Martina McBride had long been a favorite of mine before her popularity exploded a few years ago and she started to put a loud 'belt it out' portion into every one of her songs. She's fallen off the scene for a bit, so I bought tickets to her show at the Greek Theatre last night just based on her being a favorite, but not having much connection to any recent work of hers.
I bought her latest CD a few weeks ago without realizing that it was completely covers of old Western hits - hey, it was on sale. cheap. (Contrary to the popular joke, country and western are two very different genres.) While I appreciate Western music, it doesn't speak to me in a way that I connect with. (Maybe much like I appreciate classic realist paintings, but they don't speak to me like abstract expressionism does.) This may be a CD to pass on to Mom.
She addresses her latest album in a really interesting way in her show, by essentially doing two very separate shows in one. The first half of her show is the traditional Western classics, with her own hits following an intermission. It works. What's odd is the crowd - clearly a significant portion were people who had come to know her from her latest album, and they seemed a little dazed by the second half of the show.
I miss the days of seeing her play in clubs in Dallas, but her talent is a constant. She and k.d. lang are the two artists that I've ever seen whose voice cannot be recorded. The difference between their voice recorded and live in person is startling. If you get the chance to see her live, its worth experiencing.