We had the good fortune of connecting with Travis Street and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Travis, do you have some perspective or insight you can share with us on the question of when someone should give up versus when they should keep going?
When what you’re doing is all you dream about, care about, talk about and think about there isn’t ever a thought in your mind about giving up. We’ve worked too hard to give up. It isn’t even an option.
What are your goals in the music Industry?
My goal in this industry is to assist artists in making their dreams come true and for me to be able to support my family through my true passion… Music.
How did you start out in the Houston music scene?
I moved here to Houston in 2014 with a backpack and a guitar. I had a dream of wanting to play music, even though I wasn’t any good at playing. I was really hoping I could meet an old seasoned blues player that could teach me how to play the blues. It was a vision I had. The first week that I was here, my girl friend, now wife, took me to Midtown to meet and hang out with some of her friends. The whole time we were there, I was thinking about how cool it would be to play guitar on the sidewalks here, where all the people were walking down these sidewalks, and going in and out of the bars. So the next night I walked about 10 blocks from my apartment, carrying my backpack and my old guitar I returned to Midtown, and I found a spot to play, and just starting playing the same small handful of songs I knew…over and over. I did that for about 3 hours and got yelled at, “Move to Austin. Nobody wants to hear that shit around here”. I didn’t care though, I was having a ball pretending like I knew what I was doing. Then, as I was about to pack up, I see a skinny old black man, with short curly white hair and a really bad limp walking towards me, carrying what looked liked a guitar. I couldn’t believe it. He asked if he could hang out and jam with me. I said “Yeah man, of course!” I continue to play the song I was surely wrecking, and he started playing with me. It was the coolest thing ever! Then he asked if he could try my guitar because his was all beat up, missing strings and didn’t play right. I handed him my guitar and the blues, the only kind of blues that a person who has lived the hardest life could play, came pouring out, and I was taken away and lost in everything he was doing. I couldn’t believe that what I had envisioned was happening, just like that. We played for another couple of hours (actually, he played my guitar and I listened) and we made a little tip money. We were there until long after everyone had left Midtown . Just the two of us, sitting on the sidewalk. It was the beginning of a great friendship, with many ups and downs (mainly because of his drug addictions) but that I still cherish to this day, wherever he is. I miss him and think about him all the time.
Playing in Midtown became a regular thing. We played there almost every weekend for a few years. Eventually, I got permission to use the Spec’s liquor stores parking lot/ store entrance and I got some amps and mics. We would invite anybody to play with us. Some nights we would have a full band. It was like a street party when the bars closed. It was heaven. I met a lot of really cool people during this time and had some of the best times out there.
Fast forward 7 years… now I own a recording studio (Dreams to Streams Studio), and an independent record label (Street Noise Productions). I’ve been in bands, and I have played some really cool shows in the area. I now also book a singer-songwriter night every Monday at a venue downtown, (Sambuca), where I give up-and-coming artist, with a strong desire to entertain, a platform to showcase their talent. I took an audio engineering course at 226 Studio a few years back and started learning how to capture the magic of artist performing. I really love working with artists to help them get to wherever it is that they are wanting to go with their music.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Well, since all I do is eat, drink and sleep music… that’s what we would be doing (my best friend is a music lover so this will be easy). I’d take them to see as much live music in the area as possible.
Starting on Monday, we would go see the artist I have performing at Sambuca and then we would fly down 45 to Dan Electro’s to catch the last set of the singer-songwriter they have booked for the night.
Tuesday would be Adam Estes at Sambuca. He’s one of the best solo acts in the downtown area. Then we would hit up Shay’s patio next door so they could see what the night life is like downtown on a week night. We might even sneak over to Notsuoh to see what kind of craziness they have going on.
Wednesday night would be a trip down Kirby Drive to a super cool little bar known as The Big Easy. Jonn Del Toro Richardson host a kick ass Blues Jam. It’s alway an interesting time with people dancing and pool games. You never know what big time Houston artist are going to sneak in to lay down some great blues classics.
Thursday night I usually have an artist booked at the studio so we would stop in there to see what kind of great new music is going to be hitting the Houston airwaves and hopefully the world. Then it’s off to the Montrose area to Goodnight Charlie’s. They always have great Country bands playing that are sure to get you out of your seat and shaking that thang.
Friday and Saturday is a big toss up.. I’d have to see what touring acts are in town at the bigger venues (White Oak Music Hall, Warehouse Live, House of Blues, Toyota Center, NRG) or maybe catch one of my favorite local bands playing at Truck Yard, Rudyards, Continental Club, Last Concert Cafe, BFE Rock Club, Acadia… the list goes on.
We would also have to hit up a baseball game at Minute Made Park. That’s a definite have to.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
God deserves all the credit, hands down. My parents for never giving up on the headstrong little shit that I was and for being patient through all the bullshit I put them through.
My wife for supporting everything that I do and for pulling me out of the deep deep darkness.
All of my mentors that have taught me so much through their hard work.
Moonshine Wang Madison Marie Anthony Hamilton