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Tritt keeps real country alive

Cerritos Center for the Performing Arts, Cerritos, Cal., November 4, 2018

Reviewed by Dan MacIntosh

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Travis Tritt recounted from the stage how his manager had been trying for a long time to get him to do solo acoustic shows, but he resisted. The evidence presented makes one wonder why he waited so long. We all know Tritt has a fine, gritty singing voice, but who knew he was so skilled on guitar? Maybe he should heed his manager's advice more quickly and more often.

Tritt sang the hits, including "Here's a Quarter (Call Someone Who Cares)," "Modern Day Bonnie and Clyde" and "It's a Great Day to Be Alive." He also sang some of his more familiar covers, such as his slowed down "I Walk the Line." On the rock side, he did the Beatles "Help," his way. He also covered "500 Miles," which he first heard as a kid listening to Grand Ole Opry on the radio. Bobby Bare sang it that first time Travis heard it, but Tritt's version tonight owed more to Jerry Reed's version, which included plenty of hot acoustic licks.

Tritt told plenty of stories, which turned what would have been an hour-and-a-half show into one easily over two hours. He often punctuated these tales with a high-pitched giggle. He talked about growing up and hanging out with his dad. He also mentioned how he was a part of a great 1989 country music class, which also included Clint Black, Alan Jackson and Garth Brooks. He stood out in that imaginary yearbook, though, due to his extra-long hair.

Tritt also told the audience about "Real Country," a singing contest where he's a judge along with Jake Owen and Shania Twain. It will be intriguing to see what a guy that sings "Country Ain't Country," will say of these up and coming performers. He may have originally come into public view like a long-haired rebel, but Travis Tritt is doing a solid job of keeping real country alive. Armed only with an acoustic guitar, brought living proof of that live.