Down the Road I Go
One standout song on Travis Tritt’s 2000 effort Down the Road I Go is “Never Get Away from Me,” a tale of lifelong romance based on Waylon Jennings and his real-life wife, Jessi Colter. Tritt does a convincing job of conjuring Waylon’s inimitable style without aping the master. Clearly, the student has earned the right to pay tribute to his mentor. Waylon’s influence recurs on the gently swaggering rhythms of “Modern Day Bonnie and Clyde,” "Down the Road I Go,” and “If the Fall Don’t Kill You,” the latter of which was cowritten with Charlie Daniels. Like Jennings, Tritt has a way of making danceable songs without making dance songs. Likewise, he can make hummable songs that aren’t pop (“It’s a Great Day to Be Alive”) and gospel songs that aren’t religious (“Love of a Woman”). As far as modern country singers go, Tritt’s taste is fairly progressive. But his best songs are often his resolutely down-home country tunes. A unsentimental ode to being broke in the rural South, “Livin’ on Borrowed Time,” shows Tritt’s ability to reanimate timeless themes without resorting to cliché or imitation.