NASHVILLE, Tennessee- Travis Tritt released his first-ever gospel project, Country Chapel, on Friday, a record that was more than three decades in the making. Comprised of original songs informed by his childhood roots along with several favorite gospel covers, Tritt brings new life to these touching tunes which are sure to please the country and gospel fans alike.
The album was produced by Dave Cobb and released by the Gaither Music Group. Tritt filmed a segment at the Lovelace Barn with the talented Gaither band, where he shared the sentiments behind several of the songs.
The album starts with “When God Dips His Love In My Heart,” a song that features The Oak Ridge Boys on the track. Their harmony is amazing, and you will want to hear the song on repeat.
Tritt wrote the song “Like The Father Loves His Son” in his mid-teens.
He recalled, “I was feeling out of sorts. I remember one night at home by myself and felt very lonely. I remember praying, and for the first time since I had given my life to Christ at six years old, I felt a tremendous, overwhelming presence of the Holy Spirit. I heard an audible voice speak to me saying, ‘You don’t need to worry. You don’t need to be concerned. Because at the end of the day, I’ve got this, and I love you. That’s the reason that I came to this earth and died for your sins in the first place.”
Right after that spiritual experience, he wrote the heartfelt song, probably my favorite on the record.
Tritt admits his relationship with Christ is mostly because of his mother. As far back as he can remember, they were in church every time the door was open.
He said, “My mother and my grandfather were truly people who not only talked about their experience with Christ, they lived it. They practiced what they preached. My mother is 85 years old and still doing that to this day.”
He also confessed that in his twenties, he put himself in many dangerous situations. While trying to start his music career, he found himself playing in biker bars and pool halls with less-than-stellar reputations.
“If you didn’t have a gun or knife at the door, they’d give you one so everyone would have an equal shot,” the singer said.
He had numerous dangerous run-ins and would later find out that his mom and grandfather would be awakened in the middle of the night to pray for him.
He said, “The only reason I am here today is because my mama used to pray for me.”
That inspired the song “Mama Used to Pray For Me.”
Growing up, one of the TV shows Tritt used to watch was The Gospel Jubilee. One of his favorite performers was Dottie Rambo. When he sang in church, he often sang her song, “In the Valley (He Restoreth My Soul).”
“I sang it because it touched me so much. As soon as I performed it, I could see it touched others the same way it touched me. I knew when I was going to do this album that this song had to be on it,” he said.
Tritt admitted to being influenced by Bluegrass, Gospel, and Southern Rock. But one of his favorite styles of music to listen to is Blues, specifically Delta Blues. That is why he included a cover of Blind Willie Johnson’s Blues masterpiece, “Nobody’s Fault But Mine.”
He also covered the ballad “The Baptism of Jesse Taylor,” a song that reminded him of his father and himself and was also covered by the Oak Ridge Boys.
Tritt’s most renowned cover on the record is Kris Kristofferson’s “Why Me Lord?” He first sang it at George Jones’ funeral, where it was well received. When he sang it at Lovelace Barn, he sang with a conviction and sincerity that could not be faked. I was touched.
The record concludes with another original tune, “Little Country Chapel.” He was inspired to write the song after seeing an inebriated man on the steps of a church. He wrote the song with Aaron Raitiere. Raitiere told him, “As songwriters, we can always create the story.”
So, they pictured the story of that man going into a church looking for something but isn’t exactly sure what is, or what anyone might say or think. ‘
Travis Tritt has a new acoustic tour coming this fall, and I am sure he will be performing a few songs from Country Chapel and the fan favorites.
You can stream/download Country Chapel here.
– – –