‘The Calm After …’

CHAUTAUQUA – Country superstar Travis Tritt brought the storm down on area residents with a strong performance at Chautauqua Institution Friday evening.

Moments before Tritt took the stage, lighting streaked across the sky and the sound of thunder boomed in the distance before the rain came crashing down. Fortunately after a few minutes the storm had died down, and Tritt took the Amphitheater stage to entertain a packed house.

Tritt is currently on tour promoting his newest album, “The Calm After …,” which is a re-release of his 2007 full-length album “The Storm.” The album was released via Tritt’s own record company, Post Oak Records.

Tritt’s performance featured a couple unreleased new tunes as well as songs off of “The Calm After …,” including the title track “Sometimes Love Just Ain’t Enough,” which is also a single that features his 15-year-old daughter, Tyler Reese Tritt. He also performed “Rub Off On Me” which also appears on “The Calm After …”

Tritt also blessed the audience with a number of his classics, such as: “I’m Gonna Be Somebody,” “If I Was A Drinker” “Put Some Drive In Your Country,” “Daddy Never Was The Cadillac Kind” and “Can I Trust You With My Heart.” The 50-year-old Tritt sounded youthful, but matured in his ability as a performer. In addition to performing his originals, he also covered a few classics, such as: “Trudy” by The Charlie Daniels Band and a version of “Take It Easy.”

During the performance Tritt addressed the audience, stating, “What you’re in for – is your monies worth” and “What I came here to do is party with ya’ll.”

According to Marty Merkley, vice president and director of programming at Chautauqua, the show would provide a surprise for the audience.

“I’m glad you’re here this evening to experience not only Travis Tritt, which is great, but there may be a surprise in the concert tonight, and we’re looking forward to that,” said Merkley. “The weather is cooperating, and as we stand here and look out it’s amazing to see the wind, rain and the sun all at once.”

The surprise turned out to be Tritt’s daughter, Tyler Reese, performing a live duet with Tritt for the first time ever on stage.

Sisters, Jen Widdowson, 31, of Grove City, Pa., and Nicole Drzewiecki, 26, of Baltimore, Md., brought their father to the performance for his birthday because it had been 11 years since they last saw Tritt perform.

“We took him to the Erie Civic Center to see Travis Tritt, who is his favorite country singer,” said Drzewiecki. “We’ve been searching for him to come back around us, and he finally did.” Drzewiecki said her favorite Tritt song is “It’s A Great Day To Be Alive” and Widdowson said her favorite is “Here’s A Quarter (Call Someone Who Cares).”

Chautauqua Institution will host several other popular entertainment acts this summer, such as: Dick Fox’s “Golden Boys” starring Frankie Avalon, Fabian and Bobby Rydell, Friday, July 26; Garrison Keillor’s “A Prairie Home Companion” Radio Romance Tour, Friday, Aug. 2; The Beach Boys, Friday Aug. 9; conversations with Paul Simon and Billy Collins, Friday, Aug. 16; KC And The Sunshine Band and Village People, Friday, Aug. 23; and Amy Grant, Saturday, Aug. 24.

For more information, call 357-6250 or visit www.ciweb.org.