Pick Your Community: | Hopkins | Muhlenberg | Daviess | Christian | Henderson | Lakes | McCracken | Webster

Muhlenberg Son Strums His Way Around Music City

Travis DukesNashville musician and Muhlenberg native Travis Dukes. (Photo courtesy Travis Dukes)
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (3/5/14) — Like many teenagers fresh out of high school, Travis Dukes thought he had his life pretty well planned.

A native of Bremen, Dukes graduated from Muhlenberg North High School and went on to earn a degree in Exceptional Education at Western Kentucky University.

While in college, Dukes worked as a singer/musician in several Bowling Green establishments.

After college, he moved to Nashville and taught full time for three years while playing the guitar and singing in various venues around Nashville.

But then, he says, he decided he had to take the big step into becoming a full time musician.

Dukes, without a doubt, is multi-talented. He is now working as a professional singer, songwriter and producer.  

Dukes said he developed his deep love of music as a child while attending church at Neals Chapel General Baptist Church in Bremen with his parents.

"I love playing stuff like Tom Petty, Bill Withers, a lot of 90s rock, Matchbox 20, Nirvana . . . I'm a fan of all types of music. I really just try to open my ears up to any type of music." — Travis Dukes

"I grew up in church, loved singing there, and was the choir director when I was 16," Dukes said.

Dukes played the saxophone in the band at Muhlenberg North High School, and then learned guitar while attending college in Bowling Green.
   
"In college I really got into music," he said. "After a couple of years of practicing guitar on my own, I started to play out in clubs and other venues. I guess that's how the thought of becoming a full time musician started."

But Dukes admits, giving up his aspirations to teach full time was not an easy decision.

"It really was a hard decision to make," he said. "I loved working with the students, to see their progress, and working with them on real world problems. Helping them to learn job skills. Plus, it was a very secure position."

But he said he knew that if he was going to make it as a professional musician, he would have to make music his top priority.   

"My first paid gig was in college at a Chinese restaurant called The Happy Inn," Dukes said. "They paid me, and I filled up the place that day. Everyone who came out enjoyed it."

Dukes learned early on that the secret to keeping a steady schedule of paid performances is to please the venue owner while also pleasing the audience.

"It's been a lot of hard work, pleasing club owners or whomever," Dukes said. "But they are going to be pleased if their sales are up, and if people are complimentary of the environment I create. Of course, there have been times when it didn't work out, but for the most part, I've gotten a very positive response to my music, and my original songs as well . . . persistence is the key to success in the music business. And, I feel I have that drive."

A Travis Dukes show includes everything on the musical map — older R&B, classic country hits, contemporary songs and everything in between.

Dukes is constantly expanding the number of venues eager to have him perform, both as a solo act and with his band, the T-Bones.

"We perform consistently in Nashville, as well as Clarksville, Evansville, few times in Chicago, pretty regularly in Bowling Green, Owensboro, and there is talk of going down to Alabama and Florida during Memorial Day weekend. The key is just to get out there and play, and make more connections," he said.

As far as combining his songwriting talents with his growing popularity as a performer, Dukes says he would love to combine the two.

"It would be perfect to do both," he said. "I love to go out and perform my songs. But if I do have a big name entertainer interested in recording one of my songs, I definitely will not turn it down."

Dukes produced several albums including “Black and White: The Killer”, “The Travis Dukes Comedy Hour” and a new EP, “dukesTunes EP”.

Upcoming appearances include Bailey's in Nashville this Saturday night and March 15, 17; Tennessee Brew Works in Nashville March 28; Dublins in Bowling Green March 29; and The Backstage Bar & Grill in Evansville April 5.

To find out more about Travis Dukes, visit his website TravisDukes.com, or get out there and listen to his music for yourself.

(Dukes was featured Friday, Feb. 28 on WTVW Channel 7's Lifestyles with Laura Kirtley.)

Paul McRee
SurfKY News Reporter

© Copyright 2014 SurfKY News Group, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, or rewritten without permission. SurfKY News encourages you to share this story by using one of the social media links below.

button coupons
button classifieds

In Other News...

Holman Leads Owensboro High over Christian County

OWENSBORO, Ky. (12/17/14) — Senior guard Aric Holman scored a game-high 21 points to lead Owensboro High past host… Read More

Trojans Fend off McLean County, Remain Undefeated

DIXON, Ky. (12/17/14) — Four Webster County scorers reached double figures as the Trojans outlasted visiting McLean… Read More

Most Read This Week

December 16, 2014 9087

Coal Miner Fatally Injured in Underground Mining…

in Top News For All Sites by Dick Brown
December 14, 2014 8333

Muhlenberg Pays Homage to U.S. Armed Forces

in Local (Muhlenberg) Top News by Charles W. Riley II, SurfKY News
December 12, 2014 7926

Man Allegedly Threatening Medical Staff with…

in Local (Muhlenberg) Top News by Wes Miller
December 17, 2014 5684

Elderly Couple Found Shot to Death in Muhlenberg

in Local (Muhlenberg) Top News by Trooper Stu Recke
December 17, 2014 5608

Three Men Charged with Burglary

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Madisonville Police Department
December 15, 2014 4718

Hopkins County Woman Charged Second Time in Two…

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Charles W. Riley II, SurfKY News
December 12, 2014 4636

Man Allegedly Hits Brother with Pickup Truck…

in Local (Muhlenberg) Top News by Wesley Miller
December 15, 2014 4238

Woman Leads Police on High-Speed Chase in Stolen…

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Madisonville Police
December 12, 2014 3755

Man Accused of Public Intoxication, Stealing…

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Madisonville Police Department
December 15, 2014 3211

Vehicle Careens down 150 Foot Embankment with…

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Madisonville Police Department

Stories Trending Today

December 17, 2014 5684

Elderly Couple Found Shot to Death in Muhlenberg

in Local (Muhlenberg) Top News by Trooper Stu Recke
December 17, 2014 5608

Three Men Charged with Burglary

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Madisonville Police Department
December 17, 2014 1931

Madisonville Police Arrest Reports - Dec. 17, 2014

in Hopkins News by Madisonville Police Department
December 17, 2014 1502

KSP Charges Grayson County Man with Crimes…

in General News For All Sites by Sherry H. Bray
December 17, 2014 1423

Harney-Led Lady Mustangs Top Ohio County

in Local (Muhlenberg) Top News by Steve LeMaster
December 17, 2014 1378

KYTC Announces Winners of 2014 Adopt-a-Highway…

in General News For All Sites by Lisa Tolliver
December 17, 2014 1297

Mustangs Earn District Win over Ohio County

in Local (Muhlenberg) Top News by Steve LeMaster
December 17, 2014 1199

Princeton Road Drug Investigation Results in…

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Madisonville Police Department
December 17, 2014 888

Change to Holiday Schedule for LBL Administrative…

in Local (Lakes) Top News by Land Between The Lakes
December 17, 2014 844

MFD Summoned to Seminary Street for Garage Fire

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by SurfKY News

SurfKY News Group, Inc.
Corporate Office & Studio
1125 Nebo Rd.  •  Madisonville, KY 42431
270.452.2727 (phone)
  •  270.452.2249 (fax)


Contact a member of our staff: www.surfky.com/contact
Copyright © 2014 SurfKY News Group, Inc.  •  Terms of Use  •  Site Map

social fbsocial twsocial yt
social gpsocial flrsocial rss