By CHAD ABSHIRE
WILLIAMSON -The latest sensation to hit the scene in the local music game dropped by the Daily News on Friday for a chat.
Likening himself to acoustic artists John Mayer and Jack Johnson, alternative/pop/folk musician Garrett Travers, 19, a 2011 Williamson High School graduate originally from Okeechobee, Fla., now living in Williamson, told the Daily News with a smile that being a professional recording artist “feels pretty cool. I like it.”
He signed a contract with Lyrick Talent Group, Inc., with President of the company, John Carlin, present with him on March 10, at the Mountaineer Hotel. He is the fourth artist signed so far with Carlin’s group.
Garrett said that it’s pushing six years since he first picked up an instrument, and the guitarist/vocalist said he had a humble beginning that has been developed largely through self-taught means.
“My buddy was playing a guitar one day, and he was one of the most immaculate players I’ve ever met in person,” Garrett said. “He taught me how to play bass, and then I picked up a guitar.”
Garrett said that the skills he learned on the bass transferred over well to his instrument of choice, an acoustic guitar. And with that instrument, he said he plans to see the world.
“I want to travel,” he said. “It’s the reason I’m in music. I like meeting people and going places. It inspires my writing.”
He said that his songs can vary in subject matter, and that aside from travel, he focuses a lot on time, and its passage.
In the immediate near future, Garrett said he’ll be in the studio, specifically Studio 1 in Williamson, beginning on Tuesday, March 20, at 6 p.m. to start recording a demo to send out. While he couldn’t say exactly what songs he’d have on there, he did say the tracks would feature three originals and one cover song.
Later in the year, during the month of May, Garrett will be performing at the first annual Rally in the Valley, which, if the current population estimate of the event, nearing over 1,000, holds true, would be the biggest gig he’s ever had.
“I’ve played for audiences numbering in the hundreds, but never any headline event like that,” Garrett said. “It would definitely be the biggest draw.”
Currently, he’s looking for a band, but isn’t very worried about it. He said he has some friends that he expects to play with him at the Rally. As far as a stage name goes, he said he’s considered Traverse.
“Get it?” he said with a weak laugh, “It’s Travers with an ‘E’”
In another year, Garrett said that he sees himself remaining in the area, at the very least the tri-state area, continuing to make music and get his name out there.
But he paused when he considered where he could be in five years.
“Hmm, good question,” Garrett said. “I’d like to see myself back down towards Florida or traveling, starting to see the world.”
But for now, he’s here. Working at Taco Bell, going to class at Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College where he’s undecided on his major and playing video games. He said he’s currently working on his second play-through of the recently released hit, Mass Effect 3.
However, he’s making the best of it all.
“John’s giving me an opportunity,” he said. “With him as my manager, I’m no longer unsolicited. I can start sending stuff to record labels now.”
But what’s the main goal of this young artist?
“I just want a job paying me to be a musician,” he said. “It doesn’t have to be mainstream, that’s ok. I just want to be a professional musician.”