It’s been well over a decade since Travis Tritt has released any inkling of new music to his catalog. But the singer-songwriter seems to fit right into 2021 with other artists looking to recreate the old-school sound. For the better part of 30-years, Tritt’s music has been deeply rooted in the Americana style. Everything from banjos to pickup strings have been part of Tritt’s soul and classic music of a long past era. Set in Stone proves to be no different as he gives a nice tribute to his signature sound and the one’s who’ve made it possible. The southern heritage and life of a traveling man backbone an album that showers with pride of a weathered career. With a team of songwriters by his side, Tritt passes the torch in 11 tracks.
When reminiscing some of the artists who’ve had the most profound affect in his life, Tritt fondly idolizes Waylon Jennings. The old-time outlaw inspired the artist to never back down to opposition. No matter how unbreakable they may seem. “Stand Your Ground” is a roughriding rocker that knows how to set the attitude right for an album that expresses values. The hard-pedaled guitar and choral support stun with confidence in a quick span. Tritt’s self-esteem and morale are capitalized in the lyrics of assurance. Jennings lasting influence of defiance can be perceived as the track couples the slant with a fiery guitar solo.
The 1990s may have been the most memorable in Tritt’s career as he culminated the decade with a string of hits. But he never forgot his roots and the people back home who fully supported him. The Georgia boy makes his love of the home state well perceived in “Way Down In Georgia”. Complete with harmonicas and a bluesy approach, the call and response track is the singer’s personal letter to where it all began. The life and years of Tritt’s time in the state are soothing as his recalls his soulful upbringing. “When it comes down to it, nowhere else can do it.”, the singer iterates when he’s not in Georgia.
Apart from his memoirs in the backwoods of home, Tritt stylizes the South with a love note that’s electric. The energy is picked up in the guitar-heavy track “Southern Man” and reprises Tritt’s unashamed personality of being a country boy. As the singer delves into the long journey and its inability to change him, the chorus uplifts the track with a feeling of honor. The running theme of being proud for who you are summarizes not just the album thus far, but Tritt’s career. Accompanied with a self-awareness of changing times, “Southern Man” shows that the singer doesn’t intend to change it up for anyone.
Through the singer’s transparency of gratitude for life and his home, we start to take a shift on something more sensitive. “Better Off Dead” is memorable for the most vulnerable of reasons with Tritt detailing a marriage that’s come to an end. While its enduring message of growth from love is shaded by heartache, the track “Leave This World” continues the ballad of lost love. The two correlates into moving on from a significant other in a wrenching melody. Whether the relationship ends, or they pass onto the next life. With Tritt’s gravelly voice tying the tracks together, it’s a ballad that the singer wishes not many will experience in their lifetime.
As Tritt prepares for the next stage of his life, Set In Stone gathers every element that’s fueled his career. The singer finds himself in a market that’s honored the hey-days of his time while being a little new-wave. It makes sense why the singer revels in the past as he sympathizes for the legends refuse to compromise their style. For Tritt, it’s been the biggest reason for his success as he shares his wisdom and casts his stone into this generation. An album that shows no regret and hammers down an echo of country excellence.
Written by Trenton Luber