Country music legend and Grammy award-winning artist Travis Tritt. (Special photo)
ALBANY — Albany music fans will get a treat next weekend when country music legend Travis Tritt comes to town to play a special show at Darton State College.
The multiplatinum recording artist and Hiram, Ga., native is playing a show July 18 at Darton’s Cavalier Arena in support of the Darton Foundation.
Tritt, who burst onto the country music scene in 1989 with his debut album “Country Club,” solidified his stardom two years later behind mega-hits “Here’s a Quarter (Call Someone Who Cares)” and the Marty Stuart duet “The Whiskey Ain’t Workin’.”
During his career Tritt has recorded and released 11 albums, six of which have been certified platinum. Tritt has also released five Billboard No. 1 hits and has been awarded two Grammys. Since his first success Tritt has become known as one of the best live performers in country music, routinely drawing large crowds to his shows.
The reputation will be on full display at Friday’s show, which is the second in a series of concerts following a performance by Corey Smith two weeks ago the Darton Foundation is hosting in order to raise money for scholarships.
According to Darton Foundation board member and immediate past chairman Glenn Tennyson, the foundation awards roughly $350,000 in scholarship money each year, and the concert series is a way to generate increased donations for different segments of the community that are not currently active donors.
“The foundation and the college need support from the entire community,” said Tennyson. “This is a way to generate interest from different places.”
Tennyson said he also feels that the concert series is a nice way to bring entertainment to Albany so people don’t have to travel to places like Atlanta and Jacksonville, Fla., to see a good show. Having an artist of Tritt’s stature, Tennyson said, is indicative of what the foundation is hoping to deliver in the future.
“He’s a living legend,” Tennyson said. “He dominated country music through the ’90s to today, and he puts on a tremendous show. We’re lucky to get him.”
Joining Tritt at Friday night’s concert is up-and-coming singer/songwriter Kaitlyn Baker, whose newest single “Burn” is gaining regional and national attention.
Click here to hear Kaitlyn Baker's "Burn"
Just 19 and hailing from the small coal mining town of Pound, Va., Baker is a singer, instrumentalist and songwriter who has been performing since a young age and writing her own music since her early teens, which seems to resonate with her fans.
“I started songwriting when I was 14 or 15,” said Baker. “I write about where I’m from, and I tell stories through music. People seem to respond to the things I write about. It’s cool. It’s even cooler when somebody’s singing your song back to you.”
Baker is not currently on tour, instead playing a few shows here and there, as she is putting the finishing touches on her new album, which she hopes will be released in the next few months. When she had the opportunity to play with Tritt in Albany though, she was willing to make the trip to Southwest Georgia.
“Travis Tritt has probably been one of my favorite artists since I was a little kid,” Baker said. “It’s such an honor. I think it’s going to be a great show.”
Based on what Tennyson and concert promoter Austin McAlpin, whose McAlpin Entertainment is handling the concert series, learned from the Corey Smith show, the Tritt show will be one local audiences don’t want to miss.
McAlpin said the Smith show went off without a hitch and sounded and looked good despite being the first in the series.
“The sound in that arena is amazing,” echoed Tennyson. “There is not a bad seat in the house. Travis Tritt is going to bring the house down.”
Tennyson added that the community would not be disappointed for taking the time to spend its collective Friday night enjoying the show and urged friends of Darton to come out and support the event.
“It’s all about the community coming out and embracing this,” said Tennyson. “Folks will drive a couple of hours and spend money for hotels and stuff to see a show like this one, and this is right in our backyard. We want to continue to do these, but the people have to come.”
Tickets for the show are on sale now through www.ticketalternative.com and range from $25 to $40. They will also be available at the door. With a capacity of 3,000 in the arena, Tennyson is urging attendees to get advance tickets. The doors will open Friday at 8 p.m., and Baker is scheduled to hit the stage at 9 p.m.
The Darton Boosters will be selling concessions, and Stewbo’s Inc. restaurant group will also sell adult beverages. All ticket proceeds will go to benefit the Darton College Foundation’s scholarship fund.