Artist: Travis Ehrenstrom
Featured song: “Wouldn’t Have it Any Other Way”
• The Travis Ehrenstrom Band, with Nick Foster Band, Slater Smith at The Belfry, 302 E. Main Ave., Sisters; 6 p.m. April 22; $5.
• The Travis Ehrenstrom Band at 4 Peaks Music Festival, DM Stevenson Ranch, 21085 Knott Road, Bend; June 21 through 24 (schedule of performers to be announced); 4peaksmusic.com.
Singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Travis Ehrenstrom leads his eponymous band and also plays as a sideman with Shady GroOove, Riderbymyside, Lande and Redbird. Born and raised in Sisters, Ehrenstrom attended college in Portland and spent two years in Seattle playing with indie-folk artist Noah Gundersen before returning to Bend in 2010. The Travis Ehrenstrom Band has ramped up its shows in the last year since solidifying its lineup, and is working on its first full-band album, a follow-up to Ehrenstrom’s two previous solo offerings. This song, “Wouldn’t Have it Any Other Way,” will be on the new record.
Q: What’s the story behind this song — how was it written, recorded, etc.?
A: So for this one in particular, it kind of just came. One of the things that I find myself doing a lot is if I hear a new set or piece of music that I really, really like, I methodically think about how the music is structured. This one was under the influence of Dave Rawlings Machine. I always struggle — growing up in Sisters, (it) is a pretty folk-centric music community. … I very much grew up playing folk music. This song was sort of intentionally trying to look at chord structures in folk music and melodies and not make it so specific to a certain key or something like that, which I didn’t really achieve, because it’s pretty straight folk. That was the intent.
Q: What’s the story inside this song — what’s it about?
A: The song itself is actually, funny enough, coming to grips with … American intensity. … I feel like I’m pretty even-keeled and don’t get upset about a lot of things. Not necessarily a political statement, but more just — if I were to pick a specific theme, going to a grocery store and somebody being really pissed off about how long they had to wait in line or something like that. Just thinking, an observation on the human condition here, I guess.