Travis Tritt Starter Kit

Travis TrittWhile Travis Tritt didn’t acquire quite as many number one hits as many of his fellow artists in the nineties, with only 3 to claim, he was still a solid hit maker and strong force throughout the decade. His soulful brand of “southern rockin’ country” is often what he associated himself with, as noted in “Put Some Drive in Your Country”, but he was just as vocally connected to ballads and other more standard country fare.

Even as an artist of the nineties who was not honored as much by the industry as some of his peers, likely as a result of his outlaw image, his album sales still managed to be impressive. They included albums that went gold (1), platinum (3), double platinum (3) and triple platinum (1).

As one of my favorite artists of the nineties and in general, it was difficult to point to only ten essential tracks of Travis Tritt’s to spotlight, especially since the majority of my favorite songs of his were either not hit songs or even released at all.

Ten Essential Tracks:

“Here’s A Quarter (Call Someone Who Cares)”
From the 1991 album It’s All About to Change

In the nineties, Tritt was credited as having a strong personality, though people close to him, including various opening acts, have reported that he was always surprisingly friendly and accommodating. This satisfyingly and refreshingly retaliatory song, however, helped to perpetuate the feeling that Tritt is not someone to be crossed. It is a glimpse of how it would feel to actually respond with one of those quippy comebacks that we only dream of lobbing, after the fact, of course.

“The Whiskey Ain’t Workin’” (with Marty Stuart)
From the 1991 album It’s All About to Change

The second of several collaborations with his critically acclaimed buddy, Marty Stuart. While the whiskey may have worked for a time, they realize that a good woman is what they really need.

“Lord Have Mercy on the Working Man”
From the 1992 album T-R-O-U-B-L-E

A timely and timeless theme done perfectly. Tritt does an excellent job of conveying both practical resignation and natural frustration to which the average person can easily relate.

“Looking Out for Number One”
From the 1992 album T-R-O-U-B-L-E

He’s tired of trying to please everyone else at the expense of his own happiness, so starting now, he’s “looking out for number one.” Sounds selfish, but don’t we all feel that way at times?

“Worth Every Mile”
From the 1992 album T-R-O-U-B-L-E

For as many Tritt songs that had attitude, he had at least as many ballads. I’m not particularly fond of a lot of them anymore, but “Worth Every Mile” is one that still works for me. It’s a realistic celebration of a long lasting relationship that is a worthy candidate for an anniversary song.

“Take It Easy”
From the 1994 album Common Thread: Songs of the Eagles

It’s dangerous to say it, but this song, recorded for country music’s tribute to the Eagles, has always sounded stronger than the original version to me. The fact that it helped to get the Eagles back together “after hell {apparently} froze over” is just an added bonus for loyal Eagles fans out there.

“Foolish Pride”
From the 1994 album Ten Feet Tall And Bulletproof

This is a thoughtful case study of a couple who is too prideful to overcome their anger toward each other. “Ain’t it sad to see a good love fall to pieces?” asks Tritt. “Chalk another heartbreak up to foolish pride.”

“It’s A Great Day to Be Alive”
From the 2000 album Down the Road I Go

It’s nearly impossible not to feel positive after hearing this catchy and quirky Darrell Scott penned song.

“Modern Day Bonnie And Clyde”
From the 2000 album Down the Road I Go

Tritt enjoyed renewed success at the turn of the century with this Dobro laden thriller of a song, which actually tells an engaging story. Imagine that.

“I See Me”
From the 2004 album My Honky Tonk History

As a rabble rouser turned sentimental dad, Tritt sings this song with palpable sensitivity and sincerity. It wasn’t a hit, but it should have been.

Two Hidden Treasures:

“Start the Car”
From the 1998 album No More Looking Over My Shoulder

I’m a sucker for jaunty horns and this upbeat, bluesy song, delightfully, features them.

“What If Love Hangs On”
From the 2007 album The Storm

One of only a couple great tracks on an otherwise disappointing effort from Tritt. On this hopeful, but melancholy tinged love ballad of sorts, Tritt’s voice displays a hint of vulnerability and is uncharacteristically restrained, which is only positively accentuated by an equally restrained, but tasteful, production.

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9 Comments

Filed under Back to the Nineties, Starter Kits

9 Responses to Travis Tritt Starter Kit

  1. Oh man, this had to be difficult, but I would have included more ballads- “I Love You More (Than You’ll Ever Know)” or “Drift Off To Dream In My Arms” and it was criminal not to include “Anymore”
    Travis Tritt is a phenomenal singer (and a damn fine guitar player) and I applaud you for choosing “Start The Car”
    And his versions of “Don’t Ask Me No Questions” and “Only You” beat all hell out of the originals.
    I am really enjoying this 90’s recap.

  2. Mike M.No Gravatar

    I have to agree with Hubba about “Anymore”, it’s without a doubt my favorite Travis Tritt song. Great list otherwise, but I also would’ve included “I’m Gonna be Somebody”

  3. Tara SeetharamNo Gravatar

    Thank you for reminding me about Tritt…it’s been way too long since I’ve pulled out his music. Love that soul in his voice!

  4. MichaelNo Gravatar

    Quite a daunting undertaking. I was really disappointed not to see “Sometimes She Forgets” (written by Steve Earle) on the list though. Others that I enjoyed (and not on this list) are “Where Corn Don’t Grow”, “Between an Old Memory and Me” and “What Say You”. The 90s was my favorite era for country music because I was a kid and teenager during that time and discovered all of these artists. I’ve already been enjoying Country Universe’s 90s month so much! Can’t wait to see what tomorrow brings.

  5. James S.No Gravatar

    Interesting picks, Leeann. Travis is a great example on how to successfully blend southern rock and country, unlike what many newer faces have been trying to do nowadays.

    I ,too, enjoy his version of “Take It Easy” more than the original. That and “Modern Day Bonnie And Clyde” are great cruisin’ songs. “The Whiskey Ain’t Workin’,” “Here’s A Quarter,” and “Great Day To Be Alive” are also all-time favorites.

    As with many other artists, though, I’m a sucker for his ballads. “Help Me Hold On,” “Drift Off To Dream,” “Anymore” “Nothing Short Of Dying,” “More Than You’ll Ever Know,” “Tell Me I Was Dreaming,” “Foolish Pride,” “If I Lost You,” “Best Of Intentions,” and “Love Of A Woman” are all some of my most favorite Travis Tritt songs. Also noteworthy is his killer version of “Between An Old Memory And Me,” as well as the Lari White duet “Helping Me Get Over You.”

    Some favorite album cuts I’d like to add:
    “Sign Of The Times” and “If I Were A Drinker” from Country Club
    “If Hell Had A Jukebox” and “Don’t Give Your Heart To A Rambler” from It’s All About To Change
    “Mission Of Love” and “Tougher Than The Rest” from No More Looking Over My Shoulder
    “Never Get Away From Me” and “I Wish I Was Wrong” from Down The Road I Go

  6. HeatherNo Gravatar

    It’s A Great Day To Be Alive is a great song – also totally worth checking out Darrell Scott’s original version.

  7. Leeann WardNo Gravatar

    In some ways doing a Starter Kit is easier than a Favorite Songs by Favorite Artists because it takes much less time and the songs don’t have to be put in order according to my preference. However, it is more challenging because only 12 songs can be included instead of the 25 song format that we have for the FSBFAs. I’ll admit, with the exception of Vince Gill, this is one of the first times that I’ve done an artist where my list of notes had enough songs on it to solidly round out 2 FSBFAs instead of just one. When I do a Dwight FSBFA someday, I’ll run into this challenge even more. With that said, I know there are a ton of glaring ommissions from this list (much like my Christmas list). I would reveal my entire list of notes, but I don’t want to divulge too much, since I still plan to do a FSBFA on Tritt. I will say that many of your suggestions are serious contenders, however.

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  9. DrewNo Gravatar

    Like a few others have said, don’t see how “Anymore” can’t be on here.