Travis Tritt Shares His Hopes for the Future of Country Music: ‘Keep a Firm Grasp on Our Roots’

by Emily Morgan

As one of country music’s most prolific characters since the late ’80s, Travis Tritt knows a thing or two about the genre. Set to release his new album, Set in Stone, on Friday; this will be the first time fans have gotten a new studio album from Tritt in over ten years. 

Tritt, who has dozens of hits under his belt, is one person who has seen the genre ebb and flow. Despite country music’s changes, Tritt has maintained his status due to his vanguard songwriting and sincerity in his performances. 

For Tritt, it comes down to the soul when creating new music. He describes it as “three chords and the truth,” a phrase coined by Harlan Howard. Moreover, Tritt describes it as something that “tells you everything you need to know.”

That truth is what Tritt is holding onto, and he’s encouraging others in the genre to do the same. For Tritt, evolution can only be possible as long as artists look at their history. 

What Travis Tritt Misses In Today’s Country Music

“Country music can change and probably should change with the times, but we need to keep a firm grasp on our roots,” said Tritt during a recent interview. “I would like to see us move, change, use the different influences that you have nowadays. But with one hand keep a firm grasp on the roots and what brought us here in the first place.”

Tritt, a beloved traditionalist, believes that the element of storytelling is something to be preserved for future generations.

“I like some of the new country music, but one of the things that I really miss is the stories,” he said. “Traditionally, country music has told some of the greatest stories of any genre out there. In the past 10 or 15 years, it’s gotten more and more away from that. It seems to be more about having a good beat and be uptempo and something that they can experience in a live setting that gets fired up and dancing the whole time.” 

He continues, “That’s all good, too, but life is not always upbeat and positive. … For country music to be what it’s always been, which is reflective of the people that are listening to it. Every now and then you have to do something that just reaches out and touches people — grabs them by the heart and does not let go.”

Tritt’s new album, Set in Stone, is due out Friday, May 7.