Review: Travis Tritt Stands His Ground With New Album ‘Set in Stone’

by Clayton Edwards

Travis Tritt dropped his first album in almost a decade today. Set in Stone shows that Tritt still has it after all these years. From start to finish it is a throwback to the heyday of 90s country.

Set in Stone features eleven tracks that run the gamut of emotion and meaning. There is a little something for everyone on this release. If you want to crank up a good old-fashioned barn-burner and throw back some brews, look no further than, “Stand Your Ground,” or “Ghost Town Nation,” these tracks are guaranteed to get the party started. However, if you’re looking for something to put on while you drop a few tears in that glass of suds, “Leave This World,” and “Better Off Dead,” have you covered.

Overall, if you’re looking for some classic Travis Tritt, this album is what you need in your life. Tritt’s fingerprints are all over Set in Stone. He co-wrote eight of the eleven tracks. So, you’re getting a look into where his mind is these days.

Standout Tracks

Set in Stone is a rock-solid release from start to finish. However, there are a few songs that really stand out from the rest. Let’s look at a few and see what makes them so special.

Stand Your Ground (Travis Tritt, Wayne B. Durrett III, Channing Wilson)

This one puts a few things proudly on display. Firstly, it shows that Travis Tritt knows how to open an album. This one is pure 90s gold. At the same time, it shows that Tritt has some of that Outsider spirit.

The chorus is pure Outsider energy, “Don’t let no one tell you how to feel. / Keep leanin’ on what you know is real. / If you sing a lie, they’re going to see right through. / They’ll say they have a crystal ball/ Trust me they don’t know it all. / There ain’t no substitution for the truth. / Don’t ever let them turn your head around. / Just stand your ground.”

The song itself is full of bluesy southern rock guitars. On top of that, it references a life-changing talk he had with Waylon Jennings. “Stand Your Ground,” is one hell of an introduction to the album.

Southern Man (Travis Tritt, Channing Wilson)

Imagine “A Country Boy Can Survive,” but it’s all about being proud of your Southern roots instead of being an expert woodsman. “Southern Man,” is an autobiographical track. It talks about traveling all around the world as a musician. At the same time, it looks at the stigma that comes with being a Southerner in most of the world. However, Tritt doesn’t shy away from his roots. He’s a “Southern Man,” through and through. Nothing is ever going to change that and he likes it that way. If you’re from ‘round here and talk with a little bit of a drawl, you’ll be able to feel this one in your bones.

Ain’t Who I Was (Brent Cobb, Adam Hood)  

Where “Southern Man,” is all about not changing and being proud of your roots, “Ain’t Who I Was,” is an ode to personal growth. This is one of three songs on the album that Travis Tritt didn’t co-write. However, it’s easy to see why he picked it. He’s been doing this for decades. Today, he’s pretty much settled down. This track is all about finally finding the best version of yourself. At the very least, it’s about becoming a person that you can be proud of.

The theme of growing as a person and becoming a better man (or woman) is one that we don’t see nearly enough of in country music. This one really hits the nail on the head. It’s another of those “if you’ve been there, you’ll feel it,” songs.

The Verdict

Travis Tritt fans have been waiting for a new album since 2013. Set in Stone proves that patience pays off. Today, Tritt is just as good behind a microphone and guitar as he was in his heyday. If you’re looking for a good throwback album that doesn’t sound like a rehash of the same old songs, give this one a listen.

If you want to hear Travis Tritt talk about Set in Stone, his path to success, and more be sure to check out the latest episode of The Road You Leave Behind with Marty Smith. That interview will give you some insight into the record as well as the man who made it.