Who: Clint Black in Concert
When: 7 p.m. Thursday, March 22
Where: Weinberg Center for the Arts, 20 W. Patrick St., Frederick
Tickets: $41.75 (includes service fee) and up
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Clint Black had a hit song about killing time, but this country music legend is doing anything but killing time.
One of the genre’s lasting stars from the Class of ’89 (which also includes Alan Jackson, Travis Tritt and Garth Brooks), he has sold more than 20 million albums worldwide and charted nearly two dozen No. 1 singles including “Killin’ Time,” “Nothing But The Tailights,” “Like the Rain,” and “When I Said I Do” (which features his wife Lisa Hartman Black) and “Better Man.”
In 2015, he released the album “On Purpose,” his first studio album in a decade. He wrote or co-wrote all 14 tracks, produced the album, played guitar on it and recorded it in his home studio in Nashville. He writes and produces for television, films as well as other artists. And he has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
Black will be in concert at 7 p.m. Thursday at the Weinberg Center for the Arts with tickets starting at $41.75, including service charge.
I caught up with him via email for an interview.
FNP: It was almost 30 years ago that “Better Man” was released. And like a lot of people, I still really like that song. What’s the story behind it and when you wrote it did you have that gut feeling it would be a hit?
Clint Black: Time flies, right! It started with a musical idea of Hayden’s [Nicholas] and I had the idea for the chorus. We knew we liked it and thought other country music lovers would like it, but you never really “know.” I did believe it should be the first single and took a chance and played it for a program director in LA, even though RCA had chosen a different single. The reaction was so great, RCA changed their choice.
FNP: “… Love what you do, and who do you love, earn what you get, get what you earn, the lesson in love we all gotta learn you can use your head it’s never enough, it will get you through life but never through love … I can think of a thousand ways to die, but only one way to live.” Good advice! What’s the story behind that song, “One Way to Live”? (from the album “On Purpose”)
Clint: I had the chorus idea and didn’t have a single idea which direction I wanted to go with the verses. I called my buddy Steve Wariner, emailed him the lyric for the chorus. By the time we got together to write the song, he had an idea for the direction we could go with the verses.
FNP: What advice would you give to someone wanting a career in (country) music?
Clint: Know the music that came before your time and strive to be original and even more importantly, authentic. You can polish yourself up, but don’t break the mold.
FNP: You have a reputation for being a funny guy? Can you share a funny, but printable, joke or story?
Clint: You mean that last answer wasn’t funny!? HA! If you could’ve heard me typing, you would’ve laughed! I do share some funny asides in the show and have some good laughs with the audiences in the more intimate venues. That’s the thing I love the most about theaters like the Weinberg.
FNP: When the music is off, what do you like to do? What would you like to do that you haven’t already done? Any projects in the works?
Clint: Time with my wife and daughter is my favorite. We have the best times. For the latter part of your question, I’ve already done more than I could’ve dreamed. But … I’m currently developing a holiday musical around my original Christmas songs. If I’m lucky, we’ll have it on stage for a trial run this Christmas.
FNP: When I’m not sure if I should do something or not, I am reminded of a line in the Zac Brown Band with Alan Jackson song, “As She’s Walking Away,” where Alan sings, “Don’t let regret take the place of the dreams you have to chase …” Who in country music or life in general, past or present, has been an inspiration to you, and why?
Clint: The first thought that popped into my head was; those who have longevity. I’m inspired to keep my nose to the grindstone by artists like Haggard, Willie Nelson, Clapton, McCartney, and let’s not forget Michelangelo Buonarroti! HA!
FNP: In 50 years, when your work is done, what do you hope Clint Black will be best remembered for as a singer/songwriter/entertainer and as a man?
Clint: I like your timeline! As an artist; that I didn’t sell out. Always did my music, my way. I had to go the indy route, but it’s worth it. As a man … through ceaseless efforts, became a better person each day than I was the day before.
FNP: You will be in Frederick, MD, on March 22, and it looks like a ton of tour dates following on this national tour. What can fans expect to see and hear at this show? Do you share some stories from your career and music?
Clint: I’m in rehearsals this week, so I’m not certain what will stick to the show, but it will be a lot of hits and a couple of “album cuts.” Also, some of the songs from my latest, “On Purpose.” I will share some funny “thoughts” on the songs, or the show and the audience can expect to hear some first-rate musicians accompanying me. I’ll play a good bit of harmonica and I’m playing a lot more lead guitar than I used to. We also have a great sound engineer so the audio mix in the theater should be very good.
Many thanks for your help with the show. We’re excited to be coming to Frederick!
FNP: And, thanks for your time!
This concert is part of the WFRE Free Country Rewind concert series at the Weinberg Center, which includes Sawyer Brown on April 22 and Rodney Atkins on May 9. More information and tickets for these shows at www.weinbergcenter.org or 301-600-2828.
You can read more about Clint Black at Three Chords and the Truth, http://tinyurl.com/y8yhtt2y.
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Scotty McCreery’s first album in five years releases March 16. “Seasons of Change” features his new single, “Five More Minutes,” which he released independently prior to signing with Triple Tiger Records. The song pays tribute to his late grandfather. It’s his first No. 1 hit.
His recently release track, “This Is It,” details his proposal to his high school sweetheart, Gabi Dugal, and has already seen digital success on iTunes. The wedding will take place this spring.
McCreery co-wrote all 11 tracks on the album, a first for him.
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Naomi Judd talks about her wellness strategies, beauty tips and advice she took to heart from Oprah in the current issue of First For Women magazine. Naomi will be a guest on CBS’ “The Talk” on March 30 and Hallmark Channel’s “Home & Family” on April 2. She will talk about her new paperback release of “River of Time: My Descent Into Depression and How I Emerged With Hope.”
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Trace Adkins serves as a spokesman for the Wounded Warrior Project and the American Red Cross and has participated in 12 USO tours for servicemen and women. He will team up with Craig Morgan, Blake Shelton, MercyMe, Jason Crab b and High Valley on March 21 at the Ryman in Nashville to benefit Mental Health America of Middle Tennessee.
Trace released his 12th studio album, “Something’s Going On,” on BBR Music Group’s Wheelhouse Records last March, which includes the songs “Watered Down” and the current single “Still a Soldier.”