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In concert: Travis Tritt

Travis TrittTravis Tritt played his roadhouse favorites and an eclectic batch of covers Monday at the Birchmere. (All photos by Kyle Gustafson/FTWP)

By Scott Galupo

When he emerged in the early-’90s as Nashville’s newest longhaired-and-leather-clad outlaw, Travis Tritt probably never dreamed he’d one day be mired in actual lawsuits. With his name in three of them in as many years, Tritt no doubt found it a perfect time to return to basics, as he did Monday night at a solo acoustic performance at the Birchmere.

(The best "Freebird" rebuff and more pictures, after the jump.)

Travis Tritt

The upper register of his baritone took a while to budge, but Tritt reminded an enthusiastic audience of what they flipped for in the first place: an expressive voice that unaffectedly combines the twang of George Jones with the pleading of Ray Charles.

Tritt crept close to the two-hour mark with a must-do helping of raucous roadhouse favorites (“Here’s A Quarter (Call Someone Who Cares),” “T-R-O-U-B-L-E,” “Whiskey Ain’t Workin’”), heartfelt ballads (“Drift Off To Dream,” “Help Me Hold On”) and an eclectic sampling of cover tunes, including Otis Redding’s “(Sittin’ On) The Dock of the Bay,” the Allman Brothers’ “Come and Go Blues” and Hank Williams Jr.’s “Whiskey on Ice.”

His picking was competent if cliched, but Tritt's detuned guitar caught fire during a medley of Waylon Jennings workouts, culminating with the infectious chug of “Lonesome, On’ry and Mean.”

Within the intimate confines of the Birchmere, Tritt played chatty host, introducing, for example, the as-yet-unreleased “Fields Of Home” with a moving back story about the once-contentious relationship he had with his late father.

And he delivered perhaps the greatest-ever rebuff of the inevitable request for “Free Bird”: “Right church, wrong pew, hoss.”

Travis Tritt

By David Malitz  |  January 26, 2010; 3:00 PM ET
Categories:  In concert  | Tags: Travis Tritt  
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