Traveler's Dream
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Traveler's Dream

West Lafayette, Indiana, United States | SELF

West Lafayette, Indiana, United States | SELF
Band Pop Singer/Songwriter


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"Traveler's Dream - Cold Blows the Day"

Indiana-based duo Michael Lewis and Denise Wilson (accompanying themselves on guitar, bouzouki, whistles and concertina) return with an attractive winter collection, presenting pleasing, elegantly sung and harmonised renditions of carols from the UK and France; yet it's the original songs nestled amongh them (two by Michael, and Bob Pegg's Rise Up Jock) that really strike gold here.
2010 - FolkRoots Magazine (UK)

"The Essex (Original Song) Music and Lyrics"

With all the grandeur and beauty of the best of traditional ballads of the sea, Michael Lewis' "The Essex" was inspired by Nathaniel Philbrick's In the Heart of the Sea, a true story which took place in the years 1819-1820 and which was also the inspiration for Herman Melville's classic novel, Moby Dick. "The Essex" is included on HOME COMES THE ROVER, the third recording by the band Traveler's Dream.
Autumn 2008, Vol. 52, #3 - SingOut! Magazine

"A Passion for Music: Traveler's Dream"

On a Friday night at O'Bryan's Nine Irish Brothers in West Lafayette, Indiana, the kilted wait staff moves with extra gusto. Patrons clap their hands and tap their feet to the Celtic music that fills the restaurant. Tucked into a corner are Denise Wilson and her husband, Michael Lewis, the duo known as Traveler's Dream. Tonight they are joined by Denise' son and ace fiddle player, Chance Heasty, and the musicians seem quite at home as they entertain the crowd.
Traveler's Dream started performing traditional Celtic and French-Canadian music, as well as original songs, in 2000. Both are gifted vocalists, and each has their own instrumental repertoire. Lewis plays guitar, mandolin, bouzouki and feet percussion. Wilson plays Irish flute, tin whistle, concertina, fife and jaw harp, sometimes switching instruments mid-song.
Wilson is not only a talented performer, she has an extensive knowledge of the history of the traditional music Traveler's Dream plays.s She has a bachelor's degree in French, a doctoral degree in American history and a particular interest in the American Midwest where she says her roots reach back to the earliest settlements. Her passion for the history and the music comes out in Traveler's Dream's performances. Often she will give audiences a little background on a particular song. The duo's original songs are influenced by their knowledge of traditional music and flow seamlessly with the traditional songs in their sets.
Traveler's Dream has released three CDs, including their 2008 release, Home Comes the Rover. Their CDs can be found at various Midwestern historical sites such as the St. Louis Arch Museum Store and Conner Prairie Living History Museum.
If Traveler's Dream seems at home at O'Bryan's Nine Irish Brothers, it's because the duo is sharing with the audience an experience they cultivate in their home as a couple. Wilson says their music is a chance to share something she's passionate about with her husband. "It's part of who we are," she says. "It is an incredible experience. . . the feeling you get sitting at home playing together when something just clicks and really works." They arrange and rehearse their music in their living room, and Wilson says their performances often have a "living-room feel" to them.
"It feels really good," she says "when I look over at Michael and he has this look and I can tell he's thinking 'Isn't this grand?!'"
March 2009 - Helen Magazine


(CD Releases)
Cold Blows the Day (2009)
Home Comes the Rover (2008)
The Willow Tree (2004)
The Road Home (2001)



Traveler's Dream creates music that is rich in tradition but driven by innovation and creativity. With powerful voices and a wide variety of traditional and modern instruments, Michael Lewis and Denise Wilson captivate listeners with spirited songs from the Celtic lands and French Canada, hard-driving Irish jigs and reels, sea shanties, and traditional American songs. Nestled alongside this vibrant canon of music are original songs that are often inspired by the beauty of the Midwestern landscape and the relationships people have with the land and with each other. Themes of tolerance, justice, and the value of life’s simple pleasures are also frequently woven into their original songs. The band's broad appeal owes much to the duo's impressive skills as multi-instrumentalists and the beauty of their close vocal harmonies. They have been praised for the "exceptional way they blend artistry, skill and performance with a great openness and rapport with the audience." Instrumentation: Irish bouzouki, guitar, Irish flute and tin whistle, concertina, fife, mandolin, and feet percussion.

Traveler’s Dream has released four CDs which have received positive reviews in SingOut! Magazine and FolkRoots. Lewis' original song "The Essex" (music/lyrics) was also featured in the fall 2009 issue of SingOut!. Lewis is currently putting the finishing touches on his first recording of original songs which will be released in the fall of 2011.

Travelers Dream has toured widely for the past ten years playing at folk concerts, French and Celtic events, community celebrations, state and national historical events, and concert series. Wilson and Lewis are also skilled presenters of educational programs which use music as a vehicle to “teach” American history. These programs have been well-received from elementary schools to colleges.

Raised in the heart of the Midwest, Lewis and Wilson feel a deep attachment to the landscape and history of the place they call home. Lewis' early musical pursuits were those of a singer-songwriter while Wilson's early life was steeped in traditional music. After ten years of playing and performing together, both are now singer-songwriters as well as enthusiasts of traditional music.

Denise is a musical jack-of-all-trades whose music has been strongly influenced by her family’s Celtic roots, her love of history, and her life-long interest in French language and culture. She contributes to the textured sound of Traveler’s Dream with her exuberant voice, Irish flute and whistles, fife and concertina. Denise’s first professional musical experience came during her college years when she sang with a French dance band while studying in Strasbourg, France. After returning to the U.S., Denise earned a solid reputation as a singer and first-rate entertainer with the band Bon Jolais. She toured with that group for the next fifteen years, solidly establishing herself as one of the region’s finest interpreters of traditional music. With a B.A. in French and a Ph.D. in American History, Denise has a broad knowledge of the culture and history surrounding the music she plays.

Michael captivates audiences with his powerful voice and innovative guitar, bouzouki, and mandolin playing. Though his technical skill is impressive, it is the art and emotion in his singing and playing that set him apart from others. Using a variety of chord voicings, delicate finger-picking, and percussive strumming techniques, Michael is a master at choosing just the right instrument and style to enhance the mood of each song. His skills as a musical composer, songwriter, and arranger give Traveler’s Dream a sound and style that are uniquely its own. With a poet’s ability to capture what is universal and enduring in human experience, Michael's songwriting talents were recently recognized by the Indiana Arts Commission who awarded him a grant to write four original songs relating to midwestern culture and history. When not on the road performing, Lewis enjoys producing and recording the music of other regional musicians at his own Middle Earth Recording Studio.