Travis Tritt

The Storm | Category 5
By TED DROZDOWSKI  |  September 5, 2007
3.0 3.0 Stars
inside_TRAVIS-TRITT---THE-S
Georgia-born Tritt has always been a country musician with a rock-and-roll soul, but this time he’s put the accent on “soul” as a genre. Those who heard his 2006 cameo on Sam Moore’s comeback album — and that ain’t many — got a preview of the blue-eyed wailing that’s all over these 12 Randy Jackson produced songs. (Jackson also produced the Moore disc, Overnight Sensational.) The disc starts with the cry of a lonesome dobro before kicking into the tongue-in-cheek first single, “You Never Take Me Dancing,” a funky red-clay workout. Even when Tritt visits a ballad here, he keeps his voice full of melismas and flattened notes that signify roots in the blues. The only outright miscall is “Something Stronger Than Me,” a shot of saccharine clichés. Jackson’s taste for keys and strings — especially outdated keyboard beds — sometimes impinges on Tritt’s potential for grit, but not enough to kill the vibe. It’s also a pleasure when Tritt opens up on guitar, copping a little Stevie Ray Vaughan on the title track and on “Somehow, Somewhere, Someway,” which has the guts of a live showstopper. This disc is proof that even today the difference between rural blues and rural country is just a matter of pigmentation.
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