Travis Denning Is Hoping to Meet the Real ‘David Ashley Parker From Powder Springs’
Travis Denning gravitated to music from a young age. The Georgia native vividly recalls being seven and sitting in his dad’s truck when he heard AC/DC for the first time. Instantly hooked, the band’s music made him fall in love with the guitar.
Following Denning’s discovery of AC/DC, he asked for a guitar one Christmas. His love of guitar and creating music blossomed, and by the time he was in high school he was writing songs and performing in an Allman Brothers tribute band.
“They’re the peak of everything for me,” Denning tells Sounds Like Nashville of the Allman Brothers Band. “They are my biggest influence, my favorite band. It can always be traced back to them and so obviously it bled over into when I was playing gigs. I had an opportunity to join this cover band and we played bars and clubs on the weekends. That was my job in high school. That’s how I made money.”
The more Denning played music, the deeper his passion grew. He eventually realized that he could make enough money playing music as a job, but decided he wanted a career as an artist and to release his own music. Once he figured this out, he knew Nashville was the place he had to be and in early 2014 he packed his things and moved to Music City.
Once settled, Denning wrote songs every day. Within a year he landed a publishing deal and soon had cuts on records by Jason Aldean, Justin Moore and Chase Rice. He credits his success to persistence, networking and surrounding himself with people that have the same goals.
“I’ve always been told my whole life that luck is preparation meets opportunity,” he explains. “I knew I wasn’t going to have a lot of opportunities early on so I might as well be prepared. So I wrote. I practiced guitar. I tried to be better as a singer and opportunities came.”
In 2017, Denning signed a record deal with Universal Music Group and soon found himself on the road with Moore and Rice, as well as opening shows for Alan Jackson and LANCO. While he admits his debut single, “David Ashley Parker From Powder Springs,” is a little quirky, he says if listeners pay close attention they’ll see the story within the song.
“It’s about my fake ID and it’s fun, but ultimately the reason this is the first single is that it touches every little spot of what this album is going to say about me. It’s got the story and I love to talk about where I come from. I love telling stories of parts of my life,” he explains. “It seemed like the right song. It was a little quirky. It’s a little different. I think it’ll help separate me in the sense of where people go, ‘What was he singing about? I need to listen to that again.'”
Denning penned “David Ashley Parker From Powder Springs” with Jessi Alexander and Jon Randall. He wanted to write the song when he was 19 and had the ID, but knew it would be better suited if he wrote it from a reflective standpoint. The day he got into the room with Alexander and Randall he suggested the idea and both writers thought it could be a special song.
“It spilled out. Two hours we were done. It came together and it was one of those songs that while we were writing it I think we were all like, ‘This is awesome. People are going to talk about this song,'” he says with a smile.
Since playing his single out in the live setting, a few people have approached him who know the real David Ashley Parker. Parker’s fiancée even reached out to Denning via Facebook about the song.
“She said, ‘We love the song and we’d love to meet you,’ so I took that as a blessing hopefully,” he says. “I looked at the pictures and it’s definitely him, so we’re working on hanging out. It’s going to be cool. I’m very excited. Honestly my first question is, ‘Hey, when did you realize you lost your ID?’ I wrote it so I knew the song was coming but I can’t imagine waking up one day and someone going, ‘I’m pretty sure there’s a song about you that’s on the radio.'”