Click HERE to read Rolling Stone Country's peek of the new record... "First Cigarette" Available 10/13
There are honest country-music songwriters in Nashville, and then there's Travis Meadows, a writer who can't help but shine a light on his darkest flaws and ugliest demons. Since releasing his painfully autobiographical chronicle of his four stints in rehab, Killin' Uncle Buzzy, in 2011, the Mississippi native has become a favorite collaborator of Eric Church and Charlie Worsham, and had his songs recorded by artists from Church and Randy Houser to Dierks Bentley and Jake Owen.
"That's what I bought with my Jake Owen money," Meadows says, motioning to a 2000 Ford Excursion hogging up the small driveway of the East Nashville home he shares with his girlfriend. Owen cut Meadows' ballad "What We Ain't Got," taking it to Number 14 on Billboard's Country Airplay chart in 2015. Its success provided Meadows with a modest royalty check – enough for him to buy an SUV to drive to gigs with his loyal sideman, "Whiskey Jack" Untz and, more importantly, help fund his eagerly anticipated new full-length album, First Cigarette.
Set for release on Friday, October 13th, the LP was produced by Jeremy Spillman, with Jay Joyce (Eric Church, Little Big Town) offering feedback as executive producer. The significance of the album hitting on Friday the 13th isn't lost on Meadows. "I can be a dark son of a bitch," he says.
But on this day, Meadows has a spring in his step, thanks to his album finally having a home – on Blaster Records – and because of a shiny new red prosthetic that he says makes him look like Iron Man. Meadows lost his right leg to cancer at age 14. Opening the door to a 1975 Winnebago camper he keeps tucked behind the house as a refuge, he bounds up the stairs to talk about the inspiration for First Cigarette and one of its fan favorite tracks: the Bruce Springsteen-inspired "Pray for Jungleland."