'Mr. Country Club' Travis Tritt draws large Penn's Peak crowd
Ron Gower/TIMES NEWS Country singer Travis Tritt sings before a crowd of well over 1,000 at Penn's Peak Saturday night, showing his great versatility with an acoustic show.
Travis Tritt has become known as "Mr. Country Club" although there isn't anything stuffy about him.
As he proclaims in his hit song "Country Club," he "drives and old pickup truck" and does "his drinkin from a Dixie cup."
Wearing jeans and sipping from a Dixie cup, the country music singer did an acoustic concert Saturday night at Penn's Peak in Jim Thorpe, attracting a large, responsive crowd for the performance.
He sang most of his hits, did tributes to the late Johnny Cash and Waylon Jennings, and even interjected some blues.
"It's great to be back at Penn's Peak," he said, adding, "Normally there's a lot more people here on stage," making reference to the fact that he had no band backing him up.
He compared his performance to "being in my living room, and I can tell you straight-up, you never know what I'll do in my living room," generating noisy approval and hearty laughter from the audience.
"I came up her in Jim Thorpe, Pennsylvania for one reason and that is to party," he yelled. Obviously many in the crowd raised their cups of beer as a toast to him.
Besides being an accomplished vocalist, Tritt proved adept with the guitar.
On the stage, besides singing and strumming his guitars, he joked, told some stories about growing up in Georgia, and even did a few awkward dance steps.
He told about initially arriving in Nashville in 1989 about the same time as Garth Brooks, Alan Jackson, and Vince Gill. Brooks, Jackson, and Gill were clean-cut while Tritt, with his long hair and leather pants never was fully accepted by record company executives.
He said he had become a friend of Jennings and learned a lot from the original outlaw, who, Tritt said, "insisted on doing things his own way."
Tritt opened his concert with "I'm Gonna Be Somebody" which was from his 1990 "Country Club" album.
He followed with a more recent and obscure number, "Pressure Is On," from his 2007 album "The Storm."
Tritt has had more than 30 songs charted, with five reaching number one on the main record charts. He sang all those number one hits including "Help Me Hold On," the touching ballad "Anymore," and "Best of Intentions." The song "Country Club" made it to the top 10 in 1989, but wasn't number one. It was oviously one of the favorites for the Penn's Peak audience, though, who sang along with the chorus.
Another favorite was "Here's A Quarter (Call Someone Who Cares)," a sassy song about a protagonist who turns the tales on his cheating partner.
One song he sang was written and recorded by the late Otis Redding just before he died in 1967, "Sitting On the Dock of the Bay."
He showed his sadness with the music industry with his rendition of "Country Ain't Country" from his 2002 "Strong Enough" album. Although the song talks about a changing world, where country roads are turned into four-lane highways and people now have to lock their doors, he added a verse which isn't on the album recording. It goes:
"You turn CMT on and you wonder what for. Because country ain't country no more."
In his tribute to Johnny Cash, he sang the song "Walk the Line."
The Jennings tribute included the songs "Are You Sure Hank Done It This Way?" and "Mama, Don't Let Your Babies Grow Up To Be Cowboys," showing humor by singing, "Mama, don't let your cowboys grow up to be babies."
The audience seemed very satisfied with the concert by Tritt.
"It was awesome," said Mike Pashomick of Scranton. "Nobody can pull off an acoustic show like Travis Tritt. Simply awesome."
Coming next to Penn's Peak is the band "Yes" on Friday, Feb. 5.
David Cassidy will be at the venue performing on Friday, Feb. 12.