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.

3/13 - 16
3/13 - 16
3/13 - 16

In Other News...

BMS Academic Team

BENTON, Ky. (9/30/14) — Benton Middle School selected their academic team for the 2014-2015 school year. Members are… Read More

Anti-Bullying Awareness Month and Kentucky Safe Schools Week Oct. 19-25

MURRAY, Ky. (9/30/14) — Be aware and prepare, October is anti-bullying month in the state of Kentucky. Our schools have… Read More
3/13 - 16

Most Read This Week (Site-Wide)

September 27, 2014 3980

Hopkins County Grand Jury Misdemeanor Indictments

in News by Karen McKnight
September 29, 2014 3595

Endless Road Strings Bring Orchestra Mix to…

in Top Stories by Paul McRee, SurfKY News
September 27, 2014 2994

Sinister on Center Takes Haunted Manor to Whole…

in Top Stories by Charles W. Riley II, SurfKY News
September 29, 2014 2551

One Injured in Single-Vehicle Collision on…

in Top Stories by Rita Dukes Smith, SurfKY News Director
September 29, 2014 2442

Man, Woman Charged with Violating EPO Against…

in Top Stories by Madisonville Police Department
September 28, 2014 2441

Community Shows Support to Muhlenberg Humane…

in Top Stories by Charles W. Riley II, SurfKY News
September 28, 2014 2190

Marching Mustangs Take Third in Ohio Competition

in Top Stories by Information provided by Shawna Hendrix
September 29, 2014 2139

Man Charged with PI, Drugs, After Allegedly…

in Top Stories by Madisonville Police Department
September 27, 2014 1947

Hopkins/Webster Counties Native, Paducah Writer…

in Top Stories by Amber Averitt, SurfKY News
September 29, 2014 1931

Traffic Accident on Brown Road

in News by Madisonville Police Department
September 27, 2014 1886

Happenings and Meetings - Hopkins County

in News by Amber Averitt, SurfKY News

Most Read Stories from Hopkins County

September 29, 2014 2551

One Injured in Single-Vehicle Collision…

in Top Stories by Rita Dukes Smith, SurfKY News Director
September 29, 2014 2442

Man, Woman Charged with Violating EPO…

in Top Stories by Madisonville Police Department
September 29, 2014 2139

Man Charged with PI, Drugs, After…

in Top Stories by Madisonville Police Department
September 29, 2014 1607

Man Arrested for DUI, Marijuana Possession

in Top Stories by Madisonville Police Department
September 28, 2014 1429

Angel Garden Dedicated at Baptist…

in Top Stories by Tammy Holloway, SurfKY News

Most Read Stories from Muhlenberg County

September 29, 2014 3595

Endless Road Strings Bring Orchestra Mix…

in Top Stories by Paul McRee, SurfKY News
September 28, 2014 2441

Community Shows Support to Muhlenberg…

in Top Stories by Charles W. Riley II, SurfKY News
September 28, 2014 2190

Marching Mustangs Take Third in Ohio…

in Top Stories by Information provided by Shawna Hendrix
September 29, 2014 1634

Fourteen Year Old Parker Hastings Wins…

in Top Stories by Paul McRee, SurfKY News
September 29, 2014 1604

One Injured in Two-Vehicle Collision

in Top Stories by Trooper Stu Recke

SurfKY News Group, Inc. Central Office & Printing Division
1125 Nebo Rd.  •  Madisonville, KY 42431  •  270.452.2249 (fax)
Main Number: 270.452.2727 (phone)  •  Printing Division Direct Line: 270.821.8600 (phone)


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

social 03social 04social 22social 21social 06