Local guitarist with talent beyond his years

MARQUETTE — Every Thursday in June, we will be highlighting a band that rocks the U.P. ABC 10’s Caleb Scanlon will be bringing you these featured bands each week. Up next, an inside look at Travis Swanson.

Travis Swanson has always been a man destined for greatness. He is a Negaunee High School graduate and grew up in Palmer. Travis was one of the leaders on his basketball team, and first chair in the trumpet section for concert band and jazz band. With a love for blues, jazz and all things music, Travis became absorbed with learning guitar and never looked back.

“It’s just been kind of consuming and I’ve been playing anywhere between seven and ten hours a day now,” said guitarist Travis Swanson, “ever since I got on the instrument it’s just sort of been obsessive. Anybody who knows me from high school until now has probably seen a little bit of a withdrawal socially from me. But it gives me energy every day. I get up every morning and it’s the first thing I do. It’ll be 7:30 in the morning and I’m just ready to work. For some reason, that’s just it for me.”

Travis is certainly not the only one that thinks he found his niche in playing guitar. He’s toured successfully in 38 states across the U.S. and through Europe three times with John Németh.

“There’s a really deep appreciation for American music over in Europe,” Swanson continued, “I’ve been fortunate that the people I’ve toured with have big followings over there so it’s always been big crowds and really well received.”

That type of experience mixed with determination and a passion for music have helped mold Travis into a guitar player with ability beyond his years.

Swanson does offer guitar lessons, but recommends himself only to those who are truly dedicated.

“I just tell people that I’m pretty serious about teaching so if you’re serious about getting better then I’m a good person to take lessons from but I don’t have any magical devices or answers to make you really good really fast. It’s just a lot of hard work.”

While he’s in the area, you can hear him playing with several different groups around the Marquette County area almost every day of the week. Many include the talented Harry South on bass.

If you want to see Swanson perform, you better hurry before he goes back on tour. To find out how to keep up to date with all of Travis Swanson’s musical endeavors click here.

About the Author

Caleb Scanlon
Caleb M. Scanlon is a reporter for ABC 10 / CW 5 and joined the news team in 2015. He grew up in Negaunee, where he attended Negaunee High School. Caleb completed his Bachelor's degree in Media Production and New Technologies from Northern Michigan University with a minor in Communication Studies. Caleb interned with ABC 10 / CW 5 in the fall of 2014. During his free time, Caleb enjoys spending time with his wife Samantha, his kids Fred and Lucy, and his cats Scotty, Remus, and Fitzgerald. Caleb plays a multitude of musical instruments and performs in a band called Concord Through Keys. When there isn't snow on the ground, Caleb can often be found at Al-Quaal playing disc golf.