint James Gate in Belmont California on Saturday, August 15th 2015. It was a great gig and you can see the fun we are having in this 15 minute video. Enjoy!

Advertisements

Sprockets International Music Video Film Festival in Athens GA.

Last Thursday morning (5:30am) I hastily packed up a backpack of clothes, my acoustic guitar and some BTB CD’s and business cards and hit the open road for a 13 hour drive to Athens GA. The Brian Travis Band music video for our song, “Siren” (directed by David Barlia) was an official selection this year at Sprockets International Music Video Film Festival. Sprockets is the longest running film festival dedicated exclusively to music video film making in the United States. It was a real honor that our video was selected and I was not going to miss the chance to see the video premiered on the big screen.

filmathens

I was also very excited to spend a few days in Athens Georgia as I had never been east of the Mississippi river before. It was great to be around so much rich American history. There is something special about crossing the Mighty Mississippi to spend time in the original colonial states.

IMG_3160

I had arranged to stay with my friend Laura from LA, whose family has a nice lake house in Hartwell GA. It was a little north of Athens, but it was well worth the extra drive time to see Laura and kick it on her family’s pontoon boat. It was drizzling rain all weekend but that did not stop Laura and I from taking out the jet ski for a spin on Hartwell lake. It was thrilling to open throttle that thing on the open water!

IMG_3175

Later that day we got showered and ready to hit the town. We had to go to Athens to pick up the wristbands for the film festival at The Flicker Theater and Bar right next to The 40 Watt Club. We got there around 8ish and grabbed a few drinks and met all the other film makers and artists who were milling about. The Flicker Theater became quite a scene and a few drinks turned into a few more. Later that evening one of Laura’s friends, Mandy, showed up to have drinks with us. We all ended up at a small gathering of friends at someones house where we continued socializing until the wee hours. In the morning Laura and I caught a ride back to my car from her brother. Laura went home to get more rest while I wandered around downtown Athens killing time before my hotel allowed me to check in later that afternoon.

Laura and I

Laura and I before our night on the town

I took a few pics while walking around Athens:

IMG_3184

IMG_3204

IMG_3205

IMG_3206

IMG_3207

Once I checked into the hotel I showered and took a nap. I woke up in time to make it to the pre-screening VIP reception (once again at the Flicker Theater and Bar) where I ran into an artist named Brooklynn from Atlanta Georgia. We had a nice time chatting over a few beers and then we headed over to The 40 Watt to see our respective music videos premiered on the big screen.

Brooklynn & I.

Brooklynn & I at the Sprockets VIP reception

IMG_3210

All the videos were great! It was an honor to see “Siren” on the big screen along side so many well made and entertaining pieces. It was a long night and after the awards were given out (sadly Siren did not win one of the three well crafted trophies made by a local sculpture artist) I walked back to my hotel room and caught some well needed sleep before the long drive back to the Ozarks the next morning.

Even though our music video did not take home a trophy, it was still amazing to be part of the event. It felt good to have the film screen properly at a film festival. Now that our video has had it’s exclusive premiere as an official selection at Sprockets, I am excited to release it worldwide via the internet.

Without further adieu, here is “Siren” by The Brian Travis Band. Directed by David Barlia. Featuring Renee Kay (as the mermaid).

A Long Overdue Tour Update…

For the last 8 months now I’ve been on the road in support of my new CD, “The Coyote & The Crow”. The concept behind this extended road adventure is something I’ve coined “The Kindness Of Strangers Tour”. This is part radio tour to promote “The Coyote & The Crow” in new markets, part road trip to visit very dear people in my life who I’ve not been able to see for many years, part live rock ‘n roll performances and part charity fundraiser.

So far I’ve performed countless tour dates and performed at venues in Santa Cruz, Vallejo, Berkeley, Mill Valley, San Francisco, LA & Joshua Tree in California; Cottage Grove, Eugene & Portland in Oregon; Grand Junction & Boulder in Colorado; Oklahoma City in Oklahoma; Hollister & Branson in Missouri. More dates are being scheduled in Colorado, Georgia and Tennessee coming up this summer and fall.

The concept behind The Kindness of Strangers Tour is this:

In the modern era of being a career musician, financial security from CD sales and touring is lower than it has ever been. For artists like myself who primarily write and perform all original songs with an original sound (artists who pursue their art rather than performing covers or performing as a “tribute” band playing the songs of past successful acts) the outlook is grim. The average music fan is not spending money on physical product (CD’s) and if people have never heard of you or your music, it’s very hard to make a living on the road as a touring performer.

Playing music locally is your best bet, and after a great deal of hard work and effort you can garner a local fan base. The Brian Travis Band have done exactly that in LA, and we are very close with ALL of our fans and we appreciate all of the AMAZING support our fans, friends and supporters have given us over the years. Having played nearly every venue in LA for over 10 years (aside from a few successful tours to The Bay Area, Europe and the UK in the early 2000’s) we’ve not been able to afford to tour as much as we would have liked. In 2013 (in an effort to promote BTB music in places where people have never heard of The Brian Travis Band) it became my goal to come up with a concept to make touring in the modern era possible.

I made a decision to embark on an open ended tour with no set end date. It has become my mission to tour all over the country with a video camera, my acoustic guitar, my songs and very little else. The tour is being funded and supported by the fans I’ve made over the years (you guys!) and the “strangers” I meet (and perform for) on my journey. I let each audience I perform for know that I am touring without the support of a big record label and that all tour expenses are being covered by donations. I am filming each portion of my journey and editing what I capture down into 5-10 minute tour episodes so that the people I meet (and people back in LA) can follow along with the adventure. The videos are posted on my official website at briantravis.com. Here is the most recent one chronicling my experiences in Portland, OR.

Below the videos there are paypal donate buttons where you can contribute to “tour support” to help keep this show on the road. There are incentives and rewards for “tour support” donations and 20% of all tour donations go to the charity of my choice. I choose a different charity for each leg of the tour. The first leg raised funds for Typhoon Hayian relief efforts. This leg of the tour is supporting Mike Peters’ Love, Hope & Strength Foundation for cancer research. The 3rd leg of The Kindness of Strangers Tour: (The Kindness of Stranger Tour Leg 3: No Direction Home) will chronicle my return trip to California and a third charity (yet to be determined) will be supported.

If you have always believed in my music and my dogged determination to make this music my life now is a great time to support me in a tangible way with a contribution to The Kindness of Strangers Tour. Tour donations fund food, gas, lodging, guitar strings, promotion costs and other various tour expenses while on the road. If you happen to be at a show on this tour or see me busking on the streets of Nashville, Branson or Boulder Colorado this summer any kind of donation is accepted. IT DOESN’T HAVE TO BE MONEY. It could be a safe and warm place to stay, a home cooked meal, or anything that you feel you would like to give in return for my music, talent and performance.

Tour rewards:

If you donate $20 or more to “Tour Support” you’ll receive a limited edition signed and numbered tour poster with all the tour dates listed.

For a donation of $50 or more you receive a limited edition tour poster and a custom MP3 of the BTB song of your choice recorded for you in a stripped down solo acoustic format along with a personalized dedication recorded especially for you and sent to your inbox.

For a donation of $100 or more you receive the tour poster, the personalized MP3 of your favorite BTB song and I will spend a day to sit down and write and record you a brand new original song that incorporates details of our relationship in some personal way so that it is a unique musical representation of our fan/musician connection.

As a result of my tour efforts so far, radio stations up and down the coast of California have begun to play cuts from “The Coyote & The Crow”. Most notably, KPIG radio in Watsonville has BTB music in moderate rotation and will soon feature us on an on air promotion called “Fresh Pork Chops”. KPIG’s Fresh Pork Chops will feature a few cuts from our new CD every night for a week at 7pm and will give away one copy of our album each night to a listener who calls in to win.

I will also be featured on KAFM’s live music show “Broaden Your Bandwidth” at 88.1FM in Grand Junction Colorado on August 13th from 5:30 to 6:30pm and am booking more radio appearances across the country this fall. If you would like to help get Brian Travis Band music on the airwaves by requesting songs from The Coyote & The Crow please contact Camryn Graver-Dowd @ camdgd@gmail.com to find out what radio station to call to request our music.

To those of you who have already made a contribution, thank you all so very much for all the support you have shown to my success so far. I honestly would not be able to continue to be a performing musician without the support of each and every one of you. It has been a true blessing to be able to write the songs that are in my heart and to express myself as a musician. I have been very lucky to have gotten as far as I have and extremely blessed to have the support and talent of all Brian Travis Band members (past and present) who have stood by me and helped me make my musical vision a reality. I also cannot express how much the support, friendship and production expertise of George Landress has meant to me in the last few years of the development of the BTB. I continue to be inspired by the people who believe in the music I make and who have confided in me about how a song of mine has touched them. It is the encouragement of my fans that has kept me in the game this long, and it is the brotherhood that exists within the band and the inner circle of our family of fans that has seen me through a metric ton of career hardships and peak experiences as a performer and recording artist.

I’m currently enjoying an amazing spring in the Ozark mountains. There is green EVERYWHERE. For the last 4 weeks I’ve been making repairs to a very old house that has been in my family for generations. A house built on land that was given to my ancestors as part of the US homestead act. This land has been farmed on and lived upon by my father, and his father before him and his father before him. Even my great grandmother (you know the one I mean…) lived on this land. The house is quite small and is covered with peeling yellow paint and the neighbors are cows.

The Little Yellow House.

The Little Yellow House.

IMG_3457

I am making this little yellow house Brian Travis Band ground zero and will be using this house to book the second and third leg of The Kindness Of Strangers Tour and to get my business plan together for trips to Nashville this summer. I am also starting to write seeds of new songs and recording new melodic ideas for the next BTB album.

Yesterday was the day that all the plumbing leaks were 100% fixed (there were 5 all in all) and the water heater was turned on after my dad, uncle and I installed a new ventilation system to expel any carbon monoxide generated by the water heater to be vented up through the attic and out through the roof. Now that there is hot water and electricity, the next phase of my life on the road can move forward, this time with a home base to retreat to, nestled in the heart of the Ozarks, surrounded by the inspiration of where I come from.

Thanks so much for taking this ride with me, I’m as curious as anyone else to see what comes next. Have a safe and productive 2014 and don’t be afraid to chase those dreams of yours. I’m still chasing mine and I’ve honestly never been happier. Letting go is never easy, but following wherever the road takes you can sometimes lead you to places that you were always meant to be.

Shooting on location in southern California!

Last weekend was another big weekend of music video madness. I woke up early on Saturday morning like a kid on Christmas day, eyes popping open at 5:45am. I got dressed and loaded all the props and such into the Spirit of 86 (my faithful 1986 Honda SI) and drove to the market to load up on snacks for the shoot.

I drove to down Kanan road to the southern California coastline and arrived at Leo Carillo state beach at 8am. I lounged in the Spirit with the seat back and waited for the cast and crew to arrive. About an hour later they each trickled in one by one and we eventually made our way down to the cave where we were going to shoot a few scenes with the mermaid and I. The rest of the band kicked it on the beach as we shot the scenes we needed to get.

I was a bit nervous about shooting at Leo Carillo as my brother and his wife had filled my head with horror stories of people getting huge tickets for filming there. I had my eyes peeled for rangers and we were trying our best to keep things low profile – however it is hard to keep things on the down-low when you are carrying a beautiful mermaid out of a cave and into the ocean. Soon children and families were staring, pointing and shouting “There’s a mermaid!” This only fueled my already full blown paranoia and all I wanted to do was to finish shooting the scenes and get out of there as quickly as possible before a ranger pulled up on an ATV to write us a hefty fine for shooting without a permit.

No one else shared my paranoia and the rest of the crew were downright LAID BACK about it. Our director moved at his slow and steady pace and insisted that we get multiple takes of every shot from various angles. Eventually we finished up and were on the move to the next location: La Peidra State Beach.

Once at the La Peidra we paid $8 for parking (each car) and sat at one of the picnic tables for lunch. We snacked on shared food that we brought and even had a few beers! We also used the down time to distress some costume pieces for the scenes that we were about to shoot on the beach. The crew consisted of the “classic” BTB band members Mark Wickliffe, Steven Wiel and Joe Arena an myself. We all got into out shipwrecked sailor wardrobe and our make up vixen, Claudia applied ample amounts of “sun burn” make up to our faces.

Next we all had to lug a wagon and a great deal of bags filled with equipment down to the beach. If you have ever been to La Peidra you already know that the trek to the beach is long and full of stairs. Going down was slightly treacherous but we made it safe and sound. There was a moment when all 7 of us were hiking down to the beach when I felt like I was 11 again, spending all day under the sun out having an adventure with a bunch of friends. It was a really nice feeling.

The shots with the whole band were great. There was a lot of dragging around a mermaid in a wagon and a lot of carrying Renee around (she needed to be carried everywhere because well, mermaids do not have legs…) and I knew that I was gonna be very sore the day after! Once we had all the shots we needed it was time to lug everything back up to the cars. The hike back to the top was brutal. We were all very tired and our energy had been zapped by the sun. Eventually we made it to our cars and we all had a good laugh about how much fun it was and how crazy of an adventure we just had. It was one of the better days of 2013 for me and I did feel tremendously tired and sore the next day, but it was the best kind of tired and sore. It made me realize how much more often I need to spend time outside, instead of hammering away on this keyboard blogging/social networking/promoting the band and such.

Here now, for your viewing pleasure, are the best shots from our beach adventure video shoot.

Siren at the cave!

Siren at the cave!

Abandoned Radio Flyer

Abandoned Radio Flyer

Digging the wagon out of the surf.

Digging the wagon out of the surf.

The Captain!

The Captain!

The Brian Travis Band!

The Brian Travis Band!

STEVE

We are still accepting contributions for the budget for this video. If you would like to contribute all the information on how to do so is on the news page of our website:

http://briantravis.com/?goto=news

Promotional Video for the new Brian Travis Band album!

As I am writing this, I am sitting in my air conditioned rehearsal studio which also happens to be the coolest place in LA on this hot, HOT Wed afternoon in October. Cool not only in temperature, but also in hipness because in the studio down the hall from me The Black Rebel Motorcycle Club are recording their new album. The actual guys are tracking right now and I can tell you that the track I am listening to is gorgeous. Sometimes, when I am not suffering from low blood sugar as a result of not eating regular meals, I really love this musician life of mine.

I’ve been on self induced lockdown in my studio filming pick up shots and editing together a promotional video for the new Brian Travis Band CD, The Coyote & The Crow. The video has taken 3 days of constant editing, but it is finished and I would like to share it with you all. It is basically a commercial to generate pre-order sales in an effort to stockpile a promotional budget to help us shoot music videos, hire publicists, and launch a marketing campaign to increase the awareness of this album.I’ll post pre-order info below the vid -but first- without further adieu, here is the video:

The Brian Travis Band are currently offering a limited amount of advance special edition CD of the forthcoming BTB release, “”The Coyote & The Crow” to friends and fans who would like to pre-order the disk.

All pre-orders will be signed by the entire band and will be shipped 2 weeks before the official release date, which should be sometime between the end of October and Christmas 2012.

You can pre-order your special edition copy of the new album via paypal by making a payment of $15 (includes shipping) to tastethismoment@hotmail.com.

If you do not have a Paypal account you can send a check made out to Brian Travis to: 674 Cypress St Newbury Park, CA 91320

If you make a pre-order either by snail mail or via paypal, be sure to include your current address where you would like us to send the CD when it is all finished.

If you can, spreading the word about our upcoming release in a grassroots way is very important. There is nothing more powerful a marketing tool than word of mouth. If you are so inclined we would be very thankful if you re-post the video link onto your FB wall, your twitter, tumbler, wordpress or social network of your choice. If you like, say something encouraging and positive about our music and upcoming CD in your own words too! That would do a lot to get the word out about this new release!

Keep the faith

Brian

New gadgets, toys and tech.

Having a job kind of rules in the ‘steady paycheck’ department. Every 2 weeks money appears in my bank account seemingly out of nowhere. The hard part is working long days and slaving over a computer for the better part of the day week in and week out. Sometimes (a LOT of the time) I am at work from 9am to 8pm or later.

The biggest plus has been the ability to afford a few technological wonders that are changing the way I conduct my personal music business. For example, I purchased an HD flip video camera a while back and I’ve been collecting footage of band rehearsals and shows. I’ve been able to edit the footage quickly using imovie on my mac and I’ve posted some stuff onto youtube. Here is a link to a recent performance at Stronghold in Venice:

The Brian Travis Band Live @ The Stronghold

and footage of us playing at The Bohemian Exchange last January:

The Westbound Kentucky

and one of us playing a cover song from the same gig:

The Seeker by The Who

I hope you enjoy these. Please post comments!

Cheers,
Brian