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

e-max.it: your social media marketing partner

LIKE SurfKY on Facebook - Click here to LIKE us now.

© Copyright 2015 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 on social media.

Most Read This Week

May 22, 2015 7691

Madisonville Man Charged with First-Degree Rape

by SurfKY News
May 23, 2015 7502

Missing 5-Year-Old Boy Found

by Doreen Dennis, SurfKY News
May 27, 2015 5114

VIDEO: Sparks Fly Over Hanson Rezoning Issue

by Tammy Holloway, SurfKY News
May 25, 2015 3508

Can Sunscreen Save Your Life?

by Melissa Patrick
May 21, 2015 3476

Police Charge Madisonville Man with Harassing…

by SurfKY News

Most Read This Month

May 15, 2015 10879

New Madisonville Business In Full Operation Soon

by Tammy Holloway, SurfKY News
May 22, 2015 7691

Madisonville Man Charged with First-Degree Rape

by SurfKY News

Stories Trending Now

May 27, 2015 5114

VIDEO: Sparks Fly Over Hanson Rezoning Issue

by Tammy Holloway, SurfKY News
May 26, 2015 2741

Mandarin House Gearing Up to Open Soon

by Gary Gates, SurfKY News
May 26, 2015 2609

Large Necklace on Rearview Mirror Lands Driver in…

by SurfKY News
May 27, 2015 2090

Midnight Ride on Rabbit Ridge Ends in Jail

by SurfKY News
May 26, 2015 1965

Governor Announces Hopkins County as Kentucky…

by Doreen Dennis, SurfKY News
May 26, 2015 1800

Two Central City People Jailed on Meth Charges

by SurfKY News
May 26, 2015 1549

Bremen Man Charged with Concealed Brass Knuckles…

by SurfKY News
May 26, 2015 1478

Veterans Honor Veterans

by Tammy Holloway, SurfKY News
May 26, 2015 1267

Hopkins District Court Fines Handed Down

by SurfKY News
May 25, 2015 1240

‘Remembering Those That Paid All’

by Tammy Holloway, SurfKY News