One-time Wayne resident playing Rockabilly festival in Las Vegas
The Time Burners aren't afraid to embrace nostalgia. The husband and wife duo behind the band, Travis and Becky Koester, specialize in a niche genre of music - rockabilly, a mix of old time rock-n-roll and old time country & western, otherwise known as hillbilly. The Time Burners are good at what they do, so good, that they've been invited to play at one of rockabilly's biggest events, Viva Las Vegas Rockabilly Weekend in Las Vegas.
If the music or event may sound unfamiliar, the name Travis Koester may not. Travis grew up in Wayne, attending school here until his freshman year, when his family moved to Columbus and he attended Columbus Lakeview. There, Travis met fellow music fan Becky and the two bonded over their shared love of music from a bygone era.
"We both have a love of old music," Travis said. "I learned to play 50s music when I first learned guitar."
"A lot of girls my age were listening to Cyndi Lauper and all those good 80s musicians, but I was listening to Chuck Berry and all those other good 50s tunes," Becky echoed.
The pair have played in other bands, but right now, they say it's easier playing together. Travis is a full-time musician and writes The Time Burners' original songs. The Koesters said their sound is comparable to the likes of musicians who inspired them, Johnny Cash, Patsy Cline and Brian Setzer to name a few. While the sound may be vintage, the crowds that see them perform all over the Ozarks, midwest and beyond, aren't.
"It's a niche thing, but a lot of people can relate to it in all ages and that's what we really shoot for," Travis said.
They've even witnessed younger members of the audience be literally moved by the music.
"At Branson we saw some kids doing The Floss to some of our rockabilly music so that was interesting," Becky said.
Rockabilly is as much a lifestyle as a music genre and Viva Las Vegas is a big deal in the rockabilly community. With classic car shows, pinup girls and lots of music, vintage enthusiasts can celebrate all things 50s. The Time Burners were extended an invitation to play during the April 9-12 event.
"We've played some bigger things before, Nebraska State Fair, Iowa State Fair, but this one is the biggest yet. There's lots of people from all over the world and that's what they want to hear and have fun with it, and we'll make the best of what we do," Travis said.
Find The Time Burners' music at thetimeburners.com.