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    Thursday, May 23, 2024

    Travis Tritt at 60: Happy, healthy and scaling back touring

    Travis Tritt is proudly part of the Country Class of 1989 with Clint Black, fellow Georgian Alan Jackson and of course, Garth Brooks.

    “It was one of the most prosperous times in country music history,” Tritt said in a recent phone interview with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “I was extremely blessed by the timing.”

    Tritt, a Marietta, Ga., native who has lived on a 75-acre property in Hiram since 1992, became one of the most popular country acts of the 1990s and early 2000s and the hits came hot and heavy: “I’m Gonna Be Somebody,” “Country Club,” “Here’s a Quarter (Call Someone Who Cares),” “T-R-O-U-B-L-E,” “It’s a Great Day To Be Alive.”

    Even after he stopped charting, Tritt has been able to ride his rich catalog into steady touring for 35 years, performing an estimated 4,000 concerts in that time. But when he turned 60 in 2023, he said he began cutting back his schedule.

    “I reduced my annual concert dates from 130 to 75 last year,” Tritt said. “This year, I’ve already done 12 solo acoustic dates and we’ll do 50 more band dates the rest of the year.”

    “I always told myself in the early days if a) it wasn’t fun anymore or b) I didn’t think I could perform at a level I had established for myself, I’d quit and retire,” Tritt said. “Fortunately, knock on wood, that hasn’t happened.”

    Tritt, married since 1997 with three children, has set aside more time to fish, hunt and vacation with his family.

    “All those years I’ve toured, family vacations were few and far between,” he said. “I feel like I missed out on a lot of those opportunities when I was younger. I was out there working so hard. I want to enjoy vacations while my health is fantastic.”

    Fortunately, he said he didn’t spend his money stupidly and has enough packed away to retire if he wanted to. And he still enjoys his current home in Hiram he purchased in 1992 even as the town has grown around him.

    “The only thing within 10 miles of me when I moved here was a Kroger and a BP gas station,” he said. “Now there’s a Walmart and Target and some nice restaurants. I don’t mind. It’s the price of progress.”

    It helps that his house is in front of a 3-acre lake stocked with bass and catfish. He has horses and plenty of space to drive ATVs.

    “My house sits right in the middle of the property so no matter what happens, my view never changes,” he said.

    As for the current state of country music, Tritt said he stopped paying attention in the 2000s. “Country started losing its identity,” he said. “I don’t know if that’s a good or bad thing. I understand country music has to change but some of the influences now I can’t relate to. It doesn’t sound like country to me.”

    Traditionalist that he is, Tritt sticks to what he knows. “I can still go out and do my music exactly the way I’ve always wanted to and people still flock to the shows,” he said. “It’s a fantastic place to be in.”

    His set list always includes his biggest hits but he plans to salt in songs from his latest album, “Country Chapel,” his first full-fledged gospel album.

    And if you listen to his live renditions of his songs, he doesn’t stray far from the radio edit. “If it ain’t broke, why fix it?” he said.

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