Travis Caudle:
On the road again

Travis Caudle likes to take the scenic route.

"We're heading towards Cleveland," the Australian singer-songwriter said from the road during a June 16 interview. "We're going by Pittsburgh because we've never seen it. We've just left New Jersey, so we have a long day's driving ahead of us."

But Caudle, who's enjoying his third U.S. tour, doesn't mind a little time on the road. "We enjoy driving through the Pennsylvania countryside. It's quite beautiful."

"We," in this case, refers to Caudle and his wife, Natalie Papadopoulos, who not only handles the wheel during interviews but also takes care of bookings and promotions for Caudle's tour. "We travel as a bit of a team," he said.

Caudle, who recently released the solo album Signals, would be heading back through the Keystone State soon enough. He was due to perform that Saturday at Lancaster Dispensing Co., a pub and eatery in the heart of the city's historic downtown.

For this guitar-driven Australian performer, the road is sometimes more comfortable than his own home.

"When you get home and have a couple of months there, it starts to feel weird. You actually feel more normal when you're out in the car," he said.

"This is fun. We basically drive around and catch up with friends," he said. "And, whether you have a good gig or a bad gig, when you keep moving you can start fresh the next day."

As for his music, Caudle likes a little variety in his playlist.

"I guess the best way to describe it is melodic pop-rock. A lot of people call it eclectic," he said.

"On both the albums I've done, there's a real wide range of stuff," he added. "People sometimes are looking for an album to have one sound. I just write different types of songs. You'll have a full-on rock song and a stripped-back acoustic song right next to each other. That's just the kind of songs I write."

Writing, he said, isn't really a conscious process for him.

"I'm not a sit-down-and-write kind of person," he said. "I just get an urge to sit down and play the guitar a bit. It happens naturally. I get a few words in my head, and it just writes itself. I don't say 'I've been through something and I need to write a song about it.' But when you look back at the lyrics of a whole album, it really sums up where I was at the time."

Songs on his latest recording deal with, among other things, the loss of a friend to suicide and a sports hero's fall from grace.

A full-time musician for the past dozen or so years, Caudle said he got "pretty serious about the whole 'original songs' thing five or six years ago."

"I've done this ever since I can remember," he added. "I've never had what you'd call a real job."

Over the past two years, Caudle -- sometimes solo, sometimes with his Perth-based band Woodenelves -- has logged several hundred performances and has opened for the likes of Jimmy Barnes, Kasey Chambers, Hinder and the Black Crowes.

Caudle said he hopes his audiences "get lost in the music."

"I hope they get stopped in their tracks and don't get distracted by things going on around them" he added. "And I hope they go away with a CD. Or two. And possibly a couple of T-shirts."

[ visit the artist's website ]

interview by
Tom Knapp

3 July 2010

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