With the release of “Shine,” her 10th studio album, on RCA Records Nashville, multiple-platinum recording artist Martina McBride has once again debuted at #1 on Billboard’s Top Country Albums chart. The CD’s single “Ride,” released in late 2008, is #11 on this week’s singles chart.
The Kansas native won Country Music Association’s Female Vocalist of the Year in 1999, 2002, 2003 and 2004. In 2002-2004, she was voted the Academy of Country Music’s Top Female Vocalist.
Her hits “Independence Day” (1994) and “Broken Wing” (1998) also raised awareness of the issue of domestic abuse. In 2004, the ACM voted her Top Humanitarian of the year for her work on behalf of the victims of family violence.
McBride’s powerful voice belies her petite stature. When it comes to delivering the big moment of a song, no one in the music business can even stand on the same stage. Her sound engineers probably have to wear extra protection in their headsets to avoid having their eardrums blown out.
McBride, the married mother of three, took time from promoting “Shine” to talk to us about putting a CD together, selecting songs and that one “special” tune that touched her heart.
News-Telegram: This album has some really big songs. Tell us about the process you use to select songs for a CD.
Martina McBride: Finding songs is still the hardest part of making an album. I listened to thousands of songs, as usual, and I am happy to say that I found some of the greatest songs yet. I admit my taste runs a little left of center, but that is part of what I do and who I am. I always look for great songs that touch me emotionally and that is a very personal thing – not something that I try to manipulate or do for commercial success. Occasionally I am fortunate enough to find songs that touch me and have commercial appeal. It does not get easier to find songs, and I have started writing with different writers to help expand my possibilities.
NT: Was there one particular song that touched you more than the others on "Shine"?
MM: I love the song “Wild Rebel Rose” by Mark Irwin and Josh Kear. I love how at the beginning you think she [Rose] is kind of goth or kind of an outcast because of her black clothing and her makeup and you realize why she's doing that at the end. It's a really great piece of writing. It reminded me of “Ode to Billie Joe” or “The Night the Lights Went Out in Georgia” – one of those classic story songs.
NT: Your website, www.martinamcbride.com, doesn't list any U.S. tour dates. Will you be touring here to support "Shine"?
MM: We're actually trying a little different strategy this time. Hopefully the dream would be to have two big hits and be working on a third single by the time we tour in the fall of 2009. I'm anxious to see how it works out because on paper it makes sense.
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