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Music / Travis Tritt

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A Country Music singer known for his gruff appearance and Southern rock influences.

James Travis Tritt (born 1963) grew up in Marietta, Georgia, performing locally before putting together a demo tape that was submitted to Warner (Bros.) Records. Under their contract, he was to record six songs, and would not be signed for a full album unless one of the six became a hit. That first song, "Country Club", went on to become a Top 10 hit, and led off his album of the same name. Throughout the 1990s, he had a string of five consecutive platinum albums, which were dominated by his Signature Style: impassioned, lush ballads such as "Anymore", "Foolish Pride", and "Can I Trust You with My Heart"; twangy traditional honky-tonk such as "The Whiskey Ain't Workin'" and "I'm Gonna Be Somebody"; and hard-driving Southern rock such as "Put Some Drive in Your Country" and "T-R-O-U-B-L-E". Unlike his contemporaries, he wore long hair and didn't sport a cowboy hat, and many critics noted his ability to shift seamlessly between such styles.

Although his style became somewhat outmoded after the Turn of the Millennium, he continued to record, switching to Columbia Records for a trio of albums between 2000 and 2004. The first of these saw a momentary resurgence with the ballad "Best of Intentions" and the iconic "It's a Great Day to Be Alive", but the rest fared poorly. Tritt's last album was The Storm, issued in 2007 on Category 5 Records, which closed soon afterward.

Tritt is a frequent collaborator of country/bluegrass musician Marty Stuart, most famously on their 1991 duet "The Whiskey Ain't Workin'". He has also worked with Little Feat, Mark O'Connor, Patty Loveless, and Bill Engvall among others.


  • Country Club (1989)
  • It's All About to Change (1991)
  • T-R-O-U-B-L-E (1992)
  • A Travis Tritt Christmas: Loving Time of the Year (1992)
  • Ten Feet Tall and Bulletproof (1994)
  • Greatest Hits: From the Beginning (1995)
  • The Restless Kind (1996)
  • No More Looking Over My Shoulder (1998)
  • Down the Road I Go (2000)
  • Strong Enough (2002)
  • My Honky Tonk History (2004)
  • The Storm (2007) (reissued in 2013 as The Calm After...)
  • Set in Stone (2021)

Tropes present in his work:

  • Answer Song: "Strong Enough to Be Your Man" is one to Sheryl Crow's "Strong Enough".
  • Artistic License Geography: "Modern Day Bonnie and Clyde" begins in Johnson City, Tennessee, but the chorus has the line "It's a long way to Richmond, rolling north on 95". Getting from Johnson City to Richmond is far shorter by taking I-81 to Staunton, Virginia, and then going east on I-64; to take I-95 would first require one to go south to Asheville, North Carolina (especially keeping in mind that, at the time of the song's release, I-26 had yet to be completed between Johnson City and Asheville) and then traversing all the way across North Carolina on I-40 before picking up I-95 near Raleigh.
  • Break-Up Song: "Here's A Quarter (Call Someone Who Cares)" is his most famous one.
  • Christmas Songs: A Travis Tritt Christmas: Loving Time of the Year. His cover of "Santa Looked a Lot Like Daddy" got some seasonal airplay.
  • The City vs. the Country: "Where Corn Don't Grow" and "Country Ain't Country" both deal with farmers lamenting the more city lifestyle.
  • Common Meter: "She's Coming Home with Me" is common meter double.
  • Cover Song:
    • "T-R-O-U-B-L-E", which was originally performed by Elvis Presley.
    • "Take It Easy", originally recorded by the Eagles.
    • "You Never Take Me Dancing" was originally written and performed by Richard Marx.
  • Everything Is an Instrument: "Dixie Flyer", the closing track of his debut album, features the percussionist playing a folding chair at one point.
  • It Will Never Catch On: Tritt was told by various contemporaries that "I'm Gonna Be Somebody" would not be successful because it didn't have a rhyme scheme.
  • Lyrical Cold Open: "The Whiskey Ain't Workin'"
  • Massive Multiplayer Crossover: "Lord Have Mercy on the Working Man" featured several guests performing background vocals on the last chorus: Brooks & Dunn, T. Graham Brown, George Jones, Little Texas, Dana McVicker (a former solo singer who also did backing vocals on his early albums), Tanya Tucker, and Porter Wagoner.
  • New Sound Album: The Restless Kind had a more nuanced and softer sound than its predecessors, with more traditional country and bluegrass instead of Southern rock. It was also his first to be produced by someone other than Gregg Brown (namely, Don Was of Was (Not Was)), and it was the first to feature Tritt playing guitar.
  • Outlaw Couple: "Modern Day Bonnie and Clyde" features a husband and wife who commit an unspecified crime and compare themselves to the famous outlaw couple.
  • Rock-Star Song: "I'm Gonna Be Somebody" follows a musician named Bobby through his rise to the top.
  • Smoking Is Cool: "Smoke in a Bar":
    Daddies were Daddies and Mamas were saints
    What preachers were preaching, you could take to the bank
    Kids played outside up until it turned dark
    When the world turned slower, and you could smoke in a bar
  • Spelling Song: "T-R-O-U-B-L-E" spells out "hey good L-double O-K-I-N-G" to rhyme with the also spelled-out title.
  • Truck Driver's Gear Change: "Helping Me Get Over You", his duet with Lari White, starts in F but goes down to B-flat for her verse.