And despite the emergence of country pop over the past decade, Tillis's last album, 2007's Rhinestoned, was an authentic slice of Grand Ole Opry-inspired C&W, and that's what fans can expect more of when she returns to the recording studio this year, she says over the phone from her Nashville home.
"The older I get, the more mature I get, the more I appreciate my heritage and roots. Gosh, I wish more people would go back and listen to old country music. Young kids should go on YouTube and listen to the classic old-school guys; they would be surprised how cool the music was. It wasn't all done with bells and whistles and Auto-Tune; it was real and heartfelt. That's what inspired me," she says.
"Sometimes it's so damn funny: I think it's a lot, then I look at somebody else's bio and think I'm a slacker. We all do what we can, and do what God gives us. I've had a lot of support over the years and I'm a pretty energetic person. I think I get that from my parents," she says.
She had always performed a song or two of her dad's in concert and, in 2002, she recorded a complete set of her father's material on It's All Relative: Tillis Sings Tillis.
"It was really organic; I don't like to be calculating. I always like to shoot from the hip and the heart. . . . I also felt confident enough as an artist. That was important for me to wait. I never wanted to ride on his coattails; I wanted to approach that project with some credibility of my own," she says.