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Travis Bowman & The Synergy X20

'...it's been a real pleasure performing with this instrument. Thank you, Emerald!'

In 2017,  when attending the wonderful Harp Guitar Gathering, Alistair had the pleasure of meeting Travis Bowman for the first time. Having just released his critically acclaimed debut album ‘Launch’, Travis was quickly becoming one of the most talked about guitar players in the music business. Fast forward to September of 2021, and Alistair received an email from Travis about his latest musical endeavor – performing on a harp guitar in the World String Ensemble.

I was in a pinch during a 6 month long gig with a damaged instrument, and I immediately thought to ask Emerald for a guitar that wouldn’t succumb to the intense weather conditions. It’s such a load off knowing that this guitar cannot be harmed by heat and humidity like most other guitars can be. Instead of worrying about the guitar I can now focus on the most important thing: the music!’

World String Ensemble perform at Dubai Millennium Amphitheatre m55997

Hailing from Little Rock Arkansas, Travis has won notoriety in national and international guitar competitions such as the Ernie Ball Acoustic Prodigy Competition in 2014, and the Arkansas State Fingerpicking Competition in 2017. In 2018, Travis placed 1st in the International Fingerpicking Competition at the Walnut Valley Festival in Winfield, Kansas. In 2015 Travis’ EP ‘Superhero’ was recorded at NRG Studios and was produced by viral YouTube sensation Andy McKee.

World String Ensemble perform at Dubai Millennium Amphitheatre m56006

Travis interest in playing Harp Guitar began in 2007 after seeing Harp Guitar Master Stephen Bennett performing ‘Tenochtitlan’ on YouTube.

I was instantly hooked. The allure of being able to play fingerstyle on an instrument that gave you an extra lower register was mind blowing. I was completely infatuated with all of the creative possibilities this instrument has to offer, and I will be for the rest of my life.’

After experiencing some issues with another Harp Guitar, Travis contacted Emerald about the Synergy X20, whose carbon fiber construction would be unaffected by the extreme climate of Dubai. Travis’ X20 was built and shipped off soon after, and we’re honoured to be able to say that Travis is currently performing on an Emerald Synergy X20 in the World String Ensemble in Dubai.

The Emerald X20 harp guitar has been such a joy to play on stage and at home in Dubai. Despite the fact that the weather has been upwards of 40 degrees with insanely high humidity, I never have to worry about the X20 in these conditions. It’s built like a tank and yet lighter than most other wood-made 6 string guitars. It’s been a real pleasure performing with this instrument. Thank you, Emerald!

Check out Travis’ fantastic deep-dive into the Synergy X20 below and follow him on Facebook and YouTube.

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