Austin-based Americana band The Traveling Ones delivers stirring harmony and sentimental blues-rock in its debut album, Meet Me There. For release February 3, 2017, the all-original studio project is a collaborative effort from two shining stars who – more than capable as separate artists – come together to create something truly special.
Raised on opposite coasts, artists Justin Ahmanson and Emily Villareal met in December 2014 at an Austin open-mic event. The chemistry between them palpable, the two began sharing gigs around town to the delight of their audiences. In January 2016, they officially became The Traveling Ones, adding Reed Jones on bass and Greg Henny on drums.
With shared influences that span decades and genres (Ella Fitzgerald, Bonnie Raitt, Tedeschi Trucks Band, The Black Crowes), the duo’s music is more about heart than labels or boundaries. Even so, it exhibits a consistently laid-back pattern of soulful, easy rock. “Our songs might take elements from genres like country, blues, and rock,” says Justin. “At the core of it all is soul. Everything we write and play comes from a place that is raw with emotion. That’s the only kind of music we know how to play.”
“Meet Me There documents a time in both of our lives where many things were changing,” describes Justin of album highlights such as “You Only Have to Break My Heart,” and “Yours Tonight,” which is based loosely on the couple’s emotions upon first meeting and connecting.
Another favorite is the poignant “Red Lights,” a song that Emily called “the most collaborative” song on the album. “When my sister-in-law was diagnosed with cancer, finding the right words to be supportive was difficult, so naturally a song was born,” she explains. “This song is about finding the strength to be the one to say, ‘Don’t lose hope … we’ll get through this together.’”
2017 Shows include:
February 3 — Stubb’s, Austin
March 10 — Shipping & Receiving Bar (with Thieves of Sunrise & Toney Rocks), Fort Worth
March 11 — Prophet Bar (with Thieves of Sunrise), Dallas