'Idol' judge helps country star find soul

Aug. 21, 2007 at 9:10 AM

NASHVILLE, Aug. 21 (UPI) -- Nashville star Travis Tritt credits soul great Sam Moore for hooking him up with "American Idol" judge Randy Jackson.

Jackson produced Tritt's new album, "The Storm," the country artist's first release on his independent Category 5 label. The two met when Jackson produced a duet between Tritt and Moore on the latter's most recent album.

"When I came out of the vocal booth, Randy was looking at me kinda strange," Tritt recalls. "I said, 'What did I do wrong?' He said, 'Man, I've been listening to you for years. I just had no idea you had such blue-eyed soul in your voice,' and I said, 'Yeah, well, I do that.'

"He said, 'Man, if you ever want to do an album where you focus a little more on that side of it, I'd love to work on it with you.' That's what got it started."

"The Storm" features guest appearances by Charlie Daniels and Kenny Wayne Shepherd, as well as a cover of Hank Williams Jr.'s "The Pressure is On." Tritt co-wrote one track, "What if Love Hangs On to Us," with matchbox twenty's Rob Thomas.

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