Throughout a career that has produced nearly twenty hit singles, including three #1s, as well as chart-topping albums and sales in the millions, Darryl Worley has set himself one primary goal. "I've always set out to make sure every song on every album is a good one," he says. "I want every cut to be a potential single." It is an approach that has helped to make Darryl a mainstay of modern country music. His unquestioned musical integrity earned him an enviable connection with the American public and a reputation as a genuinely traditional country artist who doesn't follow trends or fads, but rather his own bedrock convictions as an artist and a person. It doesn't hurt that he is a distinctive singer and first-rate songwriter whose music chronicles life, love and the world situation with equal facility.
He has topped the charts with singles including "I Miss My Friend," "Awful, Beautiful Life" and "Have You Forgotten," which accomplished the feat for one, two and an incredible seven weeks, respectively. He hit the Top Twenty with the first three singles from his impressive major-label debut, Hard Rain Don't Last-"When You Need My Love," "A Good Day to Run" and "Second Wind"-and followed with smashes like "If Something Should Happen," "I Just Came Back From a War" the iconic "Tennessee River Run," and "Sounds Like Life To Me." Along the way, he earned nominations for five major ACM and CMA awards, including "Song of the Year" and "Single of the Year," and wrote songs for other artists including George Jones.
Country music is just a natural part of life for some people. It's deeply woven into the tapestry of their favorite memories and serves as the soundtrack for their daily existence. For a select group of talented individuals, country music transcends personal pleasure and becomes a public platform, blossoming into a thriving career that adds to the genre's rich legacy. With the release of his new project, Travis Marvin makes that leap from longtime fan to burgeoning star.
"Country music is in my soul," Marvin says. "I grew up playing and was probably five or six-years-old when I started. As far back as I can remember, we would be playing music with my dad and my dad's side of the family. His father was a guitar player and singer so every Sunday we would get together over at my grandfather's house and play music. I was raised on country music. That was something we've done for many years and still do all the time."
Born in tiny Ottawa, Kansas and currently residing in Kansas City, the singer/songwriter grew up soaking in the sounds of Randy Travis, Garth Brooks and George Strait. "I remember buying Randy Travis' Storms of Life on cassette tape," he recalls with a smile. "Garth has been a huge influence on me because he's such an entertainer. He does a great job of singing to his fans, not at them. And I've also admired him on the business side. He's built a great infrastructure, and he knows how to run a business. These days, I'm really influenced by guys like Keith Urban and Eric Church, who are both great storytellers. That's my goal with my music. I want to tell great stories and entertain people."
Marvin does just that on his new EP. "Simple" is an engaging anthem about establishing priorities, relishing the truly important things and remembering, "the secret to life ain't that hard." "Life really is simple," Marvin says. "Don't over think it. Don't complicate it. People tend to just make life so hard when really it's not hard. Just wake up and try to live right to the best of your abilities."
Marvin co-wrote four of the six songs on his new EP, including "Love Revival," an upbeat celebration that showcases the sense of fun in his warm, rich voice. "'Love Revival' is a Travis Marvin curve ball," the country traditionalist says with a laugh. "It's kind of 70ish with a pop/disco groove. It's really different for me, but fun. This song was primarily written to help people enjoy life whether it be with family and friends or whoever. We should just live life to the fullest and have fun doing it. You only get one chance."
The affable singer/songwriter has a gift for making up tempo tunes sound even more vibrant and he's equally skilled at wringing every ounce of emotion from a tender ballad such as "Why I Like Dreaming," an angst-ridden song that finds an abandoned lover reminiscing about the days before he was left behind. "Hanging Out" is a potent mid tempo number about that comfortable place that is just good for your soul, which was inspired after a night on the town in Nashville's honky tonks. The lively "Never had a First Time" captures the excitement of a burgeoning relationship in all its delicious glory while "Untied" is a summertime anthem that paints a picture of a perfect day with someone special.
Co-produced by Marvin and Nashville veteran Eddie Kilgallon, the project is teeming with songs that are relatable slices of life and Marvin has an uncanny ability to deliver a song and make the listener feel like he's telling their story for them. It's a skill he's honed through years of performing. "I've been blessed with a talent to be able to connect with people pretty quickly. I love looking at people's eyes. I love looking at them, not through them," says Marvin, who is doing 200 shows a year. "I just want to make them happy for the 60 minutes I'm in front of them. I've always been a people person. I worked as a computer systems engineer for seven years and my job was always to make the client happy. I love doing that. I love making people happy. I guess it's in my blood."
Always a natural performer, Marvin graduated from family, school and church functions to performing at events throughout Kansas. After placing second in a Battle of the Bands contest, Marvin was approached by legendary radio programmer Mike Kennedy of Kansas City's KBEQ, who was so impressed he recruited him to open a show for Lee Ann Womack. "Ever since then, it's been nothing but escalation," says Marvin, who has opened for Luke Bryan, Miranda Lambert, Blake Shelton, Tim McGraw and Kenny Chesney. "We've just kept climbing the ladder because I've been fortunate enough to have really good musicians around me. They push me to be a better lead man and a better artist. They are loyal guys, very talented musicians and just good people."
Marvin is appreciative of the opportunities he's been given and is excited about the future. "I believe that everybody's got a story and the easiest way for me to tell it is through country music," he says. "You can sing a slow song that will tug at your heart. You can sing a fast song that will make you forget about all of your problems. Everybody's got challenges in their lives but country music helps take people away from them for a while. That's why it's where I need to be. That's my purpose in life. I want to be able to share my life and my stories with people through music."