Tritt, Stuart Deliver "Double Trouble'

Country cronies mix styles of sequins and leather with traditional tunes to rustle up a crowd at Harveys Lake

This article appeared in The Times Leader - June 1996

Travis Tritt and Marty Stuart still sing songs about whiskey and women and raisin' hell. They bear little resemblance to today's cowboy hat set -- Tritt, the leather-clad Georgia rebel and Stuart in his sequined jackets, too-tight jeans and 10-gallon hair.

Saturday night, in a loud, rowdy performance at the Bud Light Amphitheatre at Harveys Lake, they proved, as their current single says, that honky tonkin' is what they do best. Their nationwide tour is billed as "Double Trouble," but with a solid performance by opening act Ricochet, they should call the three-hour plus show "Triple Trouble."

Ricochet opened with "Rowdy," a fitting start to the show that followed, and played a 20-minute set that included several songs off their self-titled debut album.

Stuart and his band, joined by Tritt, cranked out their current duet, "Honky Tonkin's What I Do Best," and "Let It Roll," before Stuart's solo set began. In a black jacket with shiny cactuses on the sleeves, Stuart asked if there were "any Pennsylvania cowgirls out there?" Over the screamed response, he opened with "Western Girls" and followed that with "Kiss Me, I'm Gone."

Two of his most well-known songs came next -- "Burn Me Down" and "Tempted" -- sparking the crowd as Stuart danced across the stage and his crew released several enormous balloons into the crowd.

The show was a chance for Stuart to show off some of the songs on his just-released album "Honky Tonkin's What I Do Best." In addition to "Thanks To You," he introduced the ballad "So Many People" as one of the favorite songs ever recorded.

After a 20-minute stage change, on came Tritt in a black leather jacket and pants, opening with a forceful "Put Some Drive In Your Country," a fast-moving tribute to the Southern rock and hard-driving country that has influenced Tritt's music.

Tritt's next album is due in August and he tried out several new songs including the title track "The Restless Kind," a steady, typical Tritt song. After his classic "I'm Gonna Be Somebody," came the new album's first single, "More Than You'll Ever Know."

What really got Tritt's fans fired up were his hits, several of which he played. "Can I Trust You With My Heart" led to "Country Club," during which he pointed his microphone toward the audience asking for help in singing the refrain. "T-R-O-U-B-L-E," "Here's a Quarter," and "Ten Feet Tall and Bulletproof" were among the classics Tritt played to excite the crowd.

He ran up the steps to his drummer's rise about 8 feet above the stage, danced with band members, and wiggled his hips a la Elvis. Tritt mixed in a powerful "Foolish Pride" with a few more songs from the new album before shedding his leather jacket.

That's when Stuart returned with his band for three raucous numbers to close out the show. After "Hard Times and Misery," Stuart asked Tritt -- about an hour into his rambunctious performance -- "So what you sweatin' for, boy?"

On their duet, "The Whiskey Ain't Workin' Anymore," their contrasting sounds -- Tritt's throaty, deep voice and Stuart's higher, lighter range -- made for a complimentary harmony. The two closed with the tour's theme song, "Double Trouble," before walkin off, arms around each other, two good old boys who still know how to raise a ruckus and thrill a crowd.

Written by Bob Hocek

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