Randy Travis – High Lonesome (1991)

FrontCover1Randy Bruce Traywick (born May 4, 1959), known professionally as Randy Travis, is an American country music and gospel music singer, songwriter, guitarist, and actor.[3]

Active from 1978 until being incapacitated by a stroke in 2013, he has recorded 20 studio albums and charted more than 50 singles on the Billboard Hot Country Songs charts, including 16 that reached the No. 1 position. Considered a pivotal figure in the history of country music, Travis broke through in the mid-1980s with the release of his album Storms of Life, which sold more than four million copies. The album established him as a major force in the neotraditional country movement. Travis followed up his successful debut with a string of platinum and multi-platinum albums. He is known for his distinctive baritone vocals, delivered in a traditional style that has made him a country music star since the 1980s.

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By the mid-1990s, Travis saw a decline in his chart success. In 1997, he left Warner Bros. Records for DreamWorks Records and then for Word Records, where he began recording more Christian material. Although the career shift produced only one more number-one country hit “Three Wooden Crosses”, Travis went on to earn several Dove Awards, including Country Album of the Year five times. Since his stroke, which severely limited his singing and speaking ability, he has released archival recordings and made limited public appearances. In addition to his singing career, he pursued an acting career, appearing in numerous films and television series, including The Rainmaker (1997) with Matt Damon, Black Dog (1998) with Patrick Swayze, Texas Rangers (2001) with James Van Der Beek, National Treasure 2 (2007) and seven episodes of the Touched by an Angel television series. He appeared in two episodes of the crime solving television series, Matlock.

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Travis sold over 25 million records and has won seven Grammy Awards,[4] six CMA Awards, eleven ACM Awards, 10 AMA Awards, eight GMA Dove Awards, and a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. In 2016, Travis was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame.

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High Lonesome is the seventh studio album by American country music artist Randy Travis, released on August 27, 1991. Four singles were released from the album: “Forever Together” (#1 on the Billboard Hot Country Songs charts), “Better Class of Losers” (#2), “Point of Light” (#3), and “I’d Surrender All” (#20). All of these singles except “Point of Light” were co-written by Travis and Alan Jackson. Conversely, Travis co-wrote Jackson’s 1992 #1 “She’s Got the Rhythm (And I Got the Blues)”, from his album A Lot About Livin’ (And a Little ’bout Love). (wikipedia)


High Lonesome is a mature record by a seasoned, forward-thinking country artist. Randy Travis, like George Strait and Alan Jackson, saw the new young bucks heading his way up the charts with a watered-down version of the country music he held sacred. And Travis is a direct descendent of the greats like George Jones and Merle Haggard as well as Jim Reeves and Ernest Tubb. Travis wanted to articulate his vision of the music further and entrench it deeper in its roots, which were beginning to give way to the faux rock and pop styles of Garth Brooks and his dire ilk, who wore bachelor pad curtains for shirts. Travis co-wrote five of the album’s ten tracks, including a trio with Jackson. Of those, “A Better Class of Losers” is the song that Brooks wishes he could have written. This is the angry side of the George Jones/Tammy Wynette version of “We’re Not the Jet Set.” Stinging dobros and Booklet03Apedal steels underline every one of Travis’ indictments of yuppie culture. In addition, “I’d Surrender All” shows the pair digging deep into the territory Conway Twitty inhabited before he urbanized his sound, and their “Forever Together” is as fine a country love ballad as the 1990s produced; it’s a song Hag would have been proud to record back in the day.

Another highlight is the mandolin and fiddle-driven waltz that comprises the title track. Written by the criminally undersung Gretchen Peters, it’s the long, slow ballad with dobros ringing in the background that was made for Travis’ amazing voice. He expresses without stretching; each phrase rings as true as the last. Kyle Lehning’s production is unobtrusive and clean, setting Travis in perfect balance with a band that feels live. Not to be outclassed in the honky tonk department, “Allergic to the Blues” is a politically incorrect swinging barroom anthem written by Jackson and Jim McBride. Keeping a woman hostage because of an unwillingness to experience pain and rejection is hardly tasteful, but this is a country song and the tongue is firmly placed in cheek in Travis’ read. The set closes with “I’m Gonna Have a Little Talk,” an awesome a cappella duet with Take 6. It’s country gospel elevated by the 6 to high tension rather than to differing versions of rural gospel. Take 6 is thoroughly modern, sophisticated, and glossy. Travis is so country he couldn’t be city if he tried to buy it. This wouldn’t have worked anywhere near as well if he had recorded the track with the Blind Boys of Alabama, but in this context, it puts a slick finishing touch on a fine album.(by Thom Jurek)


Russ Barenberg (guitar)
Eddie Bayers (drums)
Dennis Burnside (piano)
Larry Byrom (guitar)
Mark Casstevens (guitar)
Jerry Douglas (dobro)
Buddy Emmons (Pedal steel-guitar)
Steve Gibson (guitar)
Doyle Grisham (pedal steel-guitar)
Rob Hajacos (fiddle)
David Hungate (bass, emulator, trombone, trumpet)
Kyle Lehning (clarinet)
Chris Leuzinger (guitar)
Paul Leim (drums)
Larrie Londin (drums)
Mac McAnally (guitar)
Terry McMillan (harmonica, percussion)
Brent Mason (bass, guitar)
Mark O’Connor (fiddle)
Hargus “Pig” Robbins (piano)
Randy Scruggs (guitar)
Harry Stinson (drums)
Randy Travis (vocals)
Billy Joe Walker Jr. (guitar)
John Willis (guitar)
background vocals:
Carol Chase – Dennis Wilson – Curtis Young – Sherilyn Huffman – John Wesley Ryles – Lisa Silver – Dianne Vanette – Cindy Richardson-Walker
background vocals on 10:
Take 6

01. Let Me Try (Cannon/Shamblin) 4.02
02. Oh, What A Time to Be Me (Travis/Schlitz) 3.36
03. Heart Of Hearts (Henderson/Welch) 2.41
04. Point Of Light (Schlitz/Schuyler) 3.34
05. Forever Together (Travis/Jackson) 3.06
06. Better Class Of Losers” (Travis, Jackson) – 2:41
07. I’d Surrender All” (Travis, Jackson) – 3:36
08. High Lonesome” (Gretchen Peters) – 3:27
09. Allergic to the Blues” (Jackson, Jim McBride) – 2:28
10. I’m Gonna Have a Little Talk with Jesus” (Schlitz, Travis)- 2:42
featuring Take 6



More from Randy Travis:

The official website: