by Melissa Coker
Ready to take a musical cue from Travis Tritt and put some drive in your country? Maybe just take an ever-so slightly out of the city drive to the (sort of) country to catch a concert from a legendarily country artist?
Look no further than Hop Springs. It's true - no pshtt.
Tritt and his world-renowned country clubbing style are taking to the large outdoor stage at thumbe local beer park/music venue this month as one of many stops among a plethora of new concert dates in the coming months. He and his band (this date is a full band one although not all on the tour are) are sure to bring the Southern rock and country classic heat along with new music too - after some delay last year, Tritt's new album Set in Stone is set for release on May 7. Plus, appropriately enough for a brewery, his new nostalgic single (following the first, the reassuring Aaron Raitiere co-write "Ghost Town Nation") from the project is titled "Smoke in a Bar."
PRE-ORDER HERE: https://amzn.to/3w9Dpp6
So put some drive in your country. When the music gets you dancing, you know that can't be wrong.
Accomplished director David Abbott directed "Smoke" ("he's the best!," exuded Tritt) and directed the fun-loving all-out brawl of a video "You Can Have Him Jolene" for CMT's "Next Women of Country" family girl group Chapel Hart too.
"It's getting back to that classic, no-frills, outlaw-country sound" Tritt says of Stone. Not that he ever left such a sound, but still it's refreshing to say that after a long hiatus of full-length original projects from the artist, the whiskey is still working plenty. Released through Big Noise Label Group and produced by Dave Cobb (Chris Stapleton, Shooter Jennings, The Highwomen, Sturgill Simpson and even The Oak Ridge Boys), the new album features eleven new songs, eight of which were co-written by Tritt. Set In Stone marks Tritt’s first original full-length studio album in over a decade. He pays homage here to all sides of his musical personality along with the trademarks of his originality - be it through opening with the rowdy “Stand Your Ground” or powerful love songs like “Leave This World” with searing country rockers like the first single “Ghost Town Nation."
Some of the most landmark moments of Tritt's iconic career have Murfreesboro to thank. His memorably heart-wrenching trilogy of music videos ("Anymore", "Tell Me I Was Dreaming," and "If I Lost You") still feel like mini-movies as they vividly follow the story of Tritt portraying war veteran "Mac", his best friend and the love of his life, Annie. Some of the moments in these stories were filmed at Murfreesboro's Tennessee State Veterans' Home. To this day, Tritt holds the utmost respect for veterans and it's no doubt in large part to these videos. (Potential YouTube viewers beware if you haven't watched before. Be prepared).
"The thing I love most about this particular song is the video that we did for it," Tritt candidly shared of "Anymore" at a show in 2019. "This turned out to be one of the biggest hits of my career and that was a wonderful thing to see happen, especially since I was one of the writers on this song. But the video actually gave me my first acting job. In this video I played the part of a disabled American veteran. And I knew as soon as I read the script, it was going to be something special. But I was also nervous. I was nervous because we were going to film it in an actual veterans' hospital, a veterans' clinic in Murfreesboro, Tennessee. And everybody in the video with the exception of myself and about four other actors were all veterans...they were either veterans that were actual patients or they were veterans that were staff members. And I was afraid, because I had never served...I was afraid that those people were going to hate me. I was afraid that I was going to go in there, sit down in a wheelchair and try to portray myself as one of them and they were going to look at me and go 'Who does this guy think he is?'"
"And I was very, very concerned about that" he continued to recall. "...Right up until the very morning that we started filming. And the morning that we started filming, I walked in the gymnasium of this clinic and I sat down in a wheelchair. All of the cameras were around and they were getting ready to start saying 'action!' and as soon as I sat down in that wheelchair, I found myself surrounded...by all of these actual veterans. And I found out very quickly, they did not hate me at all. Quite the contrary. They were just happy that someone was there to tell their story. Before the day was over, I knew every single one of them by first name. They told me very personal stories...it was just a very special experience. So a few weeks later when we finished up the video we brought it back, to debut it at the VA - to debut it for the world, but more importantly to debut it for all of the people that had been a part of helping us make it happen. And as I was sitting to the side of the stage, watching the video play on the big screen, I wasn't watching the screen. I was looking out into the audience as the video played. And as it played, before it ended I looked out into the audience and I did not see one person in the audience who didn't have a little bit of a tear rolling down their cheek. That really touched my heart. It touched my heart so much that as soon as I got home, I called my Senator and my Congressman and I said 'listen, I don't know if there's anything that a country music singer like me can do - but if there's any way that I can be of service to veterans or veterans' issues in this country, I would like to volunteer for that. And as a result of that phone call, I had the wonderful privilege and honor of being able to serve as the celebrity chairman and the celebrity spokesperson of the Disabled American Veterans Association for four years in a row. And for two years after I had the opportunity to serve in that same capacity for the VFW (Veterans of Foreign Wars). That six year period was one of the greatest times of my life...if you look up the word 'hero' in the dictionary, you should see the faces of all of these men and women right there next to that word."
On that note, take the time to get out and enjoy this Hop Springs experience in an open field...as Tritt sings in "Where Corn Don't Grow" - "hard times are real, there's dusty fields no matter where you go, but you may change your mind, 'cause the weeds are high where corn don't grow."
And here's a quarter's worth of free advice (call someone who cares): don't let the term "pod" keep you away from the socially-distanced event, it might sound other-worldlyish but really all it means is that you and your present company will be ever-so-slightly separated from others and perhaps surrounded by a small fence.
We reached out to Tritt for comment regarding his thoughts on this show stop, but evidently he was busy (we think we heard he had rice cooking in the microwave and a three-day beard he doesn't plan to shave) so we have to imagine that if asked his answer would be this: "It's a goofy thing but I've just gotta say, hey! I'm doing alright. There's some hard times in the neighborhood. But why can't every day be just this good?"
Travis Tritt with opener Frank Foster play Hop Springs Beer Park Thursday, April 23 at 7 p.m. Tickets are available via Ticketmaster. Options include both "pod" seating and general admission.
#countrymusic #veteransawareness #veteranssupport
#22for22challenge #travistritt #newmusic #cmt #musicvideos
BUY TICKETS: ticketmaster.com/travis-tritt-with-frank-foster-murfreesboro-tennessee-04-23-2021/event/1B005A5AE5B736F4
Melissa Coker is a journalist, publicist, slightly attempted successful songwriter and successfully attempted proofreader who loves country music despite being born in the Nashville area (thereby surrounded by the stuff!). She has contributed to numerous magazines and other publications/music sites. She contributed to The Tennessean and their weekly entertainment publication "All the Rage” regularly. She can't add money worth a dime but if you misspell a songwriter or artist's name, then God have mercy on your soul..
Hi. I'm a member of the country club. Country Music is what I love.