I’m a member of a country club – Travis Tritt’s

Travis Tritt

Travis Tritt Thursday night

The sign above the sinks in the women’s restroom kind of summed it up: “Please don’t wash off your stamp. If you do, you will be ejected.” I glanced at the silhouette of a horse stamped in black ink on the back of my right hand. I had been sweating so much, it was just a runny smudge. So I tried to wash just the front of my hand. That’s difficult.

The occasion: country star Travis Tritt‘s appearance last night at Cotton Eyed Joe, the iconic country dance club (ala “Urban Cowboy”) off Lovell Road.

Dancers at The Joe

Dancers at The Joe

As soon as my friends and I pulled up, we realized we had not truly thought through what the evening would likely hold. Huge parking lot filled with all manner of vehicles – at least 50 percent being pick-up trucks. Two long lines to get in, even though we’d purchased tickets in advance. And inside, a crowd so thick it was difficult to move in a huge room where the temperature surely was in the high 90s.

Our reserved table? Forget it. It had long since been claimed by a crowd who sent the non-verbal message that they were not to be trifled with. We opted to stand and dispatched some of the men to the bar. Normally a wine drinker, something just told me this would be the evening for a Miller Lite instead.

The show was way late getting started. About an hour after the opening act was supposed to take the stage, someone introduced a past “Miss Playboy Cyber” to do “the most important thing of all,” namely sing the National Anthem. Unfortunately, after the first four lines, she forgot the words. Sigh.

My friends: Rod Neil, Juda Brown, Carolyn Pointer

My friends: Rod Neil, Juda Brown, Carolyn Pointer

When Travis Tritt finally took the stage after 11 p.m., it was just him and his guitar. He was handsome and charming, bantering with the audience and singing all his hits. “I feel like I’m in my living room,” he said. And I thought, “Lord, doesn’t his living room have air conditioning?”

We loved hearing “Where Corn Don’t Grow,” “I’m a Member of a Country Club,” “Country Ain’t Country No More,” and “(I Don’t Love You) Anymore,” as well as many others.

Lots of beer was sold!

Lots of beer was sold!

It was difficult to actually see Tritt because I’m short and everyone was crowded in front of the stage. But the sound was good. And, I gotta say, the other sights were interesting, as well:

  • I had wondered why some tables had stacks of styrofoam plates on them. Turns out, folks used them to fan themselves.
  • A lot of people bought pitchers of beer, which was not surprising. Until I realized they were actually drinking the beer out of the pitcher itself. A pitcher for each person at the table.
  • Beer bottles were rolling around the dance floor among the dancers, which I thought could be a little dangerous. But they just kicked them out of the way.
  • I swear there was an actual covered wagon (among other things) hanging from the ceiling.

I was exchanging quips with my Twitter and Facebook friends all night, which, along with the people-watching, made the long wait for the show to start bearable, although some of the comments gave me pause.

“You can take a girl out of the city, but you can’t take the city out of a girl,” smirked Debbie Moon Shepherd on Facebook.

Folks were friendly

Folks were friendly

“Run away. Run awayyyy!” Ian Roach put on Twitter.

“Hope you are drinking your beer in a bottle – you’ll possibly need to use the bottle as a weapon before you leave,” chuckled Facebook friend Kyle Touchstone.

Bonny Millard simply posted “Yikes!” when I mentioned on Facebook where I was.

In the end, we didn’t have to fight our way out. Everyone actually turned out to be pretty friendly. Looking back, it was one of the more interesting Thursday nights I’ve had lately. I’m glad to be a member of Travis’ country club.

Old Glory hangs over dance floor

Old Glory hangs over dance floor

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12 Responses to I’m a member of a country club – Travis Tritt’s

  1. Annette Winston, on July 24th, 2009 at 3:04 pm said:

    I wish I had been there. Didn’t you get to do any line dancing? Did anyone? I gotta know!

  2. Cynthia Moxley, on July 24th, 2009 at 3:25 pm said:

    No line dancing last night! But plenty of other interesting activities!

  3. LeAnne Stribley, on July 24th, 2009 at 5:10 pm said:

    sigh. Sure makes me miss my Texas honky tonk days….Billy Bob’s, The White Elephant, Stockyards, mechanical bulls….live bulls. Sounds just like home.

  4. Shaun Fulco, on July 24th, 2009 at 5:25 pm said:

    I almost went to this because I am a huge Travis Tritt fan. After reading this, glad I didn’t make it. I’d love to see him at the Tennessee Theatre. I’m sure he could fill it. Thanks for taking one for the team, Cynthia. I will cross “The Joe” (which is funny that folks can’t say Cotton Eyed Joe’s) off of my music venues to visit list!

  5. Bonny Millard, on July 24th, 2009 at 9:09 pm said:

    Cynthia…actually the yikes was about the Miller Lite! 🙂 But I went there years ago…so I feel your pain. If you like to people watch as I do, then it is definitely an interesting place. On a side note, a number of years ago when I was still working for BHC, a group of us had gone to see Jimmy Buffett. My car was parked at the newspaper so they dropped me off the next night (we didn’t drive home after that concert). One of the press guys was out there and asked us where we’d been. We told him to a great concert. “Oh, you went to see Travis Tritt…” extra southern drawl on the name. I didn’t even know who Travis Tritt was!

  6. Chad Tindell, on July 25th, 2009 at 9:56 am said:

    At Ms. Mox’s suggestion (always take the advice of smart women)…my comment from FB:

    I’ve been to Cock-Eyed Joe twice. Once for a Dogwood Patron Party. And three times in one night when I did an overnight ride-along with the Knox County Sheriff’s Office. I count those as one since it was on one day. A car wreck in the parking lot, a bar fight amongst female patrons and an all-out brawl complete with paddy wagon at closing time. Something I’ll never forget. I’m sure there are some nice people who go there. I just missed ’em that night. They sure pack ’em in over there.

    I do like Travis Tritt. Saw him at first Bush Inauguration (Senator’s Ball) and at some after-party at the ’04 Republican National Convention.

  7. Cynthia Moxley, on July 25th, 2009 at 10:00 am said:

    Chad: Hilarious! Thought it was funny when you posted that on Facebook and didn’t want the non-Facebookers (are there any?) to miss it! Thanks.

  8. Gay Lyons, on July 25th, 2009 at 11:18 am said:

    I’m still laughing. What’s next? Opal’s? Or maybe Marie’s Tavern?

  9. Cheryl, on July 25th, 2009 at 6:33 pm said:

    I can’t imagine you passing up the opportunity to hit that beer bottled ravaged dance floor because everyone knows ………..Cynthia is a really cool dancer – Cynthia, moving to the groove now!!!

  10. AlanCarmichael, on July 26th, 2009 at 12:03 pm said:

    It was 100 degrees in there.

  11. Lisa Bogaty, on July 29th, 2009 at 12:16 pm said:

    Talk about taking one for the team! I hope Travis appreciates your sacrifices.

    I now know more about Cotton Eyed Joes that I ever WANTED to know! Good to have you PR types out there vetting the venues!

  12. Pingback:Blue Streak » Seeing Knoxville through the eyes of visitors: we looked pretty fantastic this weekend!

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