I’m Still Here
Black Mesa, 2021
An esteemed session and touring musician, Oklahoma’s Travis Linville has an impressive resume that also includes this sophomore solo album that was produced by JD McPherson.
“I’m Still Here” leads the listen with agile acoustic guitar as Linville’s smooth, flawless pipes guide the piano friendly meshing of Americana and folk ideas, and “Feeling We Used To Know” follows with a louder approach, where thumping drums and firm electric guitar add a garage rock slant to Linville’s jangly formula.
Closer to the middle, “The Rain” enters darker territory as plenty of atmosphere unfolds amid some pop influences, while “Blue Sky Bound” is breezy, melodic Americana that also recruits a playful beat. “I Saw You”, an especially strong track, then flows with retro-rock appeal as frisky keys and Linville’s attention to deal won’t go unnoticed.
“Running Back” and “Diamonds And Dust” close out the disc, where the former is a finger snapping and bouncy display of ‘50s nods, and the latter exits on one of the best tracks as a poetic aspect enters Linville’s timeless song craft that embraces pedal steel and tambourine, too.
Linville possesses a skill that runs parallel to legends like Tom Petty, Elvis Costello and Willie Nelson. Always heartfelt, sometimes intimate and other times adventurous, he knows his way around an eloquent and mature tune that you’ll want to visit repeatedly.