Biography All Music Guide
All Music Guide:
Born out of guitarist Matt Kinsey's desire to informally record some of his country-influenced songs, enlisting drummer Mandon Maloney and guitarist Christian Braafladt to aid him in some casual four-tracking, the members of Austin, TX's, Li'l Cap'n Travis soon found themselves being pulled from their various other bands to pursue their uniquely messy mixing of 70's outlaw country, 60's stoner rock, and 90's psychedelic pop. Never intended as anything more than a side-project that would produce bizarre songs, they found a unique chemistry in their common love of country clichés and musical adventurousness. With Kinsey and Braafladt eventually producing 20 songs, the band recruited bassist Jeff Johnston and pedal steel player Gary Newcomb to fill out the lineup and began gigging around Austin to surprisingly enthusiastic crowds. Reportedly averaging around four live performances for every practice session, the band honed their skills in the public arena, earning a reputation for gloriously chaotic live shows belying their deceptively accomplished musical skills. Although Braafladt's claim that the band plays "drunk music for drunk people" has been proven to be a bit too simplistic, their growing fan base soon led them being one of the most eagerly anticipated bands to play the South By Southwest festival in 1999, making them one of the year's most unlikely success stories. Soon the Austin music press was drawing comparisons to everyone from Neil Young and Merle Haggard to Pavement and the Beach Boys, with the band's self-titled 2000 debut popping up on more than a few "Year End" lists. The sprawling Lonesome and Losin' following in 2002.