Music » Critics' Picks

Pam Tillis

7 p.m. and 9 p.m. Friday, July 23. Lumière Theatre at the Lumière Place Casino, 999 North Second Street.



Pam Tillis is second only to Patty Loveless as the finest female vocal stylist of the '90s. But Tillis almost never sang at all — she was nearly killed in a car accident at age sixteen. As the daughter of Nashville patriarch Mel Tillis, she was bound to absorb the aesthetics and business of country music, and she initially channeled that experience into writing hit songs for others, until her own breakthrough album Put Yourself in My Place helped define what was best about the New Traditionalists. She could bring Linda Ronstadt-style country rock together with bluegrass and modern honky-tonk, and though her singles were crafty and catchy, she always emphasized the first word in country pop. Her 2007 record Rhinestoned proves she still knows how to write and deliver a song with swing and soul.