Top 10 Travis Tritt Songs
Travis Tritt has been making noise in country music for 30 years. Since the late 1980s, the prolific singer and songwriter has released 12 studio albums, seven of which have been certified platinum or higher.
Those dozen albums have resulted in more than 40 charting singles, with five No. 1 hits among them. Tritt has nabbed a couple of Grammy Awards along the way, too.
We scoured this country-fried Southern rocker's catalog and compiled a list of Tritt's 10 best songs -- singles, duets and everything in between. Read on to see where your favorites ended up.
If you’re going to record a song about being a country outlaw, you’d be smart to look to influences including Waylon Jennings and Hank Williams Jr. Tritt took that idea a step further, recording his song “Outlaws Like Us” with Jennings and Williams Jr. The thesis of the track? Country music may be changing, but if you ask Tritt, Jennings and Williams Jr., there’s still “lots of room for old outlaws like us.”
“Country Club,” the first single and title track from Tritt's 1990 album of the same name, was the world’s introduction to the music of Travis Tritt. The song was an instant hit, peaking at No. 9 on the Billboard Hot Country Songs charts, and was primed for the bar jukebox, an uptempo story song about a man trying to woo a high-status woman by insisting that he, too, is part of the “country club." As it turns out, he means something different than she does.
Technically, “Out of Control Raging Fire” is a Patty Loveless song, but the duet between Loveless and Tritt is so timeless that it’s easy to consider it one of his best recordings, too. The easy balance and trade-off between the pair helps sell the tension between two former lovers who run into each other again after a long time apart. The simmering “Out of Control Raging Fire” was nominated for the ACM's Vocal Event of the Year trophy.
You can’t quite call “Same Old Train” a Tritt song, because it’s also a Clint Black, Pam Tillis, Randy Travis, Marty Stuart, Emmylou Harris, Merle Haggard, Ricky Skaggs, Patty Loveless, Joe Diffie and Dwight Yoakam song. If you’re wondering how that many country stars share the spotlight, the answer is: easily, and well. Each artist, including Tritt, takes a turn with a verse line or two, all of their voices blending together for powerful choral harmonies. “Same Old Train” won the Grammy for Best Country Collaboration With Vocals.
“Bible Belt” is one of the fastest, loudest, hardest rocking songs in Tritt’s oeuvre. That’s probably in part because he teamed up with the blues-jazz-funk-rock fusion band Little Feat for the recording. The song wasn’t released as a single but still became a well-known track, as it was featured in the movie My Cousin Vinny. For his part, Tritt shared on Twitter that the song -- about an illicit affair between “the assistant preacher and the Sunday school teacher” is about true “events [he] witnessed as a teen.”
As its title hints, “Modern Day Bonnie and Clyde” is a classic outlaw story song. The lyrics, written by Walt Aldridge and James LeBlanc, weave a compelling narrative of man meets woman, woman robs convenience store, man and woman are pursued by the law -- and Tritt’s classic-country performance sells the saga. The 2002 single from Down the Road I Go peaked at No. 8, and is Tritt’s last Top 10 song to date.
Opening with honky-tonk piano, the melody of “Lord Have Mercy on the Working Man” practically exemplifies the idea of “twang.” And it fits the song, a blue-collar, working-man’s track, well.
“Why's the rich man busy dancing / While the poor man pays the band? / Oh, they're billing me for killing me / Lord, have mercy on the working man,” Tritt sings. The single, Tritt's first from 1992’s T-R-O-U-B-L-E, was nominated for the Grammy for Best Male Country Vocal Performance.
In 1991, few would have expected Tritt and Marty Stuart to team up on a song. But with “The Whiskey Ain’t Workin’,” the two proved that they made a dynamic duo, trading lines and melding their voices on harmony as though they’d been singing together forever. Stuart and Tritt forged a lifelong friendship and musical partnership, recording even more songs along the way, too -- the Grammy Award-winning “The Whiskey Ain’t Workin’,” a No. 2 hit for Tritt, was just the beginning.
One of Tritt’s signature songs, “Here’s a Quarter (Call Someone Who Cares)” is a classic “kiss-off” song from a time when kiss-off songs weren’t as popular. The No. 2 hit has inspired fans at Tritt's concerts to throw quarters at him; Tritt has also been known to update the lyrics in his live performances to “here’s an iPhone / Call someone who cares.”
The widely celebrated “Here’s a Quarter (Call Someone Who Cares)” earned several award nominations, including the Grammys for Best Country Song and Best Male Country Vocal Performance; the ACMs for Song of the Year, Single Record of the Year and Favorite Country Single; and the CMAs for Single of the Year and Song of the Year.
“It’s a Great Day to Be Alive” is a simple song celebrating the simple things in life: “I got rice cooking in the microwave,” Tritt sings to open the song. “I got a three-day beard I don't plan to shave / It's a goofy thing, but I just gotta say / Hey, I'm doing alright.” The recording is joyful and anthemic, another Tritt classic. It became a No. 2 hit and was nominated for Single of the Year at the ACM Awards.