EBENSBURG - After touring across America and Europe, local musician Travis Stock returned Thursday to perform with his band at "Wheels and Wings" in front of an estimated crowd of 10,000 people.
Stock began his music career by playing at Ebensburg bars eight years ago when he was 18 as a rock 'n' roll one-man band, his father, Pat, said.
"Music is in the family blood," Pat Stock said. "His uncles and first cousins all play."
Photo for the Mirror by Brandon Zeris
Travis Stock performs with his band Don Gallardo & How Far West at “Wheels and Wings” Thursday in Ebensburg.
The bassist and vocalist moved to Nashville when he was 22 and met singer and songwriter Don Gallardo and joined the band "Don Gallardo & How Far West."
Although the band was started in Nashville, its members are from New Mexico, California, Pennsylvania and Texas, Gallardo, the lead singer, said.
"No one from Nashville is from Nashville," he said. "Musicians randomly meet."
Travis Stock's local connection is the reason why the band performed at the event, Gallardo said.
"Travis is a local boy," he said. "So this means a lot for him."
This is the first time the band performed in Pennsylvania, Gallardo said, adding that he enjoys the scenery.
"It's beautiful. I love the old-style houses," he said.
Travis Stock said just from walking down the streets, to the stage, he ran into a lot friends whom he hadn't seen in years.
"I haven't been home in a while," he said.
Seeing the band perform locally for the first time is a great experience, Pat Stock said.
"It's a thrill," he said.
Travis Stock said that when he started as a musician, he preferred rock and roll, but after he moved to Nashville, his love for a more country style rekindled.
"Once I went to the South, I went back to my roots," he said. "I guess the South does that to you."
Performing in Ebensburg this time was different than when he was younger, adding that he hoped the performance would help the band gain popularity in the music industry, Travis Stock said.
"I've never played here with a full band," he said. "Hopefully somebody sees us and helps us get to the next level."
Marian Frank-Ehrhart of Altoona said one of the event's big draws is the music.
"I love coming to see the bands," she said. "It brings all these people together."
In addition to the great music, Frank-Ehrhart said seeing old friends and enjoying the food makes the event a great option for families.
"It's a wonderful thing for Ebensburg," she said.