Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Travis Tritt, Just Being Himself Country-Rock Performer Does It His Way

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Travis Tritt, Just Being Himself Country-Rock Performer Does It His Way

Article excerpt

Byline: Nick Marino, Times-Union music writer

Travis Tritt used to lose songs. They'd dash through his head as he tried to sleep and then -- whiz! -- they'd zip away come morningtime. Used to drive him crazy.

Today the country-rock artist keeps a little tape recorder by the bed, and when he gets a good idea for a song (it apparently happens more than you might think), he rolls over and croons it into the mike, then falls back into bed.

Tritt is big on the power of the subliminal. He considers his songs "a gift from God," and tries not to rush his writing. Sometimes, he'll just be lying around his Georgia spread and find himself overcome with an image or a riff.

"There's a lot of melodies and a lot of songs that are out there just kind of floating around," Tritt said in a phone interview. "You'll just be playing a guitar thing, and all of a sudden you hit a chord and you say, 'Boy, I like the way that sounds.' "

When you say that seven or so times, you have yourself the better part of an album.

Over the course of an 18-month hiatus, Tritt penned seven of the 11 tracks on his most recent record, Down The Road I Go. The break came at the end of a tour, and afforded him a much-needed opportunity to tune out of the country music business.

"Country radio people don't like to hear me say this, and probably the label doesn't either," Tritt said, "but during the entire time I took off I didn't listen to country radio at all."

Tritt loves to say stuff like this, loves to massage his image as a Nashville outsider, a man who bucks trends, a man whose name would not look out of place, say, gracing the barrel of a single-action pistol along with the words, "Entertainer, Singer, Songwriter."

Since 1989, Tritt has spent his career tugging at the boundaries of mainstream country, an approach that apparently upsets those stuffy country music programmers.

"I've done things in the past," Tritt said, "that I've released to radio and have 'em go, 'You know, naw, those screamin' guitars, man, that screamin' slide guitar thing -- that's a rock record. …

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