At the age of 20, Travis Swanson knows that most people his age aren't listening to the kind of music his band "Travis and the St. Lou's" makes.
"Around here, the music we're playing, it's not the popular thing to do," says Travis Swanson, lead singer and guitarist of Travis and the St. Lou's. But Swanson, bass player Jimmy Nevala, and drummer Scott Syrjala are working to change that. They're challenging perceptions of traditional blues and R&B music, a genre they say isn't going anywhere.
"Blues isn't dying, it's not about to die," Swanson said. "If they come out and listen to it, they'll see it's just not on the radio so people know about it."
And a thriving fan base in a short amount of time says he may be right.
Swanson says he fell in love with traditional blues right away, but it's not the same story for Nevala who was used playing to a different beat.
"Metal guys can play fast, and I like metal, too, but you don't always have the same emotion when playing the blues," says Nevala.
They say it's all about story telling, and to tell a story, you need a message.
"If you don't have anything to say, put the pen down," Swanson said. "When I see people tapping their toes to what I'm writing, it gives me a lot of hope and inspiration."