DIARY - 16 JUNE 2008 - TRAVIS COLLINS CD REVIEW
NO BOUNDARIES (ABC-WARNER)
refrigerator rattles, a corner lamp buzzes in my ear/ and these are the
sounds of an empty house right here." - Empty House - Travis Collins-James
Travis Collins emerged from the killing zone of Macquarie Fields he
lurked in the shadows of English singer Jude Cole.
The singer, then 21, chose two Cole songs on his debut disc Start
The Car to appease radio's familiarity fuehrers.
That was despite writing Bridge That You Won't Burn with his
dad Terry when he won Starmaker as a teenager in 2004.
Collins covers another Cole tune Heart Of The Blues on his
second disc with unlisted duet partner - Flood singer Kevin Bennett.
The singer produced the disc with Ted Mulry Gangplank walker Herm
Kovac and is more in charge of his destiny.
He shares electric and acoustic guitar with Glenn Hannah and Randall
Waller on the disc he kicks off with Yeah She Does - a flippant
song penned by expatriates Keith Urban and Hugh Murray.
This is a
feel good country pop aimed at the youth market that made Urban a belated
but worthy superstar.
It segues into Empty House - a memorable and evocative collaboration
with James Blundell.
The singer, now 24, is equally credible on pathos primed Don't Win
Enough, joyous Brand New Day and Didn't We Love - fuelled
by the fiddle of Aubrey Haynie.
His cover of Garth Brooks-Victoria Shaw ballad A Friend To Me lacks
the passion of hook heavy Greg Barnhill tune Everything About You.
DIES WITH SNAKE HISS
was a code red, the man was all but dead/ they wheeled him on the emergency
bed/ he watched and let him bleed to death/ there was a snake tattoo on
the front of his chest." - What Goes Around - Travis Collins-Scotty
the peaks are the album's finale - anthemic agoraphobia escape tune
Walls Come Down and summary justice narrative What Comes
The latter song's character, on the cusp of university, is working
petrol pumps in his dad's service station when a tattooed bandit kills
Despite the dramatic death the son graduates from university as a
doctor and enjoys sweet revenge when a patient, with snake tattoo,
greet his maker as the doctor chooses to withdraw medical aid.
Perhaps it's a vibrant version of two writers uttering a Hippocratic
oath with delicious dexterity in the summary justice corral.
his co-writer - road and studio band bassist Scotty Greenaway - graduate
here with honours from the Robert Earl Keen-Tom Pacheco-Charlie Robison
robbery without redemption sting in the tail of the tale college.
fiery finale definitely elevates Collins disc above the pack.
Greencards member Kym Warner, Randy Kohrs and Haynie added mandolin, dobro
and fiddle in Nashville but Michel Rose's pedal steel and Rod McCormack's
banjo were recorded in Sydney.
Collins disc proves the depth of local talent and emulates its title -
level radio playing fields would magnify that.
In 2007 Travis
enjoyed a five-week tour of the United Kingdom, playing in England and
He also spent six weeks in Nashville where, like many peers, he wrote
with seasoned songsmiths.
"It was an amazing trip," Collins revealed.
"I've had the chance to write with some really talented songwriters,
and during my stay in Nashville I wrote or co-wrote more than 30 songs.
I also got to perform in some very cool venues and play in front of some
of the biggest artists in Nashville."
Collins video for previous single Yeah She Does featured a Sydney socialite
The vocally challenged heir-head Paris Hilton crowned Wright as Miss Bondi
Blonde for a beer commercial on New Year's Day 2007.
Travis previously won national exposure with his male lead role in the
high rotation video for Kasey Chambers huge hit Not Pretty Enough.
The second youngest boy of six children, he has come a long way since
busking in Queen Street, Campbelltown.
"I once busked for 2 hours and made $140, which I used to buy country
music CDS," Collins revealed at the time.
"I think I made so much money because when I was little I was cute.
Now I have to work a lot harder."
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