Garth Brooks digs deep into his country roots for this showstopping, special performance Instagram/@brealynmware

We love to hear who influenced the careers of country music’s hottest singers and songwriters. And we especially love to hear those influences find their way into those artists’ music. Sometimes it’s obvious, sometimes it’s subtle, sometimes it’s in the production, and sometimes we leave it all to the performance.

Garth Brooks’ influences run a pretty wide gamut from Kiss to James Taylor. While we see how rock icons Kiss show up in his performance style and how James Taylor shows up in his writing, it’s those legends of country music who live deep in Garth’s heart that he loves to honor in his shows through covers.

RELATED: Watch Garth Brooks get a little weepy as he honors a musical hero

Before his four shows in Memphis this month, Garth and wife Trisha Yearwood spoke with local press about everything from being in Memphis, to changes in the music business, to what their show would be like, including songs from the set list.

It’s obvious that Garth feels an obligation to not just entertain his fans, but to educate them on the history of the history of country music. He told “The Daily News” in Memphis that his mission was to introduce “real country music” to his younger fans who may not be as familiar with the stars who inspired him to become an entertainer.

“Because for me,” he said. “Garth Brooks isn’t real country music. Haggard, Strait those guys. For me, that’s a real fun thing to do.”

RELATED: Watch as Garth Brooks’ daughter covers one of his sweetest love songs

The man in the black hat was true to his word, too. During one night’s set, he whipped out some Keith Whitley and George Strait. While the crowd roared with approval as he started each song, you could hear a pin drop while he sang.

OK Philadelphia, Lubbock, Albany and Edmonton, we hope you’ve got your tickets to Garth Brooks’ World Tour.

Based in Nashville, Tammy is a 20-year veteran of the country music community. She has worked in marketing, PR and artist development in the past. Follow her @TammyGooGoo and join the conversation @RareCountry
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