The W.T. Feaster Band has been an Indianapolis club staple for two and a half years, but they’ve only recently released their debut record, appropriately called Long Overdue. For such a popular blues/rock band, why the delay? It’s all in the timing, says singer/guitarist Travis Feaster, who waited for that perfect moment along with his bandmates, drummer Jake Iseminger, bassist Austin Shearer and J. Wesley Smith on the ivories.
“I just wanted to make sure it was an album that was decent. Something I’ll be proud of. When I hand the album out, I make no excuses. I’ve seen bands over the years hand out CDs and say things like, ‘The sound is OK.’ ‘This is what we have so far.’ I didn’t want do to that. I feel confident that this album [is] what we are right now. Two years from now, who knows?” Feaster says.
The band is one of several Indianapolis bands building a bridge between rock and blues: You can hear rock staples like “Hey Joe” and “Use Me” on the band’s MySpace page.
“That’s what I want to go for. I want to be a blues influenced artist if I have to have a title … I don’t claim to be a blues player, but to fully understand something, you have to know where it comes from. I want to borrow from it without claiming to be it,” Feaster says.
Feaster listens to music of all kinds, including songs that were penned long before he was born. One of his biggest influences as a musician and showman is blues harmonica giant Junior Wells. “A lot of people are surprised of that because I’m not a harmonica player,” Feaster explains. “I’ve always been fascinated by him. There’s a song on the Best of the Vanguard Years called ‘Stomach Ache.’ It’s just him chanting and then him saying, ‘I got the stomach ache,’ and I thought, ‘Who is this guy?’ He could be a funky, soulful player and not just a blues guy. A lot of people knew him through his affiliation with Buddy Guy. I hate to admit this, but I found out about Buddy because of Junior.”
This is the W.T. Feaster Band’s first New Year’s Eve appearance at the Slippery Noodle. Performing on the other stage will be Indy’s own Biscuit & The Mix, of which Feaster is a fan.
“Biscuit’s a great guy and they’re a great band. We want to make it a night to remember. You’re not going to hear the two bands play the same song, especially in one night,” Feaster says.