Ty Herndon Surprises Ohio Fans With Guest Anita Cochran For Intimate Acoustic Set
Ty Herndon hit the stage at The Listening Room in Port Clinton, OH on Thursday night, but he wasn’t alone. To my surprise, and I’m sure everyone else’s, fellow 90’s country artist Anita Cochran would be joining Ty on guitar and backup vocals for the evening. What luck! To give you an idea of how intimate this acoustic set was, I was able to quickly count approximately 70 seats in the room.
The pair kicked off the set with Ty’s 1997 hit, “Loved Too Much.” I’ve never experienced a live Ty Herndon show, so I was absolutely delighted to find that he sounds just as good today, in person, as he did on my GE clock/radio that I was listening to throughout my childhood. I could tell right off of the bat however, that this wouldn’t be like any other given night on Ty’s schedule. Despite having a setlist that he admitted couldn’t read without his contacts, the evening would be more of a “play-it-by-ear” kind of performance.
Ty visited songs that became radio hits over his career such as “What Mattered Most”, “Living In A Moment” and my personal favorite, “I Want My Goodbye Back” with the Port Clinton fans lovingly singing along. He would perform songs from his recent album, House On Fire, including the first single, “That Kind Of Night” as well.
Anita performed a handful songs of her own as Ty moved to the backup position. Her 1997 #1 hit, “What If I Said” (a duet originally performed with Steve Wariner), is easily one of the most heartbreaking songs of the 90’s. I had honestly not heard the song in quite some time, but the lyrics came back to me almost immediately. The fact that this amazingly talented artist would only chart this one song in the Country Top 40 is absolutely mind-boggling to me. Cochran’s performance of her signature hit has inspired me to revisit her entire back-catalog.
The real treat came when Ty and Anita covered some of country music’s most iconic artists. Over the course of the evening the pair delivered classic hits of Ronnie Milsap, George Jones, Tammy Wynette, Merle Haggard, Dolly Parton and Tanya Tucker!
The night was also packed with great stories from both artists such including: Ty’s days on Star Search, being “blocked” from #1 on the country charts multiple times by Shania Twain hits, and Anita’s southern mother plus her laundry adventures. These are the kind of details that you sometimes just don’t get outside of these small, personal shows!
After wrapping up the show, Ty and Anita both met with each and every fan in the lobby. It was apparent that Ty Herndon and his music has had an amazing impact on his fans’ lives. Although merch tables were stocked with t-shirts and CDs, it was clear that the hugs, photos and autographs were what meant the world to most of these folks. This just goes to show that although top radio hits are nice, a great song (or a number of them) and the memories they create can last forever.