12 Songs, 40 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

In every way, Travis Tritt’s 2004 effort is a concept album about toughness. Despite its title, My Honky Tonk History isn't an album of traditional country music; instead it refers to the hurly-burly world of all-night bars and the fighting, backbiting, and imbibing that happens in them. While there are moments of country classicism (particular on the gorgeous “Circus Leaving Town”), Tritt primarily draws from rock music styles. “What Say You” recruits John Mellencamp for a Springsteen-esque anthem, while “Honky-Tonk History” is an unapologetic stomp that subtly echoes the marauding metal riffs of Rage Against the Machine. While Tritt can deliver choruses with the badass bite of an action movie star, his identification with America's working people is at this album's core. “It’s All About the Money” makes the case that corporate greed preys on the honesty of the working man, while “When in Rome” argues that small-town Southern values continue to represent the most durable of American ideals. Outside of Tritt, you’re unlikely to find another country star making hard-hitting songs about the importance of being a good tipper.

EDITORS’ NOTES

In every way, Travis Tritt’s 2004 effort is a concept album about toughness. Despite its title, My Honky Tonk History isn't an album of traditional country music; instead it refers to the hurly-burly world of all-night bars and the fighting, backbiting, and imbibing that happens in them. While there are moments of country classicism (particular on the gorgeous “Circus Leaving Town”), Tritt primarily draws from rock music styles. “What Say You” recruits John Mellencamp for a Springsteen-esque anthem, while “Honky-Tonk History” is an unapologetic stomp that subtly echoes the marauding metal riffs of Rage Against the Machine. While Tritt can deliver choruses with the badass bite of an action movie star, his identification with America's working people is at this album's core. “It’s All About the Money” makes the case that corporate greed preys on the honesty of the working man, while “When in Rome” argues that small-town Southern values continue to represent the most durable of American ideals. Outside of Tritt, you’re unlikely to find another country star making hard-hitting songs about the importance of being a good tipper.

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