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A Good Night for Country Music, past and present

Mike Sudhalter  |  October 14, 2012

Aaron Tippin, left, Sammy Kershaw, center, and Joe Diffie, right, visited the Stafford Centre in Stafford, Texas as part of the Roots & Boots Tour.

I remember listening to the hits of Aaron Tippin, Sammy Kershaw and Joe Diffie on country radio during their 1990's heyday. That's why it's a little funny for me to see that their concert was sponsored by the Country Legends station, here in Houston.

It might have been cool to see them play in concert, back-to-back-to-back, like a traditional concert experience. I saw that in 2007 when Diffie and Tippin teamed up with Mark Chesnutt at the Jackson Rancheria Casino in Jackson, Calif.

But the way they set up the show was far more memorable.

Tippin, Kershaw and Diffie played an all acoustic show, with their guitars and a handful of backup musicians. They alternated between singing their hit songs and telling jokes.

Kershaw joked about having just one No. 1 hit, "She Don't Know She's Beautiful," to the several hits that both Tippin and Diffie have to their credit.

The storytelling and jokes made the show really interesting. All three were talented artists and contributed to building country music into the genre it is today. And that's a good thing.

Sure, Garth Brooks and Alan Jackson made most of the headlines during that decade, but it was the glue guys - Tippin, Kershaw and Diffie - that helped make the 90's one of the best eras in country music.

Their encore of Merle Haggard's "Workin' Man Blues," was proof that these three artists helped advance country music like it's supposed to be.

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