Travis Meadows (right, above) and Levi Lowrey released a live album from their November show at Natchez Hills Vineyard yesterday, and previews the album for free with their rendition of “Riser.”
“Riser” is a co-write between Meadows and Steve Moakler, who released his own recorded version in 2014 on Wide Open. Though Dierks Bentley, who recorded the song as the title track for his seventh studio album last February, hasn’t officially released the song as a single, he’s expressed that he would love to send it to radio, and even performed it on the recent ACM Awards.
Bentley’s version is strengthening and anthemic, and Moakler’s is wistful and affirming. With Meadows’ live version, however, it takes on a slightly different quality, as if his voice serves to convince himself, his own solitary flame growing brighter by his own words.
As both a writer and an artist, Meadows is known for his lack of fear of dark subjects; his album, Killin’ Uncle Buzzy, is an homage to his path to sobriety. It’s an artistic honesty, the rawness of which can’t help but catch the listener’s attention. Jake Owen recently released Meadows’ song “What We Ain’t Got” to country radio as a single. Meadows’ recent co-writes include Eric Church’s “Dark Side” (with Jeremy Spillman) and “West Texas Rain” with Wade Bowen.
But it’s Meadows’ honesty as a writer and quavering, somber vocals that combine to steal one’s breath away, and the live pairing with the soulful Lowrey (who co-wrote the Zac Brown hit “Colder Weather”) is the perfect pairing of prowess. Take a listen, and grab the limited edition album through Meadows’ website.