February 1, 2017

TULSA, Okla. – February 3 marks the official release of  “Up Ahead,” a collection of ten new tracks by Oklahoma singer-songwriter Travis Linville. While the album will be making its public debut with a string of dates in Oklahoma, Arkansas and Texas in February, the songs have been in the works for a while. 

“The songs develop over a long period of time,” said Linville. “Somewhere in 2015 is when the album really started to take shape.” 

Linville recorded the songs for “Up Ahead” at a number of different locations, but Norman’s Bell Labs was the home studio for this project. Linville has collaborated with the studio’s owner and audio engineer, Trent Bell, for years. 

“Even when I had my own studio, I worked in conjunction with Bell Labs a lot on different aspects of recording and mixing,” Linville noted. “Trent Bell and I have been making records together for a long time.” 

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Although Linville has often produced, recorded and mixed his own music, with his latest release, he let Bell handle the final technical touches. 

“With this album, more than any other, I intentionally didn't show up for the mix,” Linville said. “Often when I’m making records for other people or, in the past on my own, I would definitely want to be there for the mix, or do it myself. But I left town, and Trent mixed it while I was gone. When I came back, it was done. I probably could have sat and listened to every little sound for 20 hours in the studio, but I don’t think it would have been any better than it is.” 

Bassist David Leach, keyboardist Ryan Jones, and percussionists Matt Duckworth and Mike Meadows, joined Linville for the new record. In addition to vocals, Linville played a variety of instruments himself, including guitar, lap and pedal steel, mandolin and Dobro. 

For the upcoming shows, however, Linville will be taking a Tulsa-heavy band on the road with bassist Aaron Boehler, drummer Andrew Bones, and guitarist Jesse Aycock. Linville said his regular Wednesday night gig at Tulsa’s Mercury Lounge has morphed into band practice as the release date approaches. 

“The most fun thing so far has been gearing up and playing with those guys on Wednesday nights,” Linville laughed. “We’re getting ready for this little run.” 

Although the album is completed and ready for release, according to Linville, in many ways things are just getting started. 

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“Creatively and musically, the project felt completed when I finished recording and mixing it, but then it takes on a life of its own for people to listen to and check out, so in many ways, it’s just beginning,” he noted. 

“It’s kind of like having a baby,” Linville laughed. “[Musician] Mike Hosty told me that some of your kids grow up to do amazing things, and some of them just stay around. Songs are like that, too. Some of your songs just hang out in back of the junior high, smoking cigarettes.” 

Red Dirt Nation was granted an exclusive first look at Travis’s solo performance of “Worried Mind” 

VIDEO: Travis Linville performs a solo version of “Worried Mind” at Breathing Rhythm Recording Studio in Norman, Oklahoma.

"This song is all about looking forward and not backwards,” said Linvlille. “I wrote it while I was teaching a songwriting class as an example of lyric structure.  I was actually working on two different songs and then at some point i realized that they were one song called that became ‘Worried Mind.’  It's the closing track to the new record and I think it really sums up the central theme." 

For more information on “Up Ahead” and tour dates, visit www.travislinvillemusic.com.