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Influence, Vol. 1: The Man I Am

Randy Travis

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Album Review

As Randy Travis has never attempted to shroud his influences in secrecy, there aren't a lot of surprises on Influence, Vol. 1: The Man I Am. He does romp through Louis Armstrong's "Big Butter and Egg Man," but there are so many Merle Haggard tunes ("Someday We'll Look Back," "What Have You Got Planned Tonight Diana," "Ever Changing Woman," "I'm Always on a Mountain When I Fall") this could almost be classified as a tribute. After all, the Bob Wills song here, "Trouble in Mind," was a Merle Haggard staple, and the Lefty Frizzell and Ernest Tubb songs ("Saginaw, Michigan" and "Trouble in Mind," respectively) seem as if he cut them. Travis stretches out a little bit at the end by recording Waylon Jennings' version of Billy Joe Shaver's "You Asked Me To," and saluting George Jones via a version of "Why Baby Why" and his newly written tribute "Tonight I'm Playing Possum," a new song that provides the hook into this covers record and is a pretty good little tune. The whole affair doesn't deliver anything unexpected, but that's also its appeal: Travis doesn't surprise, he satisfies, and hearing him sing songs he loves is certainly a good time.

Biography

Born: 04 May 1959 in Marshville, NC

Genre: Country

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Like the Beatles in rock, Randy Travis marks a generational shift in country music. When his Storms of Life came out in 1986, country music was still wallowing in the post-urban cowboy recession, chasing elusive crossover dreams. Travis brought the music back to its basics, sounding like nothing so much as a perfect blend of George Jones and Merle Haggard. He became the dominant male voice in country until the rise of "hat acts" like Garth Brooks and Clint Black, releasing seven...
Full Bio

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