IMG_8280Tonight I went to the Aaron Tippin concert at the Washington County Fair in Abingdon, Va. It was not the first time I’ve seen the hardest working man in country music put on a show. And, without any hesitation at all, I can tell you that it will not be the last.  We’ve had a busy summer here at Country’s Chatter.  I personally attended 11 concerts since Aug. 22. Some of the concerts were attended by others from our office.   They were all good shows.  But, the show I saw tonight is without a doubt the one I would select as my favorite show this year! When you get to the end of an awesome 90 minute show, and you know it’s over, but you just don’t want to leave …. you know you’ve seen a great performance!

The people reading this who are wondering how Aaron got that title (hardest working man in country music), are probably people who have never been to an Aaron Tippin show. It isn’t just the enormous amount of energy he has that lets you know how hard he works. It is the combination of entertaining story telling, great singing, surprises, his hit songs, an awesome band,  a great group of people out on the road with him that all comes together to create a production no audience will soon forget.

Aaron did a meet and greet prior to the show. There were probably between 40 and 50 of us back stage for that. Then following the show he came out to the merchandise table where he posed for pictures with fans and signed whatever they had that would hold a signature. With so many of today’s artists uninterested in giving anyone an autograph, it was reassuring to see that Aaron still appreciates his fans and wants to share some is his time, and a little of himself, with them.

IMG_8409He may not have sang my favorite Aaron Tippin song (For You I Will), but he did sing his favorite Aaron Tippin song. And it came with an interesting story presented in an entertaining way.  It was a song he wrote after he lost his Dad. This was not the only one he wrote with his Dad in mind. He named others, as he explained to the.crowd why this was his favorite. His dad was an encouragement to many people.  He had a way of inspiring them, and touching their lives.  He believed in people.  And, Aaron wrote the song, “He Believed” for his Dad.

One thing Aaron does not have to worry about is running out of material. With 25 years in country music, his hits alone could keep him singing for days straight. Many of our newer artists find it necessary to fill their stage time singing songs made famous by others. Aaron certainly doesn’t have to do that. When you go to an Aaron Tippin show, you get the music you came for! “My Blue Angel,” “Honky Tonk Superman,” “Ain’t Nothing Wrong with the Radio,” “Close as I’ll Get to Loving You,” “I Got it Honest,” and “Big Boy Toys” were part of the set list for tonight’s show.

As we have seen many times before, the audience tonight watched him build another bicycle, while he serenaded us with “Working Man’s Ph.D. He then had three U.S. Marines, in full dress, come on stage to collect the bike for their annual Christmas Toys for Tots campaign. Aaron has built and donated more than a thousand bicycles on stage over the years. His love for America,  our military men and women, and the people is obvious when you listen to his stories, and watch his performance. He told us all near the beginning of his show that the first time he sang “You’ve Got to Stand for Something,” was at a USO show overseas.

IMG_8399When we got to the end of the show, and Aaron had left the stage, those of us who had been to his shows before knew he wasn’t finished.  This was my sixth Aaron Tippin show, and when he left without having pulled out that red, white and blue guitar; and without singing, “Where the Stars & Stripes & The Eagles Fly,” or “Kiss This”… I turned to the girl next to me and said, “He’s coming back”.  And, for the excited crowd who screamed and cheered waiting for his return, he made his way back to center stage to bring his show to a close.

When he left this time, he was done.  We all knew it…. but, to our surprise, the band wasn’t done.  We got to watch and listen as they played on while the crowd filed out.  Many in that crowd headed over to Aaron’s merchandise table where he was about to come out for autographs, pictures, and a little conversation.Making all that music for Aaron’s show were Lee Goban, who plays guitar and is also the band leader; Cliff Thompson, drums; Stevie Ray Henderson, Bass, and Frank Swiech, keys.

This was unquestionably the best concert of our 2016 Fair Season in the Southwest Virginia/Northeast Tennessee area.  To anyone who has never had the pleasure of seeing Aaron on stage, please get that on your “to do” list!  And to Aaron, I say thank you!  You are welcome back here any time!

IMG_8390In addition to Aaron’s website, visit his Facebook page, and remember to “Like” it while you are there. He has a number of social media links on his website, so check those out when you have a little time, You can follow him on Twitter @TippinAaron. If you are not already following Country’s Chatter on Twitter, we’d love to have you! You will find us @countryschatter.

I am going to close this out with a few more pictures from tonight’s show. We will include some from the after show autograph session, our emcees for the evening, Mark and Steve from WXBQ Radio (along with that famous WXBQ Rabbit), the bike-building, the Marines, and a few shots of the band as well.









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Tonight I went to the Aaron Tippin concert at the Washington County Fair in Abingdon, Va. It was not the first time I've seen the hardest working man in country music put on a show. And, without any hesitation at all, I can tell you that it will not...