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Lakeview grads to release album

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A pair of Lakeview High School graduates said their upcoming album, “Happy Trails,” is in a way a credit to their high school band teacher William Boucher.

Married couple Travis and Becky Koester – who comprise the music duo, Beck and Tall – said through Boucher, they developed a love of music and ultimately met one another through high school band.

Now, Becky and Travis – who are currently based in Northwest Arkansas - are excitedly awaiting the release of their new album, “Happy Trails,” a collection of country-western music. The album comes out Friday. “Happy Trails” will be available through streaming platforms iTunes, Apple Music, Spotify, Google Play and more.

Travis said the album consists of 10 songs – with an emphasis on Western music – and is a take on “old cowboys and cowgirls” like Gene Autry, Roy Rogers, Dale Evans, Carolina Cotton and Patsy Montana. The album is also a collection of cover songs, traditional cowboy ones and originals, he added.

“We just want to of course keep some of the past alive and make people smile with music that is family-friendly for all ages during this difficult time in history,” said Travis.

The Beck and Tall name comes from the pair’s nicknames, as well as a turn of phrase of the saying “beck and call,” said Becky – who goes by Beck. She added Travis received the nickname Tall because he’s quite a bit taller than her, making her always look up at him while they play.

Becky and Travis - who have been married for 20-plus years - previously played together in the band, The Time Burners, which was mostly a rockabilly group. However, they decided to split off to become a duo to focus on country-western music.

Travis – a 1996 Lakeview graduate – started playing until he was 15 while Becky – who graduated from Lakeview in 1998 – began music in the fifth grade. Becky said when they met in band, they discovered they had a love of a variety of different genres. He loved the blues while she enjoyed big band and polka music, she added.

Travis can play bass, guitar and drums while Becky can play percussion, bass kazoo, as well as sing. 

Like their band teacher before them, Travis and Becky are getting the younger generation into music. The Koesters had help on the album from 10-year-old Ayla Hollman, who is the daughter of fellow Lakeview grad, Travis Hollman. Ayla played violin/fiddle on “Why Don’t You Love Me,” by Hank Williams.

Travis Koester said Hollman and he have a deep appreciation for music and recording with a friendship that’s been ongoing over the past 20 years. So when Hollman told Travis about Ayla’s playing ability, Travis said he and Becky wanted her on the record.

“She has a bright future and it's so important to keep kids involved in music. I think that's why Beck and I have a deep appreciation for Mr. Boucher,” Travis said. “He let me explore musically and taught me to just be yourself and most importantly have fun.”

Andrew Kiser is a reporter for The Columbus Telegram. Reach him via email at andrew.kiser@lee.net.

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