Set In Stone

Set In Stone

In the early days of his career, Travis Tritt received an important piece of advice from Waylon Jennings: He needed to make music for his fans, not for his record label. “Waylon said, ‘The people you need to be worried about are the people that go out and work hard, 40, 50, 60 hours a week, to keep food on the table for their families and keep a roof over their heads,’” Tritt tells Apple Music. “As soon as he told me that, it just lifted a tremendous burden off of my shoulders, because I realized he was completely right.” After more than a decade-long break from studio albums, Travis Tritt returns with Set in Stone, an album that takes that advice from Jennings to heart. Produced by Dave Cobb, the 11-track collection finds Tritt doing what he does best: serving up rowdy, road-ready anthems and tugging at heartstrings with raw, vulnerable balladry. Cobb proves an ideal collaborator for Tritt, as both men have deep affinities for Southern rock à la Lynyrd Skynyrd and The Allman Brothers Band, influences that can especially be heard on tracks like opener “Stand Your Ground” and “Southern Man.” In addition to enlisting Cobb, Tritt tapped a handful of younger, acclaimed songwriters to cowrite for the album, including Dillon Carmichael and Brent Cobb. Below, Tritt walks Apple Music through several of Set in Stone’s key tracks. “Stand Your Ground” “I was writing for the first time with Channing Wilson and Wyatt Durrette. And any time that you write with somebody for the first time, normally you spend about the first hour or so just getting to know each other. I was telling them about some of the struggles that I had to go through by trying to do music my own way and refusing to let record labels or people like that change me. I think it's a little bit of advice to new artists, or new people that're trying to maybe do things their own way in country music today, and they're a little bit afraid of it. Because it's always tough when you're swimming upstream.” “Set in Stone” “That came from the first time I ever wrote with Brent Cobb. He said, ‘I remember riding around in my granddaddy's pickup truck, listening to your stuff when I was just a kid, with my dad and my grandfather. But I was thinking about it on the way over. You know, you don't have anything to prove to anybody, your legacy is pretty much set in stone. I'd love to write that song with that type of feel and that type of message. But I'd like to make it more universal. I'd like to make it so that hard-working blue-collar people like the people that you and I both grew up around could relate to it, so they could look back on anything that they've accomplished in their life and say, “That's something I'm very proud of.”'” “Smoke in a Bar” “I cowrote eight out of the eleven songs that are on this album. That's one of the ones I didn't write. It's not about smoking in a bar, it's about that time period when, not too many years ago, things seemed a whole lot different than they are now. So for me, it was a song that just resonated. It was a song that spoke to that feeling of nostalgia that I think so many people in this country, and really in the world, really feel right now.” “They Don’t Make ’Em Like That No More” “That's a song that I can picture people line-dancing or two-stepping to. I had been a fan of Dillon Carmichael for the last four years or so. I had heard his music and just loved it, because he is a straight-ahead country guy. And once again, we were just talking about those records from back in the day that just made you want to get out on a dance floor. I remember the first impression of muscle cars back in the day. I mean, back in those days, back in the '60s and '70s, when muscle cars were first coming out, I mean, those things would last. Those words and that music just poured out of both of us once we started writing together.” “Southern Man” “The idea was to create something that had that Allman Brothers feel, and that throwback to one of my biggest influences, which was that Southern rock blues influence. There's a lot of tremendous musical heritage that comes out of the South, back to people like Elvis and B.B. King and Muddy Waters.” “Way Down in Georgia” “That's actually a song that I wrote probably, I don't know how many years ago, it's been a long time. It was just a song that was talking about all the great music that has come out of the state of Georgia over the years: everybody from Otis Redding to Gladys Knight to Little Richard and the Allman Brothers, and The Marshall Tucker Band, and all these guys that either started out or recorded in Georgia.”

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