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The Brian Travis Band
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The Brian Travis Band (often abbreviated BTB) is an American folk rock band currently composed of Brian Travis, Mark Wickliffe, Steve Weil & Jason 'Ace' Gonzales. They formed in Hollywood, California in December 2002, and are best known for their soaring California style melodies and lyrical folk-sensibility.
Singer/songwriter Brian Travis was born in Los Angeles and raised in the Ozarks. Brian’s writing style reflects his upbringing combining laid back California folk rock with the down home twang of his childhood in Forsyth Missouri (just outside Branson). After picking up the guitar in high school, Brian headed to Northern California and sought out other musicians, moving into a warehouse with band mates and rehearsing constantly. After his first band Forward disbanded, Travis fronted a new collective called Third Wish. Travis had collaborated with other songwriters, but Third Wish was his first opportunity to provide all of the original material. Third Wish gained momentum in the Bay Area, opening for The String Cheese Incident, Vinyl and Michelle Shocked, and releasing their own six-song EP Wish, produced by Evan Reiley. To promote this release Travis embarked on a six-week solo tour of Italy, the Netherlands, Germany, Switzerland, Prague and Brussels. Upon returning from that adventure Travis followed up The Wish EP with the release of a five-song solo EP “There from Here” produced by Andy Zenczak. Shifting band mates saw Travis playing in an acoustic group called Wishcraft, which garnered attention at festivals (such as Earth Day, Gay Pride and Arbor Day) and was awarded a plaque from the city of Santa Cruz, but the bands greatest achievement according to Travis was getting a “Wishcraft” sandwich named after them at one of the local eateries.
In 2001 Brian decided to head south to Los Angeles, where he played solo gigs for a few months before a promoter suggested getting a band together to book larger clubs. Travis promptly got in touch with Third Wish guitarist Jason ‘Ace’ Gonzales along with a few more talented LA musicians and booked a show at The Joint. The promoter billed the group as “The Brian Travis Band,” and the name stuck as Travis found that Gonzales, Thaddeus Wiseman (drums) and Manny Vega(bass) helped him create the folksy Americana rock ‘n roll sound he was searching for. Together, the four musicians recorded demos, toured up and down the California coast, and stormed the UK with shows all over England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland, which culminated in an opening slot that saw Travis performing onstage with his musical hero, Mike Peters of The Alarm. The Brian Travis Band released their debut CD Past the Breakers in 2004, The Bigger Picture in 2009 (produced by Mike Starr) and completely funded by fan pre-orders. Having been featured on KZSC, Santa Cruz; KCSN,Northridge; and KCSB, Santa Barbara, among many other college stations, “The Bigger Picture” saw more play on college stations and quickly sold out of physical copies. In 2011 The band release “Sense of Place: The Ranch Recording Sessions” produced by Cyrus Clarke and Feb of 2013 saw the release of the groups newest effort, “The Coyote & The Crow” produced by George Landress. “The Coyote & The Crow” features the current incarnation of the BTB (Mark Wickliffe, Steve Wiel, Brian Travis & Joe Arena) along with guest artists Julia Albert, Annie Boxell, Jason Gonzales, Will Donato, Mike Armstrong, George Landress and Mike Starr who also contributed their talents to Brian Travis’ original material.
After playing a string of well received CD release shows for The Coyote & The Crow, Travis and company made a music video for their first single "Siren" with director David Barlia which became an official selection at the Sprockets International Music Video Film Festival in Athens Georgia. Brian Travis then embarked upon a year long solo acoustic tour of the US known as "The Kindness of Strangers Tour" a donation based tour raising funds for charity. This tour took Brian all over the country playing both small and large venues including radio station appearances promoting "The Coyote & The Crow". During this tour, Travis got word that some of the songs from the new CD were getting frequent airplay on KPIG radio in Northern California which prompted Travis to relocate to the Bay Area to capitalize on the airplay. Brian swiftly put together a new backing band to support him in a new market which re-united him with longtime friend and collaborator Evan Reiley on guitar, newcomer Matt Gretter on drums, Brianna Musso on background vocals, and Bob Fruhlinger on the upright and electric bass.
The BTB are currently writing new material and performing shows all over the Bay Area with an eye towards recording new material and returning to the UK and Europe to perform in the near future.
-portions of The Brian Travis Band Bio written by Erin Johnson, July 2010
- The Coyote & The Crow (2013)
- The Bigger Picture (2009)
- Sense of Place (2007)
- Past the Breakers (2004)
- There From Here (2000)
- Third Wish (1997)
- There From Here (2000)
- Third Wish (1997)
- "The Official Website of the Brian Travis Band". Retrieved 2007-08-04.
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