Norman, Oklahoma native Travis Linville has been around for twenty years and for all intents and purposes, this latest album – his fifth – Up Ahead could be the magic moment where he finally gets the recognition due him as this is a fine, fine collection of ten songs as one could want or hope for.  Warm, personal, melodic and hopeful; it’s a fully-realized “human” album. It’s also great to hear someone whose vocals fit the emotion of each song as Mr. Linville has a very warm, very embracing delivery.

The simple beauty of “Flowers In Your Hair” is a reminiscence of love at first sight – a musical smile that never gets wistful or cloying, but joyful; “Wishes” is a poppier piece but again, exudes positive feelings and the message is one of better things as the band plays a simple modern country tune, crisp and easy to embrace and “Finding My Way” has neat reverb guitars as the opening riff and yearning slides along with a catchy chorus.  “Bar Room” is a throwback to classic country with twangy guitars intertwined with sweeping pedal steel runs and a sad tale of being alone while drinking and remembering happier times – and the piano solo is tasteful and gripping as it yields to the sweetness of the pedal steel.  “Fade To Winter” is a highlight for me as I very much love the shuffle-beat to this track and what sounds like a Resonator solo; “Waltz Across Lonesome” is just that – a country waltz and “Worried Mind” is a perfect way to close this album – a lush, guitar-drenched number with tension, drama and yet restrained (the absence of percussion was a deft move in this song’s arrangement).

I’m very glad to have come across this album.  Travis Linville is a force unto himself and hopefully with Up Ahead, good things and much greater recognition is not too far off.


Up Ahead will be released Friday, February 3rd, 2017

About the Author

Rob Ross

Rob Ross has been, for good, bad or indifferent, involved in the music industry for over 30 years - first as guitarist/singer/songwriter with The Punch Line, then as freelance journalist, producer and manager to working for independent and major record labels. He resides in Staten Island, New York with his wife and cats; he works out a lot, reads voraciously, loves Big Star and his orange Gretsch. Doesn't that make him neat?

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