Glide Magazine - Travis Linville Stretches Beyond Americana With Impressive, JD McPherson-produced ‘I’m Still Here’
Travis Linville’s latest, I’m Still Here, starts off a little slow with the decent, but ultimately unexceptional title track. A decent enough folk song, but not one that really shows off how Linville’s inspiring knack as a songwriter and singer able to draw in a myriad of influences and distill into a uniquely original sound.
But what follows is a remarkably impressive album blending Americana with rock and pop; Willie Nelson, mixed with Tom Petty. An album that proves the almost four year wait between records was well worth it.
The second track, “Feeling We Used to Know,” spiked with assertive guitars and Linville’s feel-good vibe vocals properly starts the record off in the right direction and hints at what’s to come. “See You Around,” with its steady guitar and drums mixed with harmonica, feels like a Petty classic, while dark number “The Rain” has an electronic vibe that sounds unlike anything Linville has recorded to date.Linville, more so than on any effort before, manages to seamlessly slip in and out of genres and create an appeal that’s bound to reach beyond the typical Americana Fest audience. He even does that usually unadvisable, tackling a Willie Nelson song, “Yesterday’s Wine,” and manages to pull off the cover impressively with a little help from Hayes Carll.
Linville already had a handful of songs pulled together in 2018 – including the impressive “Feeling We Used to Know,” written two decades ago by former bandmate Jamie Kelley. But it wasn’t until he hooked up with JD McPherson a fellow Oklahoman and longtime fan of his work that this record started coming together. The collaboration was clearly inspired.
I’m Still Here closes on “Diamond and Dust,” another remarkable track with a Dylan-like beauty in the lyrics that caps an almost flawless album. The miscellany of seemingly disparate sounds here – from country to rock, pop to folk – makes for an impressively satisfying record, even if it lacks the initial spark at the beginning.