Travis Tritt brings his brand of country to town

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Entertainment,Nancy Dunham

Where have you been, Travis Tritt?

Country fans have sure missed the Grammy Award-winning country musician and have resorted to a sort of "Where's Waldo?" way of tracking some of his recent activities -- and of course bought out his recent concert tours. The wait for new Tritt music may soon be over, though, as reports have him back in the studio.

"I've been writing on my own," Tritt told Billboard a few years ago just before his last studio album, "Storm," was released. "It's like Roger Miller used to say, every now and then, like a dog having puppies, you have to crawl under the house and do it yourself."

Onstage
Travis Tritt
When: 7:30 p.m. Tuesday
Where: Birchmere, 3701 Mount Vernon Ave., Alexandria
Details: Sold out at presstime, but tickets might be available through resellers; ticketmaster.com; 202-397-SEAT

Doing things his own way has always been a formula for success for Tritt, of course. He led a whole slew of new country singers in the '90s into a combination of country rock. Now that he's reportedly recording, it isn't a stretch to see him reclaim the popular and critical status he enjoyed earlier in his career that led to a string of awards, platinum albums and Top 10 singles including "Country Club" and "I'm Gonna Be Somebody."

But whether Tritt will follow the country rock path that led to that past success is anybody's guess especially now that he's an indie artist that has reportedly developed his own record label. After all, his producer Randy Jackson was effusive in his praise of Tritt's "blue eyed soul" sound on "Storm."

"It's strictly for me to release my music on," Tritt said just before he began developing the label. "We're not looking to sign other [artists]. It's strictly gonna be me -- I don't have any partners whatsoever on the creative end, just from a financial standpoint. I feel like I've got enough experience over the years. I know what it takes to put a record together, so I'm not looking for people to come in and shape it."

One things for sure -- although the music industry has changed tremendously in the past two decades, Tritt seems as excited as ever to continue his musical journey.

"In some ways it seems like 20 minutes, in some ways it seems like forever," Tritt said. "I've been very fortunate to have had the opportunities to have the career I've had. In many ways it seems like it was just yesterday that we started, and then when I think about all the time we spent playing those bars and clubs and bowling alleys and beer joints across the country before we ever got a record deal, it seems like forever. It was all worth it, though, in the end. I wouldn't trade a minute of it, not one."

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