Travis Tritt Talks New Album 'The Calm After,' Dueting With Daughter

Travis Tritt returns to the radio world with his first new single since 2007 with a song that you might have heard before -- “Sometimes Love Just Ain’t Enough,” a 1992 hit from Patty Smyth and Don Henley. And, he’s got a brand new duet partner that he’s very excited for the public to hear -- his daughter Tyler Reese. In an exclusive interview with Billboard, Tritt recalled how the duet came about.

“I had actually recorded the song for a previous album a few years back, and I had a short list of female duet partners that I would have liked to sing the song with at the time. Unfortunately, all three of those artists had just done duets with other partners, so the timing was a little off. We shelved it, but held on to the track. Last year, my family and I were on our way back from a wedding in Florida, and I had my iPod plugged in, and Tyler Reese was sitting in the back seat,” he recalled.

“She heard the song for the first time that day, and started singing it. As I was listening to her, I thought ‘She’s doing a great job on this.’ After it was over, she wanted me to play it over and over for about a half-dozen or more times. I didn’t say anything to her at the time, but when we got home, I told my wife, ‘I really think she could do s great job on this.’ We took her in the studio, and I know I sound like a proud papa, but she nailed it. I think when people listen to it, if you didn’t know she was fifteen, you wouldn’t know it. She’s very talented, smart, and savvy. I’m just thrilled to death to be able to release the first single on Post Oak, my own record label with my daughter.”

The track is the first single from "The Calm After," Tritt’s new album. The disc features many of the cuts from 2007’s "The Storm," a disc co-produced by Randy Jackson that fell victim to behind the scenes business moves at Tritt’s then-label. But, though it has been six years since he’s had music out, he has still been active on the road. “It’s been so funny over the last few weeks talking about the new album. People will say ‘Where’ve you been?’  In spite of the fact that I haven’t released any new music in quite some time, we’re still out on tour consistently since the last album. Our fans have supported us throughout. To have that opportunity at this point in time is very exciting. We’ve been doing about a hundred band dates for the past few years, and also some acoustic dates, just me and a guitar. The response has been very enthusiastic. The comments we get on both have been great, but lately they usually start off with, ‘I’ve seen or been familiar with Travis Tritt for years, but I never knew...'  I get the privilege and blessing to be able to still go out and surprise people from time to time, and that’s a blessing.”

Tritt has been surprising and delighting audiences since the release of his debut hit “Country Club” in 1989. “That song launched my career,” he says with a smile. “I got signed to my record deal in 1987. It was a situation where I was signed to a three-single deal. If none of them did well, then I was over,” he says. “It’s one of those songs that people still respond to, and that’s what makes it fun.”

If Tritt today could tell that newcomer from Marietta, GA some advice, what would he offer? “Be patient. Take your time. Don’t get too high on the highs, or too low on the lows. I think that’s something that comes with maturity. The music business is wonderful to be in. It’s been my lifelong dream to be a part of it. To have a career that has the longevity of a Johnny Cash, Merle Haggard, or George Jones, is something you just dream about. I just turned 50 years old this year, and we’ve been doing this for about 30 years. It’s something that when everything is happening, it’s almost like a whirlwind. It was in my case. If you don’t stop to take a chance to smell the roses, you miss a lot. I have no regrets, but if I had it do over again, I think I would have documented more and taken the time to look around and think, ‘This is really neat.’ This is a once in a lifetime opportunity that you should take note of, and be aware of what’s going on around you when it’s happening.”