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Travis Tritt Stays On the Rock/Country Divide

of the Oakland Press

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For the past 20 years, Travis Tritt has always straddled the rock/country divide — which is why he feels comfortable this summer doing dates with former Allman Brothers Band guitarist Dickey Betts and the Outlaws.

“When you’re an artist that has a lot of different influences, it’s OK to show ’em,” says Tritt, 47, who resides on a 75-acre hay farm in his native Georgia. “I mean, any time we play around Detroit, we get requests for Bob Seger music, which I was playing before I got a record deal.

“I think the more that you can blow those lines away, the better. Yeah, you’re gonna meet some resistance to that — that you’re too rock for country or too country for rock. I’ve just always used the response from our audience to tell us what works.”

Tritt has been getting that response for two decades and, this year, celebrates the 20th anniversary of his debut album, “Country Club,” which sold more than 2 million copies and launched four Top 10 country hits. It’s been a long run, but Tritt — whose last album, “The Storm,” came out in 2007 — maintains that it’s mostly been a good one.

“I’ve been very fortunate and very lucky to have had the opportunity to have the career I’ve had,” says Tritt, who’s in the midst of setting up his own record company. “In many ways, it seems like it was just yesterday that we started, and then when I think about all the time we spent playing those bars and club and bowling alleys and beer joints before we ever got a record deal, it seems like forever.

“It was all worth it, though, in the end. I wouldn’t trade a minute of it.”

Travis Tritt, Dickey Betts, the Outlaws and Blackberry Smoke perform at 7 p.m. Thursday, July 8, at the DTE Energy Music Theatre, Sashabaw Road east of I-75, Independence Township. Tickets are $37.50 pavilion, $10 lawn. Call 248-377-0100 or visit www.palacenet.com.

Web Site: www.palacenet.com

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