The Faded Travelers band has just released a new EP recording entitled “Hand Tooled” featuring their newest single, “Days of Seger.”
Their other big news is that they are headlining a show at the Harvester Performance Center in Rocky Mount on April 29. The Harvester invites guests to “enjoy three rising stars in the Southwest Virginia area,” the Faded Travelers, Morgan Wade and the Stepbrothers, and Jason Spring.
The band said the Harvester show is probably the biggest show they have had to date.
Members of the band include Brent Dickerson, Andrew Nicely, Mitch Ferguson, Kevin Van Dyke, and Austin Nicely. Dickerson is from Bonsack; the Nicelys are from Vinton. All three graduated from William Byrd. Van Dyke is originally from Grundy, but moved to Blacksburg several years ago. Ferguson is from Salem and graduated from Roanoke Valley Christian.
Dickerson plays lead guitar and mandolin. Andrew Nicely sings vocals and plays keys and guitar. His brother Austin sings, and plays bass and saxophone. Ferguson plays pedal steel guitar, dobro, and harmonica; Van Dyke plays drums and percussion.
“This EP has been carefully crafted by us to bring you honest music with integrity,” the band shared on their website. “This is the primer for our upcoming album to be released Summer 2017.” In fact, they are working on two albums simultaneously.
All of the songs on their EP (extended play) are originals. In fact, everything about the band is done by the Faded Travelers except for the mixing and mastering of their EP, which was completed in California.
Their music, their artwork on their CDs and on their merchandise— all from them. (Their merchandise includes their recordings, hats, T-shirts, drink koozies, stickers, and wristbands.) They do their own marketing and booking. They are in the process of building a recording studio in one of the member’s homes.
Faded Travelers formed in 2015.
“After playing together with various groups for several years, we decided to move in a creative direction,” say members of the band. “Together, we were able to blend individual styles and influences into our own sound.”
They say that they are “trying to sound like Faded Travelers, not anyone else.” They “write collaboratively, feed off one another, and give each other feedback.” It’s a group effort.
They play anything from old school classics to “rocked-up stuff” that appeals to everyone, but they are trying not to “pigeonhole themselves” as to a particular sound or style.
Dickerson says that the show at the Harvester came about because the venue wants to focus on showcasing local talent and asked them to play. They in turn invited two other acts to open— Morgan Wade and the Stepbrothers, with whom they have performed previously, and Jason Springs.
Wade has been writing and playing her songs since childhood; she made her debut in 2013 in what turned out to be a successful “attempt to win back a lost love.” Her sound is described as a “unique sound of rock and roll with a country twang.” Wade and the Stepbrothers began playing in early 2015 with members from Floyd and Roanoke. Their latest single is “Left Me Behind,” also available online.
Jason Springs is described as a “folk/roots rock artist” from Danville. He has been writing and performing throughout Virginia and North Carolina for five years. He released his debut album, “Blue Collar Bones and Busted Knuckles” in November 2016.
The Faded Travelers’ performance at the Harvester will include songs from their current EP and most of the original songs from their upcoming album—and maybe a cover or two.
Faded Travelers started off performing locally at Bob’s Restaurant in Vinton in December 2015, where owner Rodney Price, “gave them a chance even before the band had a name.” They went on to perform at other valley venues, along with the Vinton Dogwood and Fall Festivals.
They moved farther afield for shows in Bristol, Arlington, and Nashville. Their new EP was released at Studio Brew in Bristol on March 17. They will be playing at Soaring Ridge brewery in Roanoke on April 22, and have upcoming events at Twin Creeks Brewing Company in Vinton, where they performed for the brewery’s Grand Opening.
The “Hand Tooled” EP starts off with the tune, “Any Which Way the Wind Blows”— an instant classic for anyone who follows the band. Ferguson says that song was written during a “fractured and tumultuous time” in the life of the band when members were not all living in the area and were trying to stick together, be creative, and come up with a “happy sounding song,” in spite of their trials and tribulations at the time.
The second track is “Railroad Town,” which is obviously influenced by Roanoke’s history, and remains relevant in the face of cuts by the railroad in recent weeks.
The third song, “Leave My Thoughts Alone” has a “1970s Waylon-esque” feel and like all their songs, is based on a story, usually from real life, this one about “getting over someone.”
“Days of Seger” was inspired by musician Bob Seger, whose sound has been a big influence on all members of the band. A handful of his titles are in the lyrics, with an effort to “capture his spirit and sound.” Austin Nicely is featured in a saxophone solo on the track, which the band says has become wildly popular in live performances.
Austin Nicely said, “Most lyrics are fueled by something emotional.” Every song has a story behind it about relationships or life events, “with roots somewhere” hopefully that the audience can connect with their own lives.
Their show at the Harvester Performance Center is scheduled for 7 p.m. on April 29. Tickets are available online at www.harvester-music.com/. There is plenty of parking in the area, but shuttles are also available from Roanoke. Check the Harvester website.
The EP is available at their shows and online through the typical sources of iTunes, Spotify, Google Play, Amazon, and through links on their website. Just Google “Faded Travelers” and a host of sources will pop up.
More information is available on the band and their upcoming performances on their Facebook page, Twitter, Instagram, other social media, and on their website, www.fadedtravelers.com.