It did not take long for the COVID-19 pandemic to start threatening and claiming lives with recognizable names. The first loss in the country music family was Joe Diffie, a lesser but not insignificant force in the genre’s 1990’s explosion. His hits were mostly upbeat and whimsical tunes with simple rural themes. He told us how there’s just something women like about a “Pickup Man” (as in truck) and how unfading love got declared on a local water tower in “John Deere Green.” His best, by far in my estimation, was his vocal blending with Mary Chapin Carpenter, whose soft, soulful voice remains my favorite of the era. You can feel the heartfelt love, doubt, and fear when asking for someone’s affection is “Too much to expect, but not too much to ask.” My Lord, what a line.
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