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Travis Tritt rocks on and on

San Joaquin County Fair, Stockton, Cal., June 19, 2008

Reviewed by Michael Sudhalter

Three songs into his set, Travis Tritt told a packed crowd of 2,500 that they'd be hearing "a lot of music." He didn't disappoint, playing everything from his slew of hits, new songs, classic country and southern rock during a 2 hour, 15 minute show.

Tritt's delivery was more soulful in concert on songs like "I'm Gonna Be Somebody" and The Eagles' "Take It Easy." Backed by a 6-piece band, the early part of Tritt's show reminded fans of the success he had during the early and mid 1990's. Tritt's ability to sing a tender ballad or two were especially evident when he played "Foolish Pride," "Anymore" and "Drift Off To Dream" all in succession. "You Never Took Me Dancing" showed Tritt's new direction, a more soulful approach, but just as entertaining, live.

And the encore was probably the most exceptional part of the show. While most artists treat their fans to another song or 2, Tritt played on for about 40 minutes. He emerged back on stage with a cowboy hat and a sleeveless Army of One T-Shirt to sing covers of Johnny Cash's "Folsom Prison Blues" and the Waylon Jennings-Willie Nelson hit "Mamas Don't Let Your Babies Grow Up To Be Cowboys." Tritt put his own spin on both classics, most impressively when he tried to impersonate Willie Nelson during the latter. His impression, however, ranks beyond that of the one that Joe Diffie has done during his shows. Diffie's version sounds more like the legend, while Tritt is a bit less authentic yet more humorous. Tritt, however, showed his dedication, playing hits for much longer after many fans would have been satisfied with the regular 90-minute set.

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