Wide Open Country // Album Review: Travis Linville’s New Album ‘Up Ahead’

Album Review: Travis Linville’s New Album ‘Up Ahead’

Travis Linville has been called the “godfather of modern Oklahoma folk,” and with good reason. The Oklahoma native has made more than his fair share of contributions to the state’s rich musical heritage. He’s spent the last decade as the guitar sideman for Hayes Carll. Linville also produced John Fullbright’s debut album and taught a nine-year-old Parker Milsap to play guitar.

Now, Linville is finally stepping into his own spotlight with his new release Up Ahead. The album, out today (Feb. 3), has enough heart and Sooner State-born lyricism to make the original Oklahoma-born folkie troubadour Woody Guthrie proud.

The album kicks off with the romantic, Wilco-esque “Flowers In Your Hair.”  The song, a reminiscent ode to an old love, finds Linville giving the eulogy for a relationship between the “queen of the blue skies and the king of broken hearts.”

Linville veers toward classic country jukebox gold with “Bar Room,” a stand out track about the relationship between a man and his favorite watering hole. It may not be the best place, but it’s the best place for drowning sorrows. “Been here for years and I’ve got nothin’ to show,” Linville sings. “I’d go some place else if I had somewhere else to go.”

Fittingly, the video for “Bar Room” was filmed in Austin, Texas dive bar, Sam’s Town Point. Watch

Linville keeps the pedal steel rolling with “Waltz Across Lonesome,” another album highlight that was made for lonely dancers in a smoke filled honky tonk.

In the album’s title track, Linville seems to lay out the road map for his own happiness. He sings of a man “not bound for glory, just along for the ride.” It’s the tale of someone who’s finally done running and realizing he’s found contentment right where he is.

The record is a testament to the two decades Travis Linville spent forging a path through the Oklahoma red clay. With Up Ahead, he makes a much anticipated arrival.

Travis Linville