Photos and Review by Renee Deal
Travis Tritt photos HERE
Houston Bernard photos HERE
When I arrived at Royale in Boston last Friday to see Travis Tritt, I had no idea just how amazing the night would be. I knew the show would be good, but I was not prepared for the incredible night that lay ahead of me.
Before Tritt took the stage, Houston Bernard and band mate Sam Crawford took the stage to play as a duo. They normally play as a full band with the Houston Bernard Band. This night it was just Bernard, Crawford, and their acoustic guitars, with Bernard leading the show with his smooth vocals, country twang and cowboy swagger, and Crawford backing him with vocals. They warmed up the crowd with a mix of original songs including “Home is in Your Arms”, “Happy”, and “Sweet Senorita”. They also got the audience singing along with cover songs including Alan Jackson and Jimmy Buffet’s, “5 O’Clock Somewhere”, Brad Paisley’s, “Alcohol”, and Eric Church’s, “Cold One”. After seeing this duo perform, I definitely want to see the Houston Bernard Band perform with all its members. You can find their schedule of upcoming shows at their website houstonbernardband.com.
Travis Tritt greeted the enthusiastic crowd and took a seat on a stool in the center of the stage. From the moment he started strumming his acoustic guitar, it was clear this was going to be a very special night. This was a chance for Tritt to shine. There was no band backing him up. His vocals and guitar playing were the focus of the show, no distractions, just Tritt. He got right into his first song, “It’s All About the Money” as people were hooting and hollering with excitement. I was floored. I knew he was an amazing talent, but seeing him, performing alone, blew me away. His vocals were spot on, moving and powerful. I was captivated. His next songs were “Where Corn Don’t Grow”, “The Pressure is On” and “I’m Gonna Be Somebody”, which is when the crowd really erupted with people singing along and shouting “We love you Travis!”
Tritt told the audience how one of his best friends from high school was from Massachusetts, so he had visited the Boston area with him many times, and it was great to be back. And he shared that although he usually plays with his band, this is how he got started in the music business, just him and his guitar playing in clubs, and this felt very relaxed to him, almost like he was playing in his living room. Then Tritt joked, “My living rooms not quite this big… but close.” He encouraged the audience to sing along, stomp their feet and clap their hands to the music and went on to play hit after hit. I don’t think I had realized just how many hits he has. I knew every song he played and could sing along to most.
Tritt reminisced about some of his musical idols, George Jones, Waylon Jennings, Conway Twitty and Tammy Wynette. He said that one song “stuck out” to him when he was a kid. The first time he ever heard it, it was done by Bobby Bare, then Jerry Reed who he admired greatly. Tritt played homage to his idol by playing Reed’s, “500 Miles Away from Home”.
Tritt talked about how he grew up in Georgia and listen to the radio every Saturday night. One of his biggest heroes was Johnny Cash. As luck would have it, one of the first people Tritt met when he went to Nashville was Johnny Cash. Tritt says from the time they met they really hit it off and became good friends. He said, “There was no question that I loved him, and there was no question that he loved me.” One day Tritt got a call and was asked to take part in recording an album in Johnny Cash’s honor. He treated us to that song, “Walk the Line”. It was one of Cash’s favorite songs.
Tritt said, “The class of 89 was Garth Brooks, Clint Black, Allan Jackson, and me. We changed the face of country music. All of us together sold more albums than had ever been sold in country music.” Tritt said he was close to Waylon Jennings. He was like another father to him. He said he’d like to pay tribute to him. He played a fantastic medley of “Are you Sure Hank Done it this Way”, “Mama’s Don’t Let your Babies Grow up to be Cowboys” (complete with a Willie Nelson impression), and “Good Ol’ Boys”. After a few more hits and a cover of Bob Seger’s “Night Moves”, Travis Tritt ended the night with his high energy song “Trouble”. What an amazing night it was! Travis Tritt is a Country music legend and this night was one of my all time favorite concert experiences. To see him live, visit his website travistritt.com for tour dates.
Travis Tritt’s set list
- It’s All About the Money
- Where Corn Don’t Grow
- The Pressure is On
- I’m Gonna Be Somebody
- Lord Have Mercy on the Working Man
- Country Club
- Country Ain’t Country
- 500 Miles From Home- by Jerry Reed
- Here’s a Quarter
- Drift off to Dream
- Help Me Hold On
- Whiskey Ani’t Workin
- Walk the Line- Johnny Cash
- Are you Sure Hank Done it this Way- by Waylon Jennings
- Mama’s Don’t Let your Babies Grow up to be Cowboys- by Waylon Jennings
- Good Ol’ Boys- by Waylon Jennings
- It’s a Great Day to be Alive
- Modern Day Bonnie and Clyde
- Night Moves- by Bob Seger