Travis Tritt IS truly the man…. Ok, now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, on to the review at hand. It’s no secret that I’m a huge fan of Travis Tritt, so I was really excited when I read he had a new record. A Man and His Guitar: Live From the Franklin Theatre, coming out. There is a bit of controversy surrounding the singer these days, after comments he made in regards to Beyonce’s performing on the 50th CMA awards show.
Now let’s just set the record straight, shall we? First of all, in no way could you possibly take what Travis said to be racist or even disrespect towards Queen Bey. Travis was merely pointing out the fact that the CMAs seem to have forgotten that they are a COUNTRY association and awards show. He, along with many others, brought up the excellent point that maybe since the CMAs are a country show, instead of having non-country artists take valuable performance slots away from country artists (mainly ones that should go to country music veterans), they should keep the show strictly country employing country artists….. and it wouldn’t hurt to tap into the more traditional, true country talents out there, rather than the mainstream R&B flavored stuff that’s being passed off as country these days. This so-called “controversy” seems to be largely fabricated by the infamous “Beehive” aka Beyonce’s crazy fan base. It seems to have died down for the most part, though he is still taking heat from it. In the long run, Travis will come out on top. He is a well loved veteran artist with incredible talent…. Speaking of which, about that new record:
A Man and His Guitar: Live From the Franklin Theatre is exactly what we hope a live album will be like. It’s a well-known fact that his acoustic shows sellout fast, and for good reason. Travis has a unique voice, one of those special voices where you can tell who is singing after only a few notes. I’ve always loved his voice; it’s warm with a touch of soulful grit. That voice takes the spotlight on this acoustic album. The title of the album doesn’t lie, the record features Travis and his guitar, nothing else. You won’t find any loud, in your face production on this record, instead you’ll actually be able to hear the lyrics and sit back and enjoy the beautiful music made by the man and his guitar. The album transports the listener back to a time when country music was absolutely at its best, at its realest, at its most authentic.
Travis proves the mainstream industry’s theory that you need loud production, bubble gum/formulaic lyrics, and all sorts of special effects to hold an audience’s attention totally wrong. In reality, if you do country music correctly, you don’t any of that other crap. We’re not all brainless people looking for a song to party to… most of us actually want substance. Travis Tritt has always provided just that. On top of getting to hear Travis’ hits live, a few covers (including an interesting version of Cash’s “I Walk The Line” and a hilarious take on “Mama’s Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up To Be Cowboys”), as well as time spent with Marty Stuart and James Otto. You’ll also enjoy commentary and antidotes from Travis himself, in between songs. I have no doubt that this record will be on everyone’s Best Albums of 2016 list. It’s that good. If you’re looking for great, pure, authentic country music, look no further than A Man and His Guitar. This is truly a treasure.
Highlights: Where The Corn Don’t Grow, I’m Gonna Be Somebody, Country Ain’t Country No More, Here’s a Quarter, Best of Intentions, Five Hundred Miles Away from Home (The guitar work alone deserves the highlight!), Anymore, Are You Sure Hank Done It This Way, It’s a Great Day To be Alive, and Mama’s Don’t let Your Babies Grow Up To Be Cowboys.
(Written by Liz Austin/CMM Contributor)