Retro Interview: Ricky Traywick
You may not be familiar with Ricky’s name but I promise you, you’ve heard his brother’s — Randy Travis. Ricky is no clone – he’s got his own style of music that I think will surprise and please most of you at the same time. Take a listen to the mp3’s at the bottom of the page. I interviewed Ricky awhile back and thought I’d dig it up and pass it on once again…
RICKY TRAYWICK and THE JUKEBOX JUNKIES – I’M ALREADY HERE
You’d be hard pressed to find a country music fan who’s not aware of the huge impact Randy Travis’ had when he arrived on the country music scene from seemingly from out of nowhere some twenty odd years ago. At the time country music was suffering through a malaise of its rhinestone (all glitz, no grit) era of the 70’s, heading into the next decade with a great sense of trepidation. Randy rose to superstardom with a string of hit records that gave traditional country music fans something they could set their teeth into.
There’s a hidden irony in here somewhere. Two decades ago it was his brother who helped revive a failing music industry, giving it new hope and solid footing. Now ,as we’re trying to fight our way out of the plain brown paper bag that country music has been wrapped in for the past few years another member of the Traywick family comes forward with something fresh and different. Wouldn’t it be nice if history proves once again to repeat itself?
Randy Travis grew up with the family name of Traywick and was the younger brother of Ricky by two years. Growing up in the Traywick home there were no shortage of musical influences and encouragement. “My dad was always a big country music fan, so we grew up listening to a lot of the old stuff. Hank Williams and Patsy Cline were probably his favorites.” Ricky recalls. But listening to music wasn’t the only influence he and his brother had. “Actually, my dad took us to guitar lessons together. Afterwards, we would go home and “jam” in the den, learning from each other. We would take turns playing lead and rhythm, always trying to out play each other.“
Despite the parallels of their younger years Ricky has worked hard to keep his own identity and sound. There are some expectations that come from being Randy’s brother but Ricky shrugs it off easily. “ I just do my own thing. Sometimes when I’m playing live, I’ll get a request to do one of Randy’s songs. My response is always the same. “Randy and I have an agreement. He doesn’t do any of my songs, and I don’t do any of his!” It usually gets a laugh or two, and we (the band) just move on from there.“
Although he’s certainly not new to the music business, I’m Already There is Ricky’s first full length album. “When I was in Nashville, all I did was a few one song demos. Nothing really became of them, because at the time, country music was in a transitional period. Garth Brooks was the next big thing, and that isn’t really my style of country.“
Ricky’s style is really a mesh of his childhood influences that have come together over time as a unique and impressive sound of his own. While you’ll undoubtedly hear the familial ties to Randy in his voice, you’ll also hear a lot more grit, blues and attitude. “Randy was always into the more traditional country, like George Jones, Roy Acuff, and Hank Sr., but I think my love of the blues and early rock-n-roll sent my style in a different direction. If you listen to my record, I think that you will hear some of those influences. I’m definitely not as modern sounding as Keith Urban or Rascal Flatts, but I don’t think you can call my sound traditional. I think I fall somewhere in between.“
While Ricky acknowledges Merle Haggard as his all time favorite, he also spent a great deal of time listening to other music genres such as B.B. King, Chuck Berry, Little Richard, and of course Stevie Ray Vaughan. The result of these eclectic influences? A CD that will knock your socks off.
The album not only showcases Ricky’s incredible vocal style and instincts but his song writing as well. “I’ve been writing songs for a lot of years. When we decided to do this record, I just threw a few on the table and the band and producers picked the ones that we thought fit me and the band in our current lineup.” The songs selected exhibit Ricky’s penchant for gritty edged blues.
“Randy’s timing, drive, and his wife’s persistence paid off.“ he continues “I think some of the “new country” is almost like rock-n-roll. It will eventually come back full circle. Hopefully my timing will be on target. I feel like the next year or so will see country coming back to it’s roots. I’m no traditionalist, but compared to where country has gone, a lot of folks may call me that. If people like my music, they can label me however they want.“
But Ricky’s learned the value of patience and timing over the years. He’ll continue to press on, making his own brand of country and performing at the regional level until it’s his time to step up to the plate. He’s paid his dues but he’ll continue to bide his time without compromising what he’s intent on doing with his talent. “I’ve learned not to get my hopes too high. I’m just going to wait for the right opportunity. I have learned over the years not to rush anything. We plan to shop this record as a demo, and hopefully a major (label) will see an opportunity.“
In the meanwhile – the album, I’m Already There, is on Lamon Records and you can get a copy of your very own from www.rickytraywick.net. I promise it’ll be the best $10 you’ve spent on music in a long while.
Ricky Traywick and the Jukebox Junkies – I’m Already There
|1. Love Please Come Home
2. Mama Was A Rock
3. Don’t Mess Up A Good Thing
4. Swinging Doors
5. I’m Already There
|6 . Mess of Blues
7. I Want What He’s Having
8. You Look Like My Baby To Me
9. Someday Soon
10. Don’t Hang Up On Me
You can find more about how to make this album part of your record collection at www.rickytraywick.net