Growing up in Jackson, Mississippi, where “Hell ain’t half that hot…you could fry eggs on the parking lot,” he remembers his life as being filled with loss very early on. His first memory was of his brother drowning, his parents divorce and a near death experience with cancer at age fourteen. “It was really sexy going through puberty and chemo at the same time,” but that was the least of his hurdles.
Travis laid the foundation for his music career while making the rounds at local bars and clubs, performing with legendary blues players, such as Sam Myers (Anson Funderburg and the Rockets) and Fingers Taylor (Jimmy Buffett). He also laid the foundation for a drug and alcohol problem that would haunt him for years. His original high came at 11 years old from stealing his grandmother’s Valium, then at 24 with a “God experience” that led him to the world of Christian music, trading one addiction for another.
“When I was getting high, I wanted everybody to get high too…on drugs, on alcohol, on Jesus.” He went on to tour the world as a Christian rock artist, spreading “The Word” across the globe the only way he knew how, through music. However, he found that “the truth will set you free, but eventually it’ll piss you off.” He arrived in Nashville and learned the hard way about fame and fortune. “I came to town to make a difference. I had a story to tell. I told it loud, but my opinion didn’t go over so well. Waiting for offers, they never came, the Davidson County Police know my name…if dumb makes you famous, then I can’t complain, the Davidson Country Police know my name.”
Even in the midst of his self-destruction, his talent prevailed. He received a 2001 ASCAP Christian Music Award, had eight Top 20 singles in the Contemporary Christian genre, and landed a staff writer deal with Scott Gunter at Universal Music Publishing Group in 2005. As a staff writer, Travis wrote with celebrated writers and artists, from Nashville to London, and garnered cuts by Lynard Skynyrd, Lee Ann Womack, and Jake Owen, as well as numerous #1 singles and five RIAA Gold Records with Australian artist Adam Brand. However, the spiral of addiction continued.
In 2010, Travis’ old ghosts and unfinished business caught up with him. “I can’t go back and I can’t go around the devils that live on that side of town. I believe in things that I can’t see, in my blood and in my bones, these old ghosts they all belong to me, they hurt me and they heal me, they hide and they reveal me, remind me what I will be when I’m gone…Old Ghosts sometimes in the dark they hold me close…” Somewhere between jail and rehab something in him began to reach out and up again as he returned to the one constant in his life: writing. What started out as a journal for his counselor at Cumberland Heights, a treatment center outside of Nashville, mysteriously turned into a manifesto of survival on vinyl. “Killin’ Uncle Buzzy” was a resurrection of sorts. When asked what changed, Travis simply says, “Everything.”
Well-known among songwriter circles in Nashville, Travis is an unforgettable performer. He is an open wound, the rawness of his words and his vocals pulling you into his world. A Mississippi childhood, learning to drink his coffee black in dives off the highway, his battles with cancer, alcohol, drugs, God and demons, and all the characters along the way.
“If you want to listen to Travis’ songs, be prepared for them to resonate with raw emotion. They have honesty, a viewpoint you wouldn’t have expected, and every once in a while, a bit of humor. If you want to hear the same things over and over, turn on the radio. If you want to listen to songs that will be food for your soul, that cause you to have to hit repeat, then you should listen to “Old Ghosts & Unfinished Business.” - Joe Galante, former Chairman, Sony Music Nashville
Now signed to Kobalt Music Publishing, Travis’ songs have recently been recorded by Ronnie Dunn, Dierks Bentley, Levi Lowery, Eric Church, Blackberry Smoke, Adam Brand, Peter Fox of Go West and his most recent “What We Ain’t Got” by Jake Owen.
Travis describes his life as “one big exhale” now… no big plans… just glad to be alive… “Breathe, breathe, fill your lungs with better air… reach, reach cause you know it’s waiting there… I’ve found letting go of what you’re holdin’, leaves your heart and arms a little more wide open”… Travis Meadows is wide open.