March 19, 2016
Reviewed by Joseph Hett
Travis Tritt Twangs In Augusta
Travis Tritt brought an old school country feel to the historic Imperial Theatre in Augusta, GA on Saturday night in front of a sold out crowd. It was billed as a solo acoustic evening with the country superstar, who was dressed in black leather pants and a tan sparkly jacket. He sat in the middle of the stage on a stool with an acoustic guitar. The acoustics of the intimate venue helped provide a crisp sound for Tritt’s performance.
Tritt came out and played a handful of songs in a row, which included “It’s All About The Money,” “Where Corn Don’t Grow” and “The Pressure Is On” – where he snuck in the humorous line “Tiger Woods style.”
“Thank you for having me here. It’s wonderful to back in my home state,” Tritt said and continued, “I’m gonna play a whole bunch of really good music for you tonight. I came down here to party with y’all.” He added that he had only one rule – if you’re going to sing along…sing good.
He performed a song originally written by Tom Petty, “Southern Accents.” He would later cover “Help” by The Beatles in his own unique way.
He mentioned that his first single, “Country Club,” came out in 1989. It was the biggest selling single at Warner Brothers country in Nashville at the time. While performing this song, Tritt got up off the stool and kicked along with the music. He even encouraged an audience sing-along.
Whenever Tritt would solo, he would raise his guitar high up and look down – away from the fret board, almost closing his eyes. This shows that he is a master of the guitar – to still be able to play perfectly while not looking at his rapid finger movements.
Tritt was obligated to address the elephant in the room – the state of modern country music today. Boos rang out from the crowd. “There is no place in country music for rap music,” Tritt said. He added that new country needs to embrace the rich history of country music. He then went into a song about the state of current country music called “Country Ain’t Country.”
During “Here’s A Quarter (Call Someone Who Cares).” Tritt snuck in an updated verse that contained “iPhone” in it – to modernize the song.
He told a story about looking up the definition of “instrumental” in the dictionary. He continued on a humorous rant about the different kind of dictionaries. The best definition he came across was in the Redneck Dictionary that said “Instrumental: There ain’t no singing in it.” Tritt then cranked out a fast-paced instrumental called “Picking At It.”
During “The Whiskey Ain’t Workin,” Tritt once again got up off the stool and swung his hips as the women in the audience screamed in delight.
Tritt played a three song tribute to Waylon Jennings, one of his mentors, with “Are You Sure Hank Done It This Way,” “Mama Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up To Be Cowboys” – it was funny when Tritt impersonated the Willie Nelson parts – and “Good Ol’ Boys”
Tritt finished the set with a string of his most notable songs: “It’s A Great Day To Be Alive,” “T-R-O-U-B-L-E” and “Modern Day Bonnie And Clyde.”
Tritt is part of the country “Class of ’89,” which also includes Alan Jackson, Garth Brooks and Clint Black. Tritt keeps the memory of traditional country alive, making Johnny Cash and Waylon Jenning proud. Just as Tritt said, he had influences with country and Southern rock like Lynyrd Skynyrd, Allman Brothers and The Marshall Tucker Band. And that created a unique style to help Tritt rise to the top.
It was a perfect night. The sound was perfect. The performance was perfect. Everything was perfect. The two-hour show was very entertaining. The storyteller approach made the evening even more special. Tritt felt very comfortable in his home state of Georgia. Maybe next time Tritt will bring the whole band to town and turn the twang up.