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.
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 @ firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
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.