Insomnia Radio: Double Shots #30 – NorCal Roots
Today’s Double Shot pinpoints two sets of musical roots spread out over a few separate areas of Northern California, and is partially inspired by a creative commons poem by Mill Valley, CA resident Peter Menkin.
Our first featured artist, TRAVIS OBERG grew up in the town of Dinuba, a farming community 30 miles south of Fresno. He now seems to operate out of Santa Cruz, CA with his backing band “Saltwater Merchants”, and his smooth vocals fall in the family tree lineage somewhere between James Taylor and Glen Phillips.
Travis’ songs from his debut “Bloodlines” present an honest viewpoint on the importance of remembering where you’ve been, looking ahead to where you are going and the decisions that we make on this journey.
His songs deal with life and loss, relationships, redemption, and offer hope in this sometimes uncertain and difficult day we live in. Music for Travis has always been about the ministry it allows; the strange and powerful way it can connect with people from every walk of life.
“Writing songs is a trip! I am thrownback each time a new song arrives, like a surprise package in the mail. Songwriting is a challenge that keeps me awake at night, longing for the expressions to take on form and melody” – Travis
Our second featured artist, WILL DERRYBERRY is based in the Bay Area of California – San Ramon specifically. He crafts meditative and ruminative songs laden with symbolic mystery, delivered on smooth yet raspy ethereal vocals akin to introspective singers such as Mike Mangione and Ray LaMontagne.
Like Travis, Will also has ministry based roots, more apparent in his earlier material which focused on acoustic blues from a realistic slant, and then alternative pop rock, his voice emerging stronger and closer to his core as each album was released.
Will returned to his folk, and blues roots with the album release of “Seven” in March 2008. Will admits, “I wanted to get back to writing those tunes that came more naturally to me, where I could let it all hang out, be vulnerable, and real. And, honestly, I wanted to make music that I would promote and perform for years.”
“I know that there is power in the stories and confessions of an honest lyric, as well, a melody that can take us to the place where our heart lives, struggles, and endures. Sharing this kind of song is my hope. I don’t think it’s a stretch to say we want and even need these kinds of songs because we have the innate desire to be connected with each other in an honest and intimate way.” – Will