Although Travis Tritt is considered part of country music's "Class of '89," along with Clint Black, Garth Brooks, Alan Jackson, Lorrie Morgan and others, his debut mainstream album, Country Club, ushered in a new decade with its Feb. 22, 1990, release.
Tritt surely takes the Class of '89 tag, and the Jackson comparison in particular, as a complement, however. After all, who wouldn't want to be likened to such an impressive group of peers? And Tritt did sign his Warner Bros. Nashville contract right before the end of the '80s, so he was certainly part of Nashville's in-crowd in '89. Still, circumstances made Tritt one of the first new stars of the '90s, alongside fellow Georgia naive Trisha Yearwood.
To revisit one of 1990's finest releases, an early classic from one of country music's most lucrative and beloved decades, check out The Boot's ranking of all 10 of Country Club's cuts.
Tritt didn’t write this one, but it’s easy to imagine him looking back to his time as a hungry young guitarist for inspiration. Such a good song’s low ranking establishes that this one’s a classic album.
For his first sentimental song about the good old days, Tritt goes all in with lessons learned from Daddy and observations about American society’s backwards priorities. It’s one complaint about kids spending too much time looking at their smartphones away from suiting the 2000s.
As its title implies, this incredibly sad breakup song is told from a sober man’s point of view. If Tritt’s narrator did imbibe, he’d risk a sick and painful Sunday morning to drink away the memory of his materialistic ex.
Much like Brooks, Tritt’s high-energy live favorites sometimes overshadow some very good sentimental songs. Here’s the first example of Tritt’s softer side, and of his in-studio chemistry with backup singer Dana McVicker.
Tritt never forgot his humble beginnings in Paulding County, Ga. This fiddle-driven favorite pretty well describes the people and places of the West Georgia region that remain close to the singer, songwriter and guitarist’s heart.
Tritt’s answer to Guy Clark’s “Texas 1947” revisits a small-town kid’s fascination with big, loud and enchanting locomotives. Through headphones, it sounds like a steam engine’s headed your way from both directions.
This Top 3 hit best established that Tritt brings more than party jams and Southern rock homages to country music. He’s also a creative force when co-writing and performing introspective, mid-tempo waltzes.
Tritt explains the difference between being the product of a Southern family with a strong work ethic and sense of faith and the Deliverance-influenced hillbilly caricatures that, if you believe some highfalutin folks, run rampant as soon as you drive past Atlanta’s perimeter.
“Put Some Drive in Your Country”
The sound and story of this and a few other tracks helped explain Tritt’s blend of old-school country and rock 'n' roll right out the gate. In the nearly 30 years since, Tritt's stayed true to this winning formula in the face of constant change.
The first Tritt song heard by many of his earliest fans still ranks among his best, even if Dixie cups currently hold less sway in country music culture than red Solo cups. In all, the song is a clever statement of traditional country music purpose.