Entertainment

Pam Tillis to play IP with country greats on Roots and Boots tour

COURTESY PAM TILLISCountry singer Pam Tillis will join the Roots and Boots tour at the IP Casino Resort on Saturday with Collin Raye, Sammy Kershaw and Aaron Tippin.
COURTESY PAM TILLISCountry singer Pam Tillis will join the Roots and Boots tour at the IP Casino Resort on Saturday with Collin Raye, Sammy Kershaw and Aaron Tippin.

Pam Tillis ruled the charts of what she calls "'90s country," with hits such as "Let That Pony Run" and "Mi Vida Loca (My Crazy Life)."

Regardless of her success on country radio and video, Tillis said she's a songwriter at heart.

She will be showcasing her songwriting abilities Saturday night when the Roots and Boots tour hits the IP Casino Resort. Tillis will join country legends Sammy Kershaw, Aaron Tippin and Collin Raye for an informal "pickin' session," with the stories behind the songs.

"It's kind of an in the round kind

of thing," Tillis said. "It's like you sitting in with some people pickin' on the front porch, and it's hit after hit after hit -- it's a very real show."

She said she has known the other performers for many years.

"We all kind of came up together -- we're '90s country," Tillis said. "We all had our hit records kind of close together, and we've played a ton of state fairs together -- we did so many of them I can't even count."

Tillis, who said she used to be a "road dog," has only slightly decreased her touring schedule.

"I don't play as many shows as I used to play, but still play about 60-70 dates a year," she said. "We fly to shows more these days which makes it a lot easier."

Tillis is the daughter of Mel Tillis, a member of both the Grand Ole Opry and the Country Music Hall of Fame. She said she was inspired to follow in her father's footsteps by some of Music City's greatest.

"I've always loved Dolly Parton and the songs, and Merle Haggard was just one of the best and Roger Miller was an absolutely fantastic song writer," Tillis said. "There were just so many great songwriters in Nashville during my dad's era -- they were poets with what they could say in a short song."

She said she was also a fan of Guy Clark, who recently passed away, like Haggard, who died in April.

"Guy and Merle dying leaves a big void in song writing, but it will be filled because people will continue to write songs," she said. "There's always words and music pouring out of somebody's heart somewhere."

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