When it comes to idolizing country stars, Garth Brooks has as much love for his peers as he does for the generations that came before him in country music. He also has a very long list of artists that he considers influences, inspirations and idols. Among them is his good friend and “Longneck Bottle” duet partner, Steve Wariner.
During his Feb. 20 “Inside Studio G” Facebook Live series, Garth talked about Steve performing at the superstar’s 7 Diamond celebration in Nashville last fall to commemorate his seven Diamond-certified albums.
If you recall, Kelly Clarkson also sang at the event. After her performance, she expressed her disappointment that Steve didn’t sing his hit, “The Weekend.” Well, because it was Kelly — and Garth — he came back out and slayed the monster ballad with Kelly looking on starry-eyed. It was absolutely precious.
Steve has been kicking up hits for a few years now, but in one incredible collaboration with some of his ’90s country pals — Diamond Rio and Lee Roy Parnell — he made magic with the classic Merle Haggard smash, “Workin’ Man Blues.” And the video that accompanied that track is a full-on, ’90s country epic. It’s even complete with mullets!
By the way, The Hag is also a favorite of Garth’s.
But, we aren’t finished and neither is Steve. He actually just released an album last year, “All Over the Map,” on his own SelecTone records, and he’s just as amazing now as he ever was. If you’re lucky, you can catch him live from time to time, and he regularly plays the Grand Ole Opry, too. You could schedule a whole visit to Nashville just to check out this “cat.”
Steve is just one of the few guitar players that his hero Chet Atkins honored as a C.G.P. (Certified Guitar Player). And he deserves it with four Grammys on his mantle. Of course, Chet earned 14 in his career, so there’s that.