Traveller (from the album Western Movies)
The three singers and songwriters for Traveller (Jonny Fritz, Robert Ellis, Cory Chisel)
debut Western Movies as the first album effort from the band. Traveller fit the skin of a supergroup, merging three solo careers as they blend their words and music into a united effort, soundtracking Western Movies with chase-scene guitar licks for “Happy in Hindsight”. The somber mood of the story line slows yet does not dampen the bright bounce of “Chia Pet Goatee” as Western Movies maps out a course on rock’n’roll surf beat, heading for the west coast sand and sun shouting “Get Me Out of the South”, scores the pain of “When You’re Away” with a solitary piano opening, and watches customers mellow as they cruise the aisles on a humming holiday standards with “Christmas Eve at Kroeger”.
The trio came together for a one-off spot on the Newport Folk Festival stage, circling the sun a year later to convene at Cory Chisel’s 57-bedroom monastery in Appleton, Wisconsin. The band recorded Western Movies over a ten-day chunk carved out of a bitter January winter. The title track moves Traveller as they follow Sundance and Butch Cassidy down to Bolivia, pulling their collective hats over their eyes to sleep under the stars, and dealing cards to Doc Holliday. Wry humor careens like the beat pounding away underneath “Hummingbird” as Western Movies matches the rhythm of the rain with the patter of percussion while drops of harmony accent “Lonely All My Life” and Traveller find dead ends down small town streets with “Nobody Makes It Out”.
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