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Randy Travis' Influences

by Nick Murray

Randy Travis' Influences

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For Influence Vol. 1: The Man I Am, Randy Travis -- currently recovering from a stroke, heart failure and other health crises in a hospital in Texas -- raided the vaults, adding just one original (the George Jones tribute "Tonight I'm Playin' Possum") to the end of a collection of exclusively covers. As expected, the traditionally minded singer nails both the execution and the song selection, reverently playing a mixture of moving deep cuts (Merle Haggard's "What Have You Got Planned Tonight, Diana?", for instance) and standards with long, deep histories like "Trouble in Mind." Here, we've set old -- and in some cases original -- versions of these tunes next to Travis' updated renditions.

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