Few can carry a groove like Travis Ehrenstrom. Whether he is performing solo or with his band, TEB, there is something in the atmosphere within that moment. Either you’re in a daze for a minute, or the entirety of his set. He is one of those artists you have to experience while he gives a narrative. With several EPs and albums under his belt, this is his latest addiction you’ll get to hear. This one is called Hollinshead.
Fortunes Found opens the album like the Grateful Dead used to open a set. It’s a warm-up, settle in kind of groove, yet well crafted enough to know what the act is about. The entirety of the first minute, you feel like you’re being drawn into a dance of notes and melodies. A salsa linger is the zingy taste that stays. As you lock into each instrument, the experience opens up. The vocals are easy enough to follow, and you’re dialled in before you know it.
If that wasn’t catchy enough for you, you have Sauce. Something like what The Meters would compose, you find yourself nodding to this jazzy composition. Attention to tones is almost unbelievable, and the mixing is ridiculously good. Travis Ehrenstrom doesn’t want to stop there, he’s got you just within the warm pockets of rhythm.
A mixture of all
Sprite has a classic rock soul to it. It however, deviates with his own style, TEB being the essential spine of the rhythm he needs. The pendulum is swinging, and you’re hypnotized with an astounding ease. Where Was I Today?gives a fresh look at audio experiences. It seems like you’ve transported to a soul groove, yet keeps the funk in the pockets. The hi-hat work is immensely classy, giving a lot of the flavour this song needs. Travis Ehrenstrom and TEB are connoisseurs of rhythm and groove, and they remind you this constantly. You’d think you’re caught somewhere between Phish and Jackson Browne sometimes, but this artist flies with origami wings. It is absolutely fabulous to hear.
We have the big gun to close. Still Turning is his opus, and you save the best for last. With a jam section that you will revisit more than once and instrumental pockets that show you the full extent of how this band gels, you’re left in awe. Travis Ehrenstrom should have a pen name like Christie, for you are lost in mystery after mystery. The soothing compositions, the classy sounds and attention to detail make this a balanced, enjoyable EP. Time seems to fly by when you’re experiencing art of this quality.
Listen to his albums like The Plagued Years or EPs like Selections to feel the full spectrum of his compositions. TEB and Travis do a ludicrous job (in the best way) of making it feel like they are performing in front of us. You could see this in a biography about their work, travelling as a band and performing. Follow them for more music like this!