CD Review of My Honky Tonk History by Travis Tritt
Travis Tritt:
My Honky Tonk History

Reviewed by Joe Griffin

ravis Tritt has been known as a country-fried rocker for years…and My Honky Tonk History won’t change that rep.

The title track takes off like a shot and could very well be his opening song at a live show. As always, a good mix of hard driving guitar, drums, bass and organ give it that bluesy, rocky, country sound his fans love so much. Then the tempo comes down with “Too Far to Turn Around,” a Lynyrd Skynyrd-type outlaw song: “There’s a full moon, I hear the wolf howl, and one more drink would put me on the ground, but tonight I’ve gone too far to turn around.”

“The Girl’s Gone Wild,” Tritt’s first single from this one, is a fun rocker. Definitely makes me think of Spring Break…hmmm…uh, okay, where was I? Oh yeah. Then comes an interesting collaboration with John Mellencamp, “What Say You?” a good duet that challenges listeners to stand up for their beliefs. It’s a nice blend of two artists who are pretty open about their political feelings, and is especially interesting since they are on opposite ends of the political spectrum.

Tritt then does something he loves to do in his live shows, and goes back to his roots. “Circus Leaving Town” sounds like an old, twangy AM-radio-trucker-type song. I have to tell you the truth -- I love country music, hate the pop-sounding crap that is so popular nowadays, but I really don’t like it when he does this. Mercifully, though, this one likely won’t ever make the radio.

Back to the honky-tonk with “Monkey Around,” a song about a possessive relationship, followed by “I See Me,” a story-telling ballad that describes what all us fathers think when we look at our kids. “When Good Ole Boys Go Bad” is a mid-tempo rocker that tells why you just don’t want to pick a fight in that little redneck bar: “Under that blue collar there’s a big old ornery patch, that hides the truth, but it bleeds through when a good ole boy goes bad.”

“We’ve Had it All” just may be the next big redneck wedding song: “And all my dreams are still about you, you’re still the answer I need when I call.” Tritt then brings some life back to the project with “It’s All About the Money,” a good rocking country song about a country boy’s lack of trust in people nowadays.

“Small Doses” could have been on any Travis Tritt album over the years, a classic Tritt country ballad -- plenty of steel guitar -- about getting over a heart ache. “When in Rome” closes the CD with a solid rocker, and an interesting message: “When in Rome, you can do like the Romans, but when you’re down home, you better do like us.” Hey Natalie, are you and the other Dixie Chicks listening?

Travis Tritt has enjoyed longevity because he knows how to talk to his audience with his music, and I don’t think anyone will be disappointed in his latest offering. For some, it may take a few spins to get used to, because he is really different than most artists out there, but that’s not a bad thing. If you’re a Travis Tritt fan, you’ll love this, and if not, it will grow on you. All-in-all, not bad, Travis. Not bad at all.

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