Travis Tritt clarifies remarks about Beyoncé’s CMA performance

Earlier this month Beyoncé performed “Daddy Lessons” on stage at the 50th Annual Country Music Association Awards with the Dixie Chicks. The performance was lauded by many cultural critics, hated by many country music fans and left many scratching their heads.

Multi-platinum country singer, songwriter, performer and musician Travis Tritt in 2004. (PRNewsFoto)

One of those left scratching their heads was country artist Travis Tritt, who took to Twitter the day after the awards ceremony to express his views.

After that tweet, he claimed in a reply that “Nobody in [country music] has done more to bridge racial gaps than me.”

After the late-night tweetstorm, he woke up to several people on the social media site labeling him a racist.

In an interview with Nash Country Daily, published last Thursday, Tritt doubled down on his opinions and clarified that his aversion to Beyoncé’s performance had nothing to do with race.

Read more: The good, the bad and the ugly of the CMAs

It wasn’t so much about just Beyoncé,” he said. “This is a complaint that I’ve heard for a long time, actually for decades. Back in the ’90s, it was Elton John or Sting or whoever. Every year the CMA television producers feel a need to bring in acts from other genres, and it’s always done to boost ratings. I understand the concept behind that but at the same time I’ve always found it a little bit insulting— from the standpoint of being a country music artist—because this is a format that I’ve been a part of since the very beginning in my career. It’s a format that I have seen grow a tremendous amount in the 27 years that I’ve been doing this.”

He went on to say that other member of the “Class of ’89” were able to sell records and sell out concert arenas without help from outside sources, which is what he feels the Beyoncé addition to the CMA lineup was.

“As part of the Class of ’89—Garth Brooks, Alan Jackson, Clint Black and myself—we saw country music album sales increase by millions over what they had ever been before. We saw an ability by all country music artists to put more fannies in concert seats than we’d ever seen before. We sold a ton of product, drew in millions and millions of fans that had never listened to country music before. I think during that period of time we’ve certainly become strong enough to stand on our own two feet without the help from outside sources. I’ve been complaining about this for years, and it’s funny to me that it took complaining about this year’s performance, before anybody paid any attention to it.”

“It’s very strange to me. I’ve had open discussions about this on social media for the last 10 days and the fact is that while there are a lot of people that try to twist this into being something different than what it is—being motivated by something different than what it’s motivated by—the fact is that this is something that I’ve been very vocal about for a long time. Race has nothing to do with it. That’s what I’ve tried to make clear from the very beginning. We should be better than that. To make everything about race—to me—it makes me sad to be honest.”

He goes on to say that his tweets were taken out of context by people who picked the story up from Twitter, and that he simply thought it made no sense to have a pop artist on a country show, no matter who it was.

“First of all, they said that I trashed Beyoncé, which I never did. I never made a statement saying anything bad about her personally. All I said was that her performance—in my humble opinion—her performance as well as any of the other performances that have been on from the pop world, including Ariana Grande, Meghan Trainor, Justin Timberlake or whoever, do not belong. I don’t think they belong on any country music show. Especially on a country music show that was a 50-year celebration—an anniversary of what was supposed to be the entire 50-year history of country music awards—the CMA Awards show. The other thing that frustrated me was the fact, and it has frustrated me for years, is the fact that for every pop performance or R&B performance or any other type of genre performance that you have on the CMA Awards, that takes time away from somebody who is a country music artist, doing country music songs, releasing country music singles to radio, selling country music under that moniker to people all across the country and across the world. That’s taking time away from them. There are other artists that could have been just as much of a draw and that really should have been involved in that slot to celebrate the music that they have helped to create.

“So many great country music artists that you can name that weren’t part of it because there is only so much time—I get that, I understand that and everybody else does too. But when you take a portion of that precious time and give it to an artist outside of our industry, it makes no sense. It makes about as much sense to me as it would make sense to bring Eminem in on the Dove Awards. But you wouldn’t do that because it doesn’t fit the format. That’s my humble opinion.”

Tritt’s new album, “A Man and His Guitar,” is an acoustic live album, and it’s on sale now.

Watch Miley Cyrus and Pentatonix join Dolly Parton for an epic version of ‘Jolene’

You’ve probably heard countless covers of Dolly Parton’s “Jolene” — but you’ve never heard it like this before.

Screenshot via YouTube
Screenshot via YouTube

Miley Cyrus is a judge on this season of NBC’s “The Voice,” and during Tuesday night’s results episode she brought out her godmother and longtime family friend Dolly Parton and Texas a capella group Pentatonix for a slightly up-tempo, a capella version of Parton’s classic song that can only be described as “chilling.”

It’s not the first time Parton and Pentatonix have teamed up on the song. They got together for an excellent a capella rendition of the song back in September.

RELATED: Dolly Parton gets back to basics with ‘Pure & Simple’ tour and album

And it’s not the first time Cyrus has covered her godmother’s song, either. This backyard performance from a few years ago is absolutely beautiful.








Here’s how you can get a super cheap meal at Jason’s Deli today

Texas-based Jason’s Deli turns 40 this year, and to celebrate, they’re bringing back meals and prices from the year they opened.

Jose Rosas prepares wrapped sandwiches in the food prep area at Jason's Deli in North Austin, Thursday, June 2, 2005. Andrew Price/Austin American-Statesman
Jose Rosas prepares wrapped sandwiches in the food prep area at Jason’s Deli in North Austin, Thursday, June 2, 2005. Andrew Price/Austin American-Statesman

All adult entrees at participating Jason’s Deli locations will be served at the original 1976 prices on Wednesday only in honor of Customer Appreciation Day. The deal includes eight “European-style” sandwiches ranging from $1.35 for a cheese sandwich to $1.95 for a Reuben, with chips included. There’s no way you’ll ever get a sandwich this cheap again (even if you make it at home) so make sure to take advantage.

The deal is eligible for call-in or dine-in orders only, so no delivery is available. You’ll have to make sure to hit up one of the six Austin locations or the San Marcos location in person to snag the deal.

You can now download your favorite Netflix shows to watch offline

No internet connection? No problem.

You’re now able to download your favorite Netflix shows and movies to watch without needing an internet connection, the company announced Wednesday.

Juan Pablo Raba, from left, Luis Gnecco and Wagner Moura star in "Narcos." (Daniel Daza/Netflix/TNS)
Juan Pablo Raba, from left, Luis Gnecco and Wagner Moura star in “Narcos.” (Daniel Daza/Netflix/TNS)

Netflix didn’t announce exactly which shows or how many shows will be available to download, but the company said Orange Is The New Black, Narcos and The Crown are all available immediately, but a teaser video released by Netflix also shows clips from House of Cards, The Art of Cai Guo Qiang, Stranger Things and Black Mirror.

The feature is available on iOS and Android phones and tablets — all you have to do is update your app,  and you’ll see an arrow pointing downwards next to content that you can watch offline by accessing the “My Downloads” menu in the app.

Screenshot courtesy of Netflix
Screenshot courtesy of Netflix

According to TIME, you’ll also be able to browse an “Available for Download” menu so you can see all the content available on the app.

Just in time for your holiday travels — make sure to download as much as possible for those long days in the airport.

Midland Little Woodrow’s reviews tattoo policy in wake of social media stir

3:17 p.m. UPDATE, Nov. 30:

The Midland Little Woodrow’s will allow face and visible neck tattoos after all.

Penn & Tell Us, the marketing agency that works with Little Woodrow’s, issued the following statement Wednesday:

“Little Woodrow’s does not have an issue with tattoos as evidenced by the fact that we had no restrictions on tattoos of any kind except at two of our sixteen locations. At those locations, we implemented a policy where we requested that neck and/or facial tattoos not be openly displayed. After further review, we have rescinded this policy. We continue to focus on providing a safe and comfortable environment for all our guests. The company regularly reviews and modifies its policies when it is deemed reasonable to do so.”



A Midland restaurant is drawing heat on social media for its tattoo policy after a patron said he was denied service because of a face tattoo.

Joeseff Rivera outside the Midland Little Woodrow's Nov. 8.
Joeseff Rivera outside the Midland Little Woodrow’s Nov. 8.

The Little Woodrow’s in Midland, which just opened Nov. 6, has a “No shoes, no shirt, no service” policy like every other restaurant, but a sign on the door of the bar and restaurant also states: “Dress code enforced.”

That dress code, one man found out, extends to visible tattoos on the neck and tattoos on the face, as reported by Odessa’s CBS 7.

In a Facebook video posted Nov. 8, Midland Little Woodrow’s would-be patron Joeseff Rivera filmed himself in front of the restaurant, taking issue with the bouncer’s tattoos as well, implying a double standard.

“I just came to Little Woodrow’s, and they wouldn’t let me in to spend my money because I have a tattoo on my face,” Rivera says in the video as he points to a small tattoo below his left eye. “Yet, the man working the door has tattoos on his arms, but they won’t let me in.”


The description in the video reads, in part: “I’m a Level 2 Security Officer,just wanting to spend money and have a Good time with my sister.”

Many angry opponents of the tattoo policy took to the Little Woodrow’s Midland Facebook page to write bad reviews of the bar.

“I dont feel its right to be judged over a tattoo at this place my cusion and i went to this place sat night and we were dressed nice not even thugged out and just bc u could see a bit of my cousins tattoo on his neck we were told we couldnt go in bc of that so i was just wondering are yall racial profiling bc from what i see yall have a bartender that is all tatted up yall act like yall are a formal f—ing restaruant its a f—ing bar,” one review reads.

Another reviewer, a member of a motorcycle group, wrote that the store’s tattoo policy would deter him and his motorcycle group from eating there.

“Our gain their loss… Good Luck…It looks like it is a Love it or Hate it Place…” he wrote.

The restaurant currently has a 2.9/5 star rating from Facebook reviews. A recent photo on the page posted Nov. 15 features the store’s regional manager preparing for an interview with CBS 7. In the photo, his tattoo sleeve is visible, which again made commenters angry.

In a statement provided to CBS 7 by Philip Brinson, Little Woodrow’s attorney, it was emphasized the dress code policy was not meant to turn people away.

“We don’t like to refuse service to anyone but if somebody comes in and is not dressed appropriately we will ask them to either change it up a little bit or in this case with tattoos cover it up,” Brinson said. “We do not prohibit anyone from having tattoos and entering the establishment. We prefer that there be no face or neck tattoos.”

Little Woodrow’s has locations across Texas, including Dallas, Houston, San Antonio, Midland and three locations in Austin. According to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, all locations have the same policy banning face and visible neck tattoos.


This Target employee’s pep talk will get you pumped for Black Friday

It’s Black Friday, which can be a crazy day for retail employees and shoppers alike.

Whether you’re looking for the best deal or braving the crowds to make a little extra money before the holidays, Target employee Scott Simms is here to pump you up.

Screengrab via YouTube
Screengrab via YouTube

Back in 2014, Simms, an electronics department employee at a Target in Westminster, Maryland, delivered a pre-Black Friday speech worthy of glory. It’s a few years old, but it’s still gold.

“They come here with bargains in their heads, and fire in their eyes!” Simms yelled to his coworkers as he stood on a checkout counter. “We’re more than just a store: This is a team! This is a family! This is Target!”

Gerard Butler would be proud.



High Island ordeal: A tale of sand, sweat and half a shovel

Ironically, I took this photo of "Old Red" on the beach not long before the trouble began. Photo by Dave Thomas
Ironically, I took this photo of “Old Red” on the beach not long before the trouble began. Photo by Dave Thomas

On Highway 124, an opportunity presented itself that had eluded me for half a decade. There, on the side of the road was an armadillo on its back, claws reaching for the sky.

And in the back of my truck was an empty can of Lone Star beer.

Littering? I guess, technically. But it seemed like a ritual of consecration at the time. I drove on to the coast, imagining what the next passing driver would think. It was going to be a good day.

A car sits parked along State Highway 87 near the intersection with State Highway 124 in High Island in 2004. This is just about the same spot where I was in 1997. Photo by Scott Eslinger, Beaumont Enterprise.
A car sits parked along State Highway 87 near the intersection with State Highway 124 in High Island in 2004. This is just about the same spot where I was in 1997. Photo by Scott Eslinger, Beaumont Enterprise.

I sat in my lawn chair, shoeless in the surf, just close enough to the shore that my beer cooler wouldn’t float away. I drank Lone Star and watched the mullet* jump. There wasn’t anyone else in sight. (*that would be the fish — I’d given up the hairstyle in ’89)

You could have your sunny summer days, driving up and down Highway 87 along the Bolivar Peninsula, looking for the hot crowd. I liked these fall days at the beach.

My two years in Beaumont was a turbulent time. My 20s were a turbulent time. It was nice to soak my toes and my liver and not worry about anyone hearing me make sound effects for particularly acrobatic mullet leaps.


A few beers in, the weather picked up and the waves started to push around my cooler. I gave the encroaching clouds some consideration and decided to pack it in. The cooler and the chair went into the back of my ’82 Chevy truck and I started it up.

There, on the precipice where responsibility and judgment fall away into the canyon of doom, I decided to just “drive down the beach for a bit.”

I got stuck. Nobody else was there. Damn.

This was 1998. I didn’t have a cell phone. But I did have a broken-handled shovel in the bed of my truck (a repair project in the “aging” stage).

“I’ll be out of here in no time,” I thought. “Old Red” was pointed in the right direction, some 100 yards distant from the entrance to Highway 87 and a few miles south of the town of High Island.

I dug. And I dug and I dug and I dug. I drove forward a few yards. I was stuck again. And I dug and I dug and I dug. 5 yards closer. Stuck again. And I dug and I dug and I dug. A few yards and stuck again.

I was losing sweat by the gallon and gaining ground by the yard. 80 yards to go.

New idea. Find some drift wood. Get it under the tires. Get some traction. A little digging, a little arranging and … 10 yards! Stuck again, but this math will add up. Try again and 5 yards! Try again and … 2 yards. And a few more yards. And … what’s that sound?

The back left tire is flat.

I ain’t a quitter. There’s some 60 yards to go. Rain clouds are rolling in. “Old Red” is sunk deeper than ever. But I’m a man with a shovel in his hand. Well, half a shovel.

Of course the spare tire is under the truck. I dig. And I dig and I dig and I dig and I dig.

I get the spare out. And it’s flat.

At this point I’m seriously considering just burying the truck. Actually, I’m about halfway there already. The wind is blowing threateningly now. I am coated in sweat and enough sand to be a comic book villain.

I drink the last beer and weigh my options.

I have walked almost all of the several miles from the beach to the town of High Island. It’s getting dark. It started raining on me almost as soon as I put foot on Highway 87. I can actually see the convenience store when the first person drives by and offers me a ride.

“No, I got this,” I say. Might as well be stubborn about it.

“C’mon son, that store will be closing any minute. Hop in.”

I’m glad I do. The door is locked but the clerk is still in sight. He frowns at my disheveled and soaked form at the door. I make the phone symbol with my hand and try not to look murderous.

The guy driving the wrecker isn’t pleased to come into the storm for what little cash I had in my wallet. $40 for a tow and a tire inflation and a wet guy in his passenger seat must be hardly worth it.

But it only takes us a few minutes to drive down to where my truck is stranded, now appallingly close to the crashing surf. It’s all but dark. The wind is fierce. He starts to work then pauses to look at me.

I pull out my wallet, reach for the pair of Andrew Jacksons and THERE THEY GO DOWN THE BEACH!

I’m running before I think of it. This night will not end with me fishing for mullet in my truck at dawn. I’m part Chariots of Fire. I’m part Rocky chasing the chicken. I’m part swooping hawk with poor depth perception. I dive on one $20, get a death grip on it and am up again, running.

The guy driving the wrecker has pulled Old Red onto terra firma and aired up the tire by the time I return.

I shield him from the wind and press two crumpled $20s into his hand. He takes a look at me. Wheezing. Dehydrated. Pale. Covered in what little sweat I have left and a fresh coat of sand.

He says “this ain’t your day, is it?”

I got no words. I give him a half-grin that I hope says “it is now” — but probably came across as “I think I’m gonna puke.”

I make the 10 yards to Highway 87, and drive off toward Beaumont.

Texas diner tips waiter $750 to fly home to Ireland

Tis the season for giving thanks — and money, in the case of one Houston diner.

According to ABC News, 22-year-old Ben Millar, an Irish waiter working in Houston, told a customer named Jeffrey Saturday night that he hadn’t seen his family in Northern Ireland in more than two years. Jeffrey reportedly told Millar he and his family regularly visited Ireland, and after he finished his meal, he left Millar a $750 tip on a $182.87 tab.

Screengrab via Taryn Keith
Screengrab via Taryn Keith

Millar’s girlfriend, Taryn Keith, shared a photo of the receipt on Facebook Sunday, writing, “My boyfriend got this tip last night at work. He’s from Ireland and is trying to take us back there once Killian is born so we can meet his family. Thought I would share it to show everyone that’s there is not only hate out there. Truly blessed.”

“My initial reaction was shouting, ‘Holy s**t!'” Millar told ABC.

He said he plans on saving the tip money until his baby with Keith is born, so that his new family can visit his family in Belfast, Ireland.

This Texas State student’s mom is going viral for forgetting her friends’ names

For most of your life, your parents know who your friends are. They’re the people you sit next to in homeroom, your next-door neighbor, your Little League teammate — but then you move off to college, and maybe your mom doesn’t know your friends by name anymore.

That’s what happened to 21-year-old Christina Duron, a student at Texas State University, when her mom, Patti Wood, wanted to share photos of her daughter on Facebook. The only problem is that Wood wasn’t always sure who else was in the photos with Christina.

Screengrab via Christina Duron

Duron shared screenshots of her mom’s Facebook posts on Twitter on Sunday.

According to Buzzfeed, this happens a lot. So Duron texted her mom to correct her friends’ names, but even then, Wood was confused.

Duron told Buzzfeed, “My friends were a little offended when it first started happening, but now they think it’s pretty hilarious and they take it in stride.”

Poor mom. She means well. Here’s hoping Duron doesn’t have to spend all of Thanksgiving break explaining her friends’ names to Wood.

Stop everything you’re doing and watch Rick Perry on last night’s ‘Dancing With the Stars’ finale

Rick Perry: Two-time presidential candidate, Texas’ 47th governor, potential contender for a number of Cabinet positions in the Donald Trump White House . . . and really bad dancer.

Former Texas governor Rick Perry will pair with Emma Slater on "Dancing with the Stars, " which starts its new season on Monday, Sept. 12, 2016. (Craig Sjodin/ABC)
Former Texas governor Rick Perry will pair with Emma Slater on “Dancing with the Stars, ” which starts its new season on Monday, Sept. 12, 2016. (Craig Sjodin/ABC)

I mean, really bad. Perry was on Dancing With The Stars earlier this season but was the second contestant voted off the show. On Tuesday night, he made an appearance on the show’s season finale, dancing with Vanilla Ice to — what else? — “Ice Ice Baby.” And it’s a little painful to watch.

According to People, Perry and Vanilla Ice formed a bit of a “bromance” when they were on the show together. I would say that’s probably the least likely friendship ever, but honestly, nothing Perry does surprises me anymore.

You know, you have to commend the guy for trying, though — he may not be the most talented dancer on the stage, but man, he always looked like he was having a great time.

RELATED: Gold medalist Laurie Hernandez wins ‘Dancing with the Stars’

RELATED: This is what happened the last time a Texas politician joined ‘Dancing with the Stars’