I got off to a bad start with Travis Tritt.
Fortunately though, after a series of time-zone miscalculations, Country legend Travis Tritt and I finally connected for 10Minutes to discuss a bunch of cool stuff like his upcoming unplugged live album: A Man and His Guitar, the aesthetics of Tennessee, and acting in Tales From The Crypt.
On choosing Franklin over Nashville to record and film A Man and His Guitar:
“We looked at several different locations around the country. I’ve never played the Franklin Theatre in Franklin, TN but I went to visit and fell in love with it because acoustically, it sounded so good inside. Secondly, it had a great visual aspect to it on camera. The Franklin Theatre is very intimate but also has a wonderful look to it. It’s also so close to Nashville – where so much of my recorded music originated. I don’t get to play Nashville very often so coming back to that environment was like coming back home. So I thought it was the perfect venue. It suited this kind of performance ideally”.
On the contrast between an unplugged performance on A Man and His Guitar compared to full band productions:
“The acoustic shows give the perspective of how I originally wrote the songs – the way I first heard them in my head. Or the way I’d play them sitting around in my living room playing for a bunch of friends. The acoustic songs originated from the full band shows I’ve done where I send the band off stage and do a few songs on stage by myself acoustically. The way that I perform them acoustically is a little bit different than the way you’d hear them recorded or performed live with the band. They also give me the opportunity to sit down and tell some stories behind the songs I’ve written over the years while talking about some of my influences to become a singer and songwriter”.
On sharing stories about songs with fans:
“It gives people an idea of what I was thinking, what I was going through, or what I was dealing with personally at the time when I wrote the songs. The thing I love about Country music is it seems to tell stories. Country music tells stories of everyday working people and the emotions we deal with on a regular basis, so if you can give more insight as to why you wrote a particular song, I think it gives people more of an insight to why Country is so likable. But the audience response has been overwhelming. People walk away knowing a whole lot more about me as a person and knowing more about me as an artist. People leave our shows and they make the comment: “I never knew”. “I never knew…that he could sing like that. I never knew he had that many friendships and influences from artists before him…”. I think it creates an element of surprise and to be able to surprise people after having a career this long is a wonderful thing. It’s humbling and exciting”.
On the songs he chose to cover on A Man and His Guitar:
“It’s a great problem to have – to have so many hits that people connect to. But you want to throw stuff in there that surprises people – stuff they’ve never heard before. I went back to the well of songs and styles that influenced me the most when I was a kid. The cover of Gregg Allman’s ‘Come and Go Blues’ gave me an opportunity to showcase that style of music – blues music. And to do it in a way that people have never heard that song done before. Anytime you get a chance to pay homage to the people that came before you, I think it’s a great opportunity to share that love and excitement with the people who haven’t heard it before”.
On acting in Tales From The Crypt:
“We got a call from the producers asking if I’d be interested. When I read the script, it was a real challenge because it was a role I’ve never played before but it gave me an opportunity to do whatever I wanted to do with the character. In the episode, I get my head cut off and come back from the dead as this character that I could create the walk for, the voice for, and the other nuances that goes into creating a character. It was one of the most enjoyable roles because I had complete control of the character”.
You can pre-order Travis Tritt’s new unplugged album, A Man and His Guitar, which includes audio and visual performances from his back-to-back sold out shows at the Franklin Theatre, a handful of cover songs, and stories from the artist’s lengthy and accomplished musical career, here.