It was a shock felt around the music world last year when news of iconic country singer Randy Travis' viral heart infection and subsequent stroke hit the headlines.
He'd already had his share of legal and substance abuse problems in recent years, so his fans waited with bated breath. Would he recover? Would he ever have music again?
It would be a long and arduous journey. And other than a surprise visit to Dolly Parton's concert in Oklahoma in June, the 55-year-old singer has been keeping a low profile, but he's set to release a new album, Influence Vol. 2: The Man I Am, on Aug. 19.
With tracks reportedly recorded before he underwent brain surgery in July 2013, this new album is a tribute to the legends and icons that inspired and shaped the artist the Grammy-winner is today.
Released in 2013, Influence Vol. 1 was so successful and such a thrill to put together, Travis was anxious to keep the train moving by offering a few more cuts from his heroes that weren't included the first time around.
The first volume gave us his spin on such classics as George Jones' "Why Baby Why," Lefty Frizzell's "Saginaw, Michigan," Ernest Tubb's "Thanks a Lot" and Merle Haggard's "Someday We'll Look Back." Among the tracks to be featured on this second installment are Frizzell's "That's the Way Love Goes," Kris Kristofferson's "Sunday Morning Coming Down," Waylon Jennings' "Only Daddy That'll Walk the Line," Hank Williams' "Mind Your Own Business" and Marty Robbins' "Don't Worry 'Bout Me."
Travis has always tried to do his part to motivate and inspire the next generation of artists. As he introduces fans to more of the music that influenced him, this new collection should delight his longtime fans and cultivate new admirers from a new generation.