In the long history of duets and collaborations in the world of country music comes a new triple threat in the form of Robert Ellis, Cory Chisel and Jonny Fritz. Each are distinct artists in their own right but together as Traveller they’ve captured a really special musical atmosphere and creativity that highlights each of their own skills whilst still presenting a new singular sound.
There’s a clear division of labour in the trio with Ellis anchoring the guitar playing and arrangements, Chisel providing some fine melodies and a weariness to his singing that the others don’t possess. Fritz is their Flavour Flav with his sense of humour and wicked turns of phrase. The result is a balanced collation of their individual styles with a bounce and playful swagger to the loose-limbed country and rock n roll.
‘Hummingbird’ muses on Thelma and Louise if they hadn’t driven off the cliff, ‘Chia Pet Goatee’ is about just that, the title track reminisces about the romance and adventure of western movies and ‘Lonely All My Life’ leaps from the speakers with effervescent guitar hooks.
It was a smart move to throw a full band into the mix when appropriate, making this a varied, infectious and sharp-witted album, brimming with clever songwriting and devoid of overindulgence.