Sometimes a place, a chain of events, a thing seems eerily familiar, as though you have already experienced it even though your brain says this is not possible — a phenomenon we all know as déjà vu. Other times there is simply comfort in a familiar smell, a familiar sound. It is not so much that you feel you've already experienced the sensation but simply that it feels close to home, innate, good. Local-boy Graham Travis' debut release, Why Don't You Know Me Yet? exudes the latter sensation.
The singer-songwriter reportedly picked up a guitar — heck, any instrument — for the first time only a handful of years ago. Judging from the quality of the compositions on his debut effort, Travis held in immense talent for a long time. The album houses a stunning collection of material, its songs showing the kind of depth generally reserved for, bare minimum, a sophomore release.
Travis and his backing band freckle tunes with just enough nostalgia and old fashioned rock 'n roll to make Why Don't You Know Me Yet? the perfect accompaniment for a laid-back summer evening, beers on the porch, or perhaps a long drive to nowhere. He hints of Jay Farrar with a little more gusto. Perhaps a more apt comparison would be Ryan Adams, minus the trash-talking attitude — you get the impression there's a good guy behind Travis' guitar, one who just happens to brim with stories of loves that needed to escape.
Highlights include "Out of Reach" (complete with a stirring guitar solo) and the bouncy, sure-to-be-a-single "So Wonderful." Quiet numbers like the title track, which closes the album, caress the rockers.
A message for Graham: please stick with the music! And an imaginary Stella challenge: Throw this disc in at the next BBQ you attend. Then count the number of people who start asking, "Who is this?"