The Storm

by Travis Tritt

Working with Randy "American Idol" Jackson as a co-producer and reaching out for songs by the dreaded axis of Diane Warren, Richard Marx, and Rob Thomas, Travit Tritt had the makings of a major disaster on his hands. Zut alors! Far from being a debacle, The Storm is a worthy continuation of the artist's recent artistic renaissance, rising above its…  See more details below


Working with Randy "American Idol" Jackson as a co-producer and reaching out for songs by the dreaded axis of Diane Warren, Richard Marx, and Rob Thomas, Travit Tritt had the makings of a major disaster on his hands. Zut alors! Far from being a debacle, The Storm is a worthy continuation of the artist's recent artistic renaissance, rising above its occasional power ballad pretensions and grandiose production touches to come down on the side of edgy, tough-minded contemporary country informed, in true Tritt fashion, by southern soul, country blues, and unrepentant rock 'n' roll. From the gritty Delta blues shadings of the opening grinder, "Mudcat Moan/You Never Take Me Dancing," to the lovely, lilting country tear-jerker "What If Love Hangs On" (the co-write with Rob Thomas), and even to the bombastic, B3- and guitar-rich power ballad "I Don't Know How I Got By," Tritt invests his vocals with passion and commitment to the message. It works beautifully, and on a grand scale. With a band including powerhouse Kenny Aronoff on drums and Matt Rollings on keyboards (Charlie Daniels also adds some fine fiddle work), Tritt fronts a lineup that plays with fire but also with subtlety. An acoustic guitar-dominated take on Hank Williams Jr.'s "The Pressure Is On" finds Tritt carrying the day with a hearty vocal that actually heightens the song's dark drama. He closes the album on a righteously burning note with "Someday, Somewhere, Someway," co-written with Kenny Wayne Shepherd, who adds his own strutting guitar commentary to Tritt's bone-deep blues howl. How Tritt made all these disparate parts work is another story; for the moment, The Storm will blow you away.

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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Thom Jurek
Since contemporary country records have little to do with sounding like country music from any other era -- other than the use of pedal steels, fiddles or banjos in their instrumentation at times -- it's a wonder that Travis Tritt, one of those responsible for ushering in the current era and a hitmaker of major proportion, is no longer with a major record label. It just doesn't make sense. Tritt was considered one of the "new traditionalists" back in the day. Whatever. He could still rock harder in his approach to the country tradition (without forsaking honky tonk or rockabilly in the process) than most any mainstream pop band. And while he isn't Merle Haggard, he is still a hell of a songwriter when he wants to be. As a performer, he is second to none. Not to take anything away from the considerable monolithic talent of Tim McGraw, but the latter may never have ascended the heights of the Nash Vegas and pop pantheons if Tritt hadn't come first. The Storm is Tritt's very first studio recording as an independent artist. Issued on the Category 5 imprint, the set is solid from top to bottom and offers a listen to the singer/songwriter as a thoroughly modern performer in the new country mold without giving up an ounce of his integrity or his backwoods character. What's more, he proves he can sing the blues and funk, too. The Storm is not a recipe for a disaster. It is an almost perfectly balanced recording with four strong originals, a few fine tunes by Diane Warren, and a killer cover of Hank Jr.'s "The Pressure Is On." It's got a wonderful equanimity between up- and mid-tempo tunes with a ballad or two thrown in for good measure. The set begins with "Mudcat Moan (Prelude)/You Never Take Me Dancing," the album's first single. It's got plenty of Fender Rhodes and a popping bassline, acoustic and slide guitar, and a chorus of female voices bringing home the refrain. It's funky, bluesy, gritty and full of soul. Tritt can shout the country funk better than anyone and the proof is in the grooves. The message tunes are here, too. His reading of Diane Warren's "(I Wanna) Feel Too Much" is utterly believable in the grain of Tritt's voice. It's a stunner, an anthem: it will no doubt be used in some Hollywood film at some point. Likewise the bluesy roots rocker "Doesn't the Good Outweigh the Bad," written with Richard Marx (remember him?) which swaggers and strolls with a cocky confidence that makes it a prime candidate for a second single and/or video. The title track, kicking off with a dirty electric guitar, a Hammond B-3, and a slamming backbeat is a woolly rocker. But the ballads are certainly here too: "What If Love Hangs On," written with Rob Thomas, is a convincing love song written in a time of trouble and committed to working through it. Tritt's big and throaty voice has just enough rasp to make him a singer who can get his lyrics across with conviction without sounding canned or corny. Because "Something Stronger Than Me" is an affecting ballad -- complete with strings in the backdrop -- it offers a tale of vulnerability that simply lays waste to the competition. The track is a moving narrative about trying to hang on, about desperation in the face of things that are uncertain and shaky. "The Pressure Is On," with its acoustic guitar entry, B-3, and harmonica moan is as tough and unrepentant as the original, but sounds less boastful. It feels like a paean to commitment and dedication, and does it ever work! Full of the blues and hardcore country sentiment it's one of the best tunes on the set. "High Time for Getting' Down" is a modern country boogie with the fiddle in the right place but which is rightfully overpowered by rock & roll guitars. Rather than close out on a ballad, Tritt follows this with the other bookend on the album, "Somehow, Someday, Someway," which is introduced by the burning electric blues guitar of Kenny Wayne Shepherd (who co-wrote the track). It's ferocious; the only thing that grounds it is the honky tonk piano fills in the middle and a swelling B-3. Shepherd isn't the only star who offers his talents here: drummers Kenny Aronoff and Vinnie Colaiuta, pedal steel and dobro whiz Greg Leisz, and keyboardist Matt Rollings also contribute, as does Charlie Daniels on his fiddle. Tritt and Randy Jackson co-produced The Storm, and the wild thing is, left to his own devices, Tritt's come up with one of the high points in his storied career. This is a contemporary country masterpiece.

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Product Details

Release Date:
Category 5 Records


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Album Credits

Performance Credits

Travis Tritt   Primary Artist,Acoustic Guitar,Vocals,Background Vocals,Gut String Guitar,Vocal Harmony
Siedah Garrett   Background Vocals
Matt Rollings   Piano,Wurlitzer
Kenny Wayne Shepherd   Electric Guitar
Kenny Aronoff   Drums
Paul Bushnell   Bass
Charlie Daniels   Fiddle
Vinnie Colaiuta   Drums
Luis Conte   Percussion
James Harrah   Acoustic Guitar,Electric Guitar
Cameron Stone   Violin
Jimmie Wood   Harmonica
Tabitha Fair   Background Vocals
Sharlotte Gibson   Background Vocals
Gabe Witcher   Fiddle
Caroline Campbell   Violin
Joel Pargman   Viola
Sherree Ford Brown   Background Vocals
Storm L. Gardner   Background Vocals

Technical Credits

Travis Tritt   Composer,Producer
Kenny Wayne Shepherd   Composer
Danny Tate   Composer
Bob Ludwig   Mastering
Stephen Marcussen   Mastering
Richard Marx   Composer
Diane Warren   Composer
Patrick Warren   String Arrangements
Hank Williams   Composer
Randy Jackson   Producer
Donnie Skaggs   Composer
Casey Beathard   Composer
Chad Kroeger   Composer
Ryan Peake   Composer
Ryan Vikedal   Composer
Kevin Guarnieri   Engineer
Michele Little   Composer
Kevin Horne   Composer
Weston Harvey   Composer
Jay Speight   Composer
Don Poythress   Composer

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