By Cheril Vernon
Messenger Copy Editor
CROCKETT – In just a few days, three well-known female country singers – Pam Tillis, Terri Clark and Suzy Bogguss – will join together on stage with just their guitars for an acoustic concert in Crockett as part of their “Chicks With Hits” tour.
Between the three ladies, the women have 36 top 10 singles with more than 10 million records sold and numerous accolades ranging from Grammys to Academy of Country Music, Country Music Association and Christian Country Music Association awards.
“There’s something about hearing the song in its original form. It’s not about a cool bass line, it’s not about a great drum pattern – it’s about the words, the music and the feeling the singer has,” Tillis said during a phone interview with The Messenger from Nashville as she discussed the upcoming concert. “It’s so up front and a very honest format, very intimate with the audience,” she said.
The concert, the first event slated for the Piney Woods Fine Arts Association’s 2018-19 season, will be held at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 28 at the Crockett Civic Center.
The three women have been on the “Chicks With Hits” tour all across the United States for almost two years.
“This is our second season. It’s an idea that Terri Clark came up with. I don’t know how we got by each other all of these years (in the music business), but we have become instant friends. They are hilarious. They are smart. They are talented. They are just so much fun to hang out with,” Tillis said.
Some of Tillis’ hits include “Maybe It Was Memphis, “Shake the Sugar Tree” and “Cleopatra, the Queen of Denial.” Clark is known for songs including “Better Things to Do,” “A Little Gasoline” and “Girls Lie Too.” Bogguss’ songs include “Outbound Plane,” “Aces” and “Letting Go.”
Tillis said she is looking forward to performing again in Texas.
“Texas is like no other thing. The music scene is different and I appreciate that. Texas artists have a Texas mindset. Daddy (late country music singer Mel Tillis, who passed away from cancer in 2017)
used to say people in Texas would dance to the news – they loved a good party,” Tillis shared.
Speaking of her dad’s influence on her life, Tillis said it was multi-faceted.
“First of all, bringing me to Nashville, and growing up with him songwriting, being around songwriters and songwriting- that’s what Daddy did when he first came to town,” Tillis said.
He was also the one in the family that was upbeat, and of course, known for his famous sense of humor, Tillis said.
“I tend to be a little bit of a perfectionist. And I guess I got the worry gene from my mom. Daddy was always telling me ‘shake it off, Pam,’ ‘shake it off, kiddo,’ if something didn’t go perfect on a show. He was always telling me to just move ahead. He was like the Energizer bunny – he just kept on marching along and that was so inspiring,” Tillis said.
When asked which song of her father’s was her favorite – Tillis said she loves all of his music.
“I just don’t have a favorite. About half of them make me cry right now,” Tillis said.
Currently, Tillis is working on new music.
“I was in the studio until after midnight last night working on it, in Nashville,” Tillis said. “I have seven songs ready to go to the mixing stage and I’m going to cut three to four more, so I am getting really close to getting the record done before the end of the year.”
Tillis writes a lot of her own music, but not all of it, she said. One song she is particularly proud of on her record is a song about Dolly Parton, which Tillis said “is pretty darn good.”
Tillis is a three-time CMA award winner which includes being named the 1994 Female Vocalist of the Year. She has won two Grammy awards, nominated a total of six times, and also is a nine-time ACM nominee and American Music Award nominee.
Tillis, Clark and Bogguss originally met during their rise on the country charts during the 1990s.
Clark, known for wearing her signature cowboy hat, is from Canada. She was recently inducted into the Canadian Country Music Hall of Fame and is the only Canadian female member of the Grand Ole Opry. She has been named the CCMA Female Vocalist of the Year five times and has won eight CCMA Fan’s Choice Awards. In total, she has won 19 CCMA awards.
Clark’s newest album “Raising The Bar” was released this month. Her current single is “Young As We Are Tonight.”
Bogguss was named the Top New Female Vocalist in 1994 by the ACM and won the Horizon Award in 1992 by the CMA. She won a Grammy in 2005 for her traditional folk album, “Beautiful Dreamer, The Songs of Stephen Foster.” Her newest album “Lucky” is a Merle Haggard tribute album ,featuring songs such as “The Bottle Let Me Down,” “Silver Wings” and “Today I Started Loving You Again” from a female point of view.
For those who want to hear all three women put their voices together to sing many of their hits, tickets are available for the “Chicks With Hits” concert.
Tickets range from $37 to $47, depending no the seats. To purchase tickets, call the PWFAA office at 936-544-4276 or visit the box office from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Friday at 603 E. Goliad, Suite 203.
Sponsorship for the show is provided by Citizens National Bank and Dean Insurance.
All PWFAA shows are presented by the PWFAA in association with KIVY/KMVL, KTRE, KYYK 98.3, The Messenger, Texas Farm and Home and the Houston County Courier.
For more information on these and other PWFAA events, visit www.pwfaa.org or “like” the organization on Facebook.