By Kevin Alan Lamb
With sweat still beading down his forehead, Trevor Hall collected his breath after shining bright in the August, Connecticut sun. The Green Vibes Stage provided the perfect elements for Trevor’s moving temple: a gentle coastal breeze blew through the green leaves in the trees as we ventured on a spiritual journey, accompanied by an eclectic mix of acoustic rock, reggae and Sanskrit chanting.
“Take me to the table where we all dine together
And pluck me from the crowd and return me to my sender
Whatever path you follow push on till tomorrow
Love all serve all and create no sorrow.”
A native of Hilton Head, SC., Trevor recorded his first album (The Rascals Have Returned) at 16, and discovered that music wasn’t just a profession, but a window to his soul and spirit.
“Music was never a thing where I was like going to be a musician. It was the natural thing and before I knew it, it is what I was doing,” Trevor said.
Intent on developing his gifts and exploring his spirituality, the singer-songwriter discovered early that music was much more than just passion. In the shade of weeping willows, Trevor played harmonica with his father by his side, forging a relationship with music that continues to guide him to a greater sense of being.
“Come one and all, come stand tall
And whatever you’re approaching dance or meditation
If you got love along than you shall reach the station
You find a road, the supreme abode
In this city all hearts shine like gold”
His lyrics, like mystical poetry, resonate deep beneath the skin. They remind us that no matter our differences, with love and each other, our paths will one day align. While studying classical guitar at Idyllwild Arts Academy in Los Angeles, Trevor was introduced to yoga and spiritual practices found in India. Interwoven in his music are the names and teachings of divinities, within which are apparent universal messages for the betterment of our people and planet.
“Do you remember when the oceans sang in hymns
Do you remember when the stars used to play
Do you remember when we used to share our food
Well I do every second of the day”
At just 28 years young, it is always interesting to discover who, and what encouraged an artist’s road to righteousness.
“A lot of musicians I think, ya know Bob Marley, Ben Harper, who’s playing tomorrow night is a huge influence. But I like to read to a lot of mystic poets like Kabir and Rumi, Hafez, these types of poets really inspire me in that kind of way. Just passing down the songs they sang to us,” Trevor said.
Widely-recognized by his trademark-dreadlocks, curiosity manifest how it felt to perform with his clean new look.
“Today it feels pretty damn good. It’s cool, I think by now I’ve gotten used to it, but when I look at pictures and stuff I’m like ‘aww man’, but I like it, it’s a good change and a fresh start. I had my dreads for seven years, and before that I didn’t cut my hair for seven years, so it was like 14 without cutting my hair.”
While many mothers go years before learning of their child’s first tattoo, Trevor’s Mom drove him to the parlor.
“My first tattoo is this one on my foot. My mom took me when I was 16, and when she took me she said ‘Trevor, I will only let you get this tattoo if you promise it’s the only one you get’, and I said ‘I promise Mom’” releasing a good chuckle.
“I obviously broke that promise right away. I’m in a comfy space right now, I haven’t gotten one in a while, I don’t really have anything inspirational, yet.”
Surreal as it is, great lyricists often inspire the forging of flesh.
“A lot of people get a lyric from ‘Unity’: Love all serve all and create no sorrow. But this one guy came up to me a few weeks ago and said ‘Hey man I got your lyrics tattooed on my arm’ and I was reading them and was like ‘Oh my God those are the wrong lyrics, I didn’t say that’, but I didn’t tell him that, I said ‘that looks great man!’”
Given the opportunity to share the stage with anyone in the next six months, Trevor would love to play with Ben Harper again.
“My favorite Ben Harper album hands down is The Will To Live, just from front to back, that’s the first Ben Harper album I heard and I was like ohhh my God. I’d also love to play with John Butler Trio, and there’s some Indian musicians I’d like to collaborate with and see how it goes.”
Trevor takes annual trips to India to fuel his creativity and motivation for his music. As a testament of his gratitude for the lessons and experiences elicited from his journeys East, Trevor uses donations collected at his live shows to support an ashram in Allahabad, India. It is home to his Guru, where underprivileged and orphaned boys and girls are given hope of a better life and a traditional Vedic education.
Gratitude is rich within Trevor’s music, and his next album is no exception. Written in Hawaii and recorded in L.A., Kala, which means ‘time’ in Sanskrit, is a tribute to his grandmother and the gift of time which she gave him.
“I have written a song on this new album that was inspired by my Grandmother, but this one song in particular is called ‘You Can’t Rush Your Healing’ that is coming out on our new album August 21st, so that’s kind of special to give that back to her. There’s so many people that I’d love to write songs for, so many inspirations who lifted me up over the years, I’m grateful for that.”
After 12 years on stage in the greatest venues across the globe, it is curious which remain on Trevor’s bucket list…
“There’s this place in Bali called the Uluwatu Surf Villas, and it sits right on the cliff. A lot of my friends have played there like Xavier Rudd, Justin Thompson, and Nahko Bear. I’d love to play the Gorge, and Red Rocks again. I played Red Rocks the first time with John Butler, the second time with Michael Franti. Red Rocks is amazing. It’s funny because people ask ‘how’s the show there?’ And I’m like, ‘I don’t remember’, you’re in awe…”
After a decade of consistent touring, Trevor took a break from the stage in 2013, and ventured on an extended pilgrimage to India. He spent multiple weeks there and studied under a classical Baul musician born and trained in the villages of Bengal. Years prior to this great adventure, Trevor learned from another legend.
“We did a tour with Jimmy Cliff, and the guy is like 65-70 years old and he moves like an electrically charged machine. Amazing words and amazing energy. Some of those guys just have the spirit and they go.”
Best known among mainstream audiences for songs such as “Wonderful World, and Beautiful People”, Cliff is the only living musician to hold the Order of Merit, the highest honour that can be granted by the Jamaican government for achievements in the arts and sciences.
Blessed with devout spirituality, song, world travel, and adoring fans, what else is there for a decorated performing artist?
“Being a touring musician, teleportation sounds pretty nice when you have 12 hours of driving. But the power of healing would be pretty awesome” Trevor said with a smile.
If you find yourself alone, let his lyrics stand by your side. When you find your heart weary, love all, serve all, and create no sorrow.
“Music is so many things, to so many people, and with me, it’s me exploring my spiritual life.”