"I love the smell of cigarettes, whiskey on a woman's breath/ the sound of outlaw music sets me free/ blame it on my honky tonk history." - Honky Tonk History - Patrick Matthews-Luke Bryan.

Thrice wed Georgian Travis Tritt has a stretch of highway named after him in hometown Marietta and is in big demand for movie roles.

Not just embryonic cameos as a musician but serious acting parts like peers diverse as Shotgun Willie Nelson, Randy Travis and Tim McGraw.

The Tritt profile soared from mainstream radio exposure where airplay is a right - not a privilege like here.

His hard-edged bluesy country triumphs on his 11th album My Honky Tonk History (Sony-Compass Bros), enhanced by a movie publicity arm.

"I became an accidental actor because of success in the music industry," says Tritt who debuted with January tourist - Texas born Kenny Rogers in Rio Diablo after his video Anymore ignited widespread exposure.

Cameos continued in Dill Scallion, Gremlins 2, Outlaw Justice, Sgt Bilko, Fire Down Below with his voice in Disney's animated bluegrass musical, My Peoples.

His latest role is in 2001 Maniacs?

"I get to play a gas station attendant who is a foreteller of doom," Tritt revealed. "In most horror films there is at least one character who says, "Don't go down to Crystal Lake. That's where Jason lives" or "Stay away from this place." Well, I'm that guy warning these young people who are about to go off on this adventure of impending doom. But I get to come back later on and do a dream sequence that one of these kids has. I get to be a vicious, evil, dirty rotten, the most despicable character you could ever imagine. Those are the most fun. You get to reach down and go to a place inside your own psyche where you dig up all the sludge that's on the bottom and raise it up to the top. You get to get by with all kinds of things you could never get by with in society. It's fun. It's almost therapeutic to do that sort of thing."


"You've been lookin' down your nose at our water tower town/ ain't no-one getting' rich but there's enough to go around." - When In Rome - Rivers Rutherford-Boyd Houston Robert-Kendall Marvel

Life imitated art when a witness protection criminal refugee was arrested after being hired to organise a hit on Tritt.

It was not a latter day recording label boss whom he sued for $10 million or a sound company who sued him for more than $400,000.

Tritt burst onto radio in 1989 with an outlaw swagger on hits Put Some Drive In Your Country and Country Club.

Others followed including evocative Tritt-Jill Colucci ballad Anymore - about a wounded Vietnam veteran - and Foolish Pride.

He also scored wide exposure on duets - The Whiskey Ain't Working with Marty Stuart and Bible Belt with Little Feat.

Ironically the prolific writer only includes one of his originals on a disc whose title track entrée and finale When In Rome are salient signposts to his hell raising music.

That esoteric edge of the Tritt triangle features Delbert McClinton-Gary Nicholson-Benmont Tench tune Monkey Around, When Good Ol' Boys Go Bad and the hook heavy The Girl's Gone Wild whose saving grace may be its video featuring 60 bikini babes.


"Cadillac on the interstate ran a redneck in the ditch/ big city lawyer calls says 'Son gonna make you rich/ just put your shoulder in a slick and you neck on a brace/ we're gonna take his butt to court/ take everything he makes.'" - It's All About The Money - Jody Harris-Donny Keys

Also toss in Jody Harris-Donny Kees greed fuelled social comment and political parody It's All About The Money.

Then there's stone country - a co-write with Marty Stuart on We've Had It All, I See Me, Small Doses, Circus Leaving Town and Too Far To Turn Around.

Circus Leaving Town won wide airplay for writer Phillip Claypool on Nu Country FM in its halcyon radio era.

Too Far To Turn Around - featuring a ghostly gospel cameo by co-writer Gretchen Wilson - was penned in the Redneck Woman's pre-fame era.

Crossover phosphate is provided in a duet with country rock icon John Mellencamp on Frankie J Myers-Michael Bradford tune What Say You, replete with banjo by Bela Fleck.

It's a radio friendly anthem extolling social and political equality.

"That North and South and black and white," they sing, "can somehow get along."

Tritt was a huge star in his homeland until his major label career expired.

Travis, Louisiana Gubernatorial candidate Sammy Kershaw and Texan born icon George Jones met their Waterloo with a record company whose primary income was healthcare - not music.

But Tritt is not bitter - he is about to start his own indie label.

"I'm one of the luckiest people in the world because I do what I love for a living."

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