indie folk / indie pop/rock latin
Bill Travis hails from Halifax NS and performs the introspective and pop-hook-laden folk songs of MUSHKAT. Bill writes and performs in English and Spanish, backing up his own guitar playing with mouthed horn impersonations. His songs deal with existential crises, coincidence, and a unique take on the everyday, drawing on his many musical teachers and influences for his slightly askew folk-pop sound.
He grew up as a "base brat", moving around a fair deal as a child of an Air Force officer, getting his education in English and Philosophy at the Royal Military College of Canada, and playing in a punk rock band called Poplar Mechanics while he was in Kingston, Ontario. After graduation, he left the armed forces and pursued a career as an international school teacher in Korea, Thailand and then Bolivia, picking up new influences and instruments along his way. He returned to the place of his birth on the East Coast of Canada in 2001.
In the past few years, he has shared stages with such Maritime acts as Al Tuck, Jon McKiel, Ronok Sarkar, Erin Costelo, Mike Aube, Andy & Ariana, The Sorrys, Klarka Weinwurm, Jon McKiel, The Lodge, Andy McDaniel, Christina Martin, Dusty Keleher, The Danger Bees, Todd Michalik, Olivier Jarda and more. Mushkat and his trio (Mark Merrimen on bass, and Chris Brown on drums) have toured as far West as Ontario (2010, 2013 and 2016), but they'd like to go further next time.
Bill Travis - Vocals, Guitar
Mark Merrimen - Bass
Chris Brown - Drums
Joel Langis - Electric Guitar, Vocal Harmony
Darrel Cameron - Mandolin, Vocal Harmony
Neil Young, Sebadoh, Camaron de la Isla, Guided by Voices, Elephant Six collective, Pink Floyd, David Bowie
Most recent release
Since returning to Halifax, Mushkat has produced six independent solo releases: PERPETUAL MOTION MUSIC (2004), LUNAR NEW YEAR (2005), CALENDAR (2007), ALAMO DEFENDER (2009), HARDWAY LEARNER (2012), TOURIST CURIOUS (2015) and numerous side projects. The first three releases have a home-made indie feel, with most instruments (including clarinets, guitar, charango, percussion and more) played by Bill himself, while ALAMO DEFENDER features Mark Merrimen and Gerry Rodgers (on bass and drums, respectively) and Caleb Hamilton on trumpet; it has a more polished sound and was released on Gooseberry Records.
On HARDWAY LEARNER, Mushkat blends Latin, Folk, Jazz and Prog-Rock, featuring Justin Bell on electric guitar and Chris Brown on drums. With TOURIST CURIOUS, which features Chris Brown on drums, Mark Merrimen on bass, and Dan Hache on electric guitar, Mushkat returns to his lo-fi roots with a folk-rock concept album recorded entirely on a Zoom H2 Handy Recorder.
social & Content
Video: "i dont want to talk about it" (crazy horse cover)
Feb 3rd, 2018 @ Italian Canadian Cultural Centre, Halifax, NS. Opening for Ted Simmons CD release.
Feb 18th, 2018: @ The Carlton, Halifax, NS: With Leona Burkey and Ronok Sarkar (Mushkat quartet, with Darrel Cameron, headlined)
Feb 26th, 2018 @ Jacob's Lounge, Dartmouth, NS: with Tyler Cameron and the Prevailing Winds (Mushkat quartet, with Joel Langis, headlined)