10 Songs, 36 Minutes


About Travis Meadows

Stripped to bare bones, the facts of Travis Meadows' life contain the elements of a great country song. He battled cancer and substances at an early age, his troubles driving him to music and the ministry, but he only found focus after entering recovery in 2010. Once he got sober, he started releasing indie records and racking up songwriting credits in Nashville, penning songs recorded by Jake Owen, Eric Church, and Dierks Bentley, who turned Meadows' "Riser" into a hit in 2014. Following that success, Meadows signed with Blaster Records, which released First Cigarette in October 2017.

Meadows was raised in Jackson, Mississippi after his birth in 1965. Following his baby brother's death at the age of two, he went to live with his grandparents. His parents divorced and started new families of their own, leaving Meadows with his grandparents. Hurt, he turned to drugs when he was 11. At the age of 14, he fell ill with bone cancer. He'd recover from the disease, but he'd lost his right leg to it by the time he was an adult. In his late teens, Meadows began playing music, moving to guitar from drums by the time he was 21 years old. After a spell playing blues, he headed to Gatlinburg, Tennessee, eventually gravitating toward Christian music. He spent a decade as a missionary and a preacher, but by the time he was in the twilight of his thirties, he decided to leave the church so he could attempt a career as a professional songwriter in Nashville. Meadows scored a contract with Universal Music Publishing but his various addictions prevented him from capitalizing on the opportunity.

He achieved sobriety in 2010, swiftly issuing the self-released Killing Uncle Buzzy in 2010. Inspired by his recovery, the album earned the attention of many Nashville insiders, but it still took a while for him to capitalize on his burgeoning reputation. His contract with Universal expired in 2013, upon which he began writing in earnest, showcasing new tunes on that year's Old Ghosts & Unfinished Business.

Although Meadows began to place songs back in 2009, when Jake Owen recorded "Cherry on Top" for his Easy Does It album, his profile as a songwriter rose in 2013. Owen had a Top 20 Country hit with "What We Ain't Got" that year, leading to Eric Church cutting "Dark Side" in 2014. Also that year, Dierks Bentley recorded Meadows' "Riser" and named his seventh album after the song. Church recorded "Knives of New Orleans" for his acclaimed 2015 album Mr. Misunderstood, and Hank Williams, Jr. and Randy Houser both cut Meadows tunes in 2016, setting the stage for the singer/songwriter signing with Blaster Records in 2017. The label released the Jeremy Spillman-produced First Cigarette in October 2017. It debuted at 21 on Billboard's Heatseekers chart. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine




Listeners Also Played