Sammy Kershaw rode in on the new traditionalist wave in the early '90s, finding success with a penchant for ballads and a blend of updated honky tonk (especially the vocal stylings of George Jones), Southern rock, and a hint of Cajun flavor. But as his career progressed, Kershaw moved farther and farther into crossover-minded country-pop, which actually eroded his early following. He was born in 1958 in Kaplan, Louisiana, in the heart of Cajun country; in fact, his third cousin was legendary Cajun fiddler Doug Kershaw. He got his first electric guitar at age 11 from his grandfather, but sadly, his father passed away not long after, forcing Kershaw to get professional as quickly as he could. He debuted at age 12 with local bandleader J.B. Perry and often worked for Perry as both a musician and roadie during his teenage years, touring the Southern club and honky tonk circuit.