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Travers Brothership "Let the World Decide" with new album and tour
When the Travers Brothership takes the stage inside Pisgah Brewing Co., on Friday, Nov. 23, to kick off a CD release tour for “Let the World Decide,” there will be plenty of hometown fans anxiously awaiting the arrival of the Black Mountain band’s second full-length album.
A few weeks after the album’s Dec. 8 digital release, a whole new audience will do exactly what the title suggests when the Brothership flies overseas for a European tour.
It didn’t take long for music fans around the country to start flocking to Travers Brothership shows after the band burst onto the scene in 2012. Their distinctive style and sound, a fusion of soul, funk, rock and jam, performed with an electric energy and earnestness for the craft, has attracted audiences to music venues nationwide.
The band put out an EP in 2013, which they followed with a cross-country tour. By the time Black Mountain natives Eric and Kyle Travers, Ian McIsaac and Josh Clark released their first full-length album “A Way To Survive” in 2016, the Travers Brothership had become a fixture at venues all over the southeast.
Their latest work, which was recorded at Echo Mountain Recording Studios in Asheville, is a true reflection of the band’s evolution over the past six years, McIsaac said.
“Our last album doesn’t accurately represent what the band plays nowadays, we’ve moved more toward the vibe that listeners will hear on the new album,” he said. “We definitely have a more mature style of songwriting. We have a lot of songs with a clear beginning, middle and end, as opposed to the more groove-centric or riff-centric songs from some of our earlier work. We have like a bigger band feel to our music.”
McIsaac describes “Let the World Decide” as having “kind of a split personality.”
“There is like this soul or R&B half to it and this more Southern rock half,” he said of the album, which features 12 tracks. “We kind of mixed them throughout so it’s not separated into sides or anything like that.”
Recording material for the album at an esteemed studio like Echo Mountain, which has hosted a long list of award-winning artists in its 12-year history, required precision from band members.
“We had to get everything right in the days we spent there, so it was kind of like a do-or-die situation,” McIsaac said. “We needed to make sure we collected enough material for the album by the time we finished there.”
As “seasoned recording professionals,” the band was up to the task, according to Eric.
“Really what it all came down to was knowing what our budget was,” Eric said. “We knew what we had, we knew how to work with it and that helped be prepared before ever going to the studio.”
While the experience at Echo Mountain was new for the Brothership, they turned to a familiar face in award-winning producer and engineer Matt Williams at The Eagle Room Recording Studio in Weaverville to help complete the project.
“Matt is great,” McIsaac said. “He’s great as an engineer and his production role with this album is similar to what it was with the last one. He’s the guy you want in that chair.”
The band started writing some of the songs on the album three years ago, Eric said, but the album was recorded and completed over the past year.
“It’s been a long time coming, but we’re really proud of this album,” he said.
The release of the album caps another big year for the Brothership, which played both FloydFest and the Mountain Music Festival this summer for the first time. The band was also among those who performed in the Marcus King Band Family Reunion at Pisgah Brewing Co. in October.
And while 2018 has been filled with highlights, the European tour will make 2019 unforgettable.
"We'll be gone for six weeks," McIsaac said. "That was really cool because we were contacted to see if we were interested in doing the tour."
All four members of the band were in fact very interested in playing for European audiences.
"They seem to really appreciate American music," Eric said. "I think they look at us and see that we have our own style and sound and I think that makes us really marketable over there."
The tour kicks off in Amsterdam before the Brothership makes its way to Belgium, German and Sweden.
"We're spending probably two or three nights in each country," McIsaac said. "From there we head to Switzerland and then straight across France to Spain."
They'll spend nearly a month playing venues across Spain, according to McIsaac, who said the tour schedule will be a rigorous one.
"Here when we tour we typically do four, five days or two weeks, maximum," he said. "This six-week tour will be our longest tour yet and we're playing like five or six days a week."
The band will come home at the beginning of March.
"We're excited to get the chance to introduce the Travers Brothership to a whole new audience," Eric said.