Travis Bowlin review…July 22, 2018….

TRAVIS BOWLIN

SECUNDUS

MOONBEAM RECORDS

STRANGE VIBES–IN THE WORST WAY–DANCIN’ WITH THE DEVIL–ALL OVER AGAIN–DON’T LEAD ME ON–VICKSBURG BLUES–GO TO GIRL–YOU KNOW YOU ARE–CASAURINA SAND–I CAN LET GO–RECORD SHOP–SLOW COOKER MAN

“Secundus” is a Latin term for “second,” and also translates into “lucky” or “favorable.”  Travis Bowlin is the second so named after his father, and he considers himself lucky to be making a living doing what he loves.  Thus, his latest album is “Secundus,” featuring twelve originals written in whole or in part by Travis, and they capture his takes on life, love, and the eternal balancing act between the two.

Everything gets off on the good foot with the leadoff funky Broadway scratch of that wishy-washy woman who always keeps you guessing, and who’s heavy on the “Strange Vibes.”  Travis and another lover are “playin’ with fire” and “bound to get burned” when they go “Dancin’ With The Devil,” set over a rapid-fire arrangement with a brooding, Crossroads feel. The rootsy, Delta spin of “Vicksburg Blues” finds our hero in damage control mode, trying to get the girl he left behind to take that leap of faith and head to greener pastures in the Windy City!  This one plays out as a cool, novella-in-song, as does one of our favorites.  It has a jazzy backbeat, and is a tragic tale of two lovers, he, oil, and she. water, who are always at odds.  You know the worst is gonna happen, and it sho’ nuff does, as he “leaps off a cliff and washes up adrift, on the Casaurina Sand.”  “Record Shop” took us back to the days of our youth, where that was not only THE place to be, but, for us, THE place to work as well!

Travis closes the set with our other favorite.  It’s a wah-wah workout of the highest order, tellin’ the swagger-riffic tale of that hard-lovin’ “Slow Cooker Man,” guaranteed “to do it better than yo’ frying pan can!”

Travis Bowlin is one of those rare artists who has an old-school soul in a young man’s body, with the vocal chops to make it work.  He’ll be leaving for a tour of Iceland at the end of August, and with a set as strong as “Secundus” driving him, it’s a sure bet we’ll be hearing much more from this young bluesman in the future!  Until next time…Sheryl and Don Crow, The Nashville Blues Society.

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