Travis Haddix

Travis Haddix

BandBluesSoul

The music of Travis Haddix is an energetic mix of traditional blues and soul music, a style that evokes the sounds of the great Stax-Volt Days.

Biography

“I am the best that I can be,” says Travis “Moonchild” Haddix, “and since no one else can be me, there’s none better.”
Once you hear this disc, you’ll know why the suave blues singer and guitarist sports such a confident outlook. With more than a dozen albums under his belt and several European tours distinguishing his frequent flyer account, the Cleveland-based Haddix is also a prolific songwriter who’s written memorable material for Artie “Blues Boy” White, Lee Shot Williams, Michael Burks, Charles Wilson, Dicky Williams, Jimmy Dawkins, and the late Son Seals.
Of course, nobody sounds better delivering a Travis Haddix copyright then the man himself. All 10 tracks on Daylight at Midnight are self-penned originals, their inspiration stemming from myriad sources. “My songs don’t really depict my life or lifestyle,” he notes. “It’s just something that I’ve heard somebody else say, or something like that.” The title track is an exception. “I wrote that song about a town in the northern part of Finland,” says Travis. “When I was on tour there at that particular time, it stayed daylight mostly all the time.” In addition to his soul-steeped vocals, Haddix plays crisp, concise guitar solos throughout the disc.
Travis was born November 26, 1938 in Hatchie Bottom, Mississippi. “That’s out in a cow pasture, that’s where that is,” he chuckles. I was born in a cabin in Hatchie Bottom.” Eventually the Haddixes settled in nearby Walnut. “The closest big city is Memphis,” he says. “If you wanted to go to town, that’s where you had to go, ‘cause we lived way back in the country.”
Travis first heard the blues from his father, Chalmus “Rooster” Haddix, a Delta bluesman conversant on guitar, piano, fiddle, and harmonica. “My dad and his brothers, they played Saturday night fish fries down in the state of Mississippi. I’m the son of a sharecropper,” he says. “So I got introduced to the blues at a very early age. My dad could play several different instruments, and he could play ‘em very well.”
Although he started out on piano, Travis switched to guitar after a life-changing visit to Memphis’ pioneering radio station WDIA. “That’s where I got my introduction to B.B. King,” he says. “He had a 10- or 15-minute radio program, and my older brother Al used to take me over there to see him play. My brother Al was a great jazz guitarist. And we’d go over to see B.B. King. That’s where I decided that I wanted to play guitar.”
It didn’t take Travis long to get his first axe. “I had been playing my older brother Al’s guitar,” he says. “And then I got a guitar shortly after that. My brother Al bought me a guitar called a Stella. I played that until my father was drinking a little bit too much, and he sat down on it and broke the neck off! That was the end of the Stella. And then I graduated and got a Harmony. And after the Harmony, I got the Gibson 335.
“When I saw the late, great Robert Lockwood, Jr. play a Guild, then I got a Guild. And I’ve had the Guild ever since,” he adds. “I saw him play, this was back in ‘64. I bought the Guild from my cousin in 1965. I’ve still got it, and I still play it.” B.B. wasn’t his only early influence. “There was the late, great Lowell Fulson, Albert King, Little Milton, and of course T-Bone Walker is everybody’s influence,” he says. “And of course, Buddy Guy has been around a long time. I like listening to his music, and trying to mimic his guitar playing too.”
After graduating from high school in Walnut, Travis came north. “My family moved to Milwaukee, and I was a good basketball player, so I went to Marquette,” he says. “I found out that I wasn’t as good as I thought I was, and I wasn’t keeping up academically also. So I left Milwaukee and came to Cleveland. I went to Cuyahoga Community College, and I finished my education there.” Then Uncle Sam came calling.
“I was drafted into the Army in 1961, and I spent a couple of years in the Army,” says Haddix, who spent parts of his hitch at Fort Bliss in Texas and New Jersey’s Fort Dix before being stationed in Europe. “My orders kept drifting me around all over the country, and then I finally ended up in Stuttgart, Germany.
“I played in the service clubs while I was in the Army. There was another boy from Cleveland, a good friend of mine,” says Travis. “We still play together sometimes. His name is Charlie Favors. We had a choice: we could either play and entertain, or we could do guard duty. So we chose to play instead of pulling guard duty!”
Back in Cleveland after completing his military obligation, Travis joined an R&B band, Chuck & the Tremblers, that was led by bassist Chuck Barkley. “He was a very nice guy that would put up with younger guys. He was in his late 40s at that time. And we were in our early 20s,” says Haddix. “They were well-established when I got there.” Travis made his recording debut as a member of Chuck & the Tremblers, writing and singing “Stop Cheating Woman” as half of th

Discography

Daylight At Midnight - Earwig Music Co., Inc (2008)
Mean Ole Yesterday - Wonn-Sonn (2007)
Mud Cakes - Wonn-Sonn (2005)
Blues From Staghorn Street - Wann-Sonn (2004)
Company Is Coming - Wann-Sonn (2002)
Milk & Bread - Wann-Sonn (2001)
Old & Easy - Wann-Sonn (2000)
Big Ole Goodun' - Ichiban (1994)
I Got A Sure Thing - Ichiban (1993)
What I Know Right Now - Ichiban (1992)
Winners Never Quit - Ichiban (1991)
Wrong Side Out - Ichiban (1988)

Set List

A healthy mix of originals with cover songs and blues standards