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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.

Customer Reviews

A timely reminder of one of country music's best voices

While Randy is recovering from some serious health problems, this album is a perfect reminder of the voices, stories, and history behind good country music.
With the piles of trash being pumped out of Nashville's studio's today, this album is a refreshing throwback to a time when country music was distinct. The stories were relatable. The singers were real cowboys.
Randy's had a giant influence on country music since the mid 1980's. It's fascinating to see the songs and singers that influenced him.
It's not the same smooth voice that barreled through my speakers on Storms of Life, but his unmistakable baritone finds its way easily on these songs.
Sure hope Randy heals and finds his way back to a studio to produce more like this.
I can't say the same for most of Nashville's popular acts today.

Thank you, Mr. Travis...

Randy proves in short order from note one that he can sing the younger guns clean under the table, and that great songs, a timeless voice, and sensible and singer-driven arrangements make for a listening experience that is a welcomed relief from the flash-in-the-pan "artists" inundating radio today.
Speaking of radio, this record may not see the light of day on radio, but that's alright, because it's simply too good for "country" radio. It's best enjoyed by those who both know and love real country music, and count Travis as a legitimate link in the chain of great country singers.
In short, those who prefer new country won't "get it". But for those of us who do, it's like a mason jar of sweet tea and a slice of mama's cornbread while sitting on a front porch as the sun sets in late summer. In other words, it's perfect. Thank you, Mr. Travis...

Are my ears deceiving me?

Are my ears deceiving me or am i really listening to a real down to earth country album? Country music fans rejoice beacause what we have here is a real down to earth country music fest of an album.

Biography

Born: May 4, 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