Carmel Palladium marks 1,000th show with Martina McBride Performance 

Martina McBride

By Tonya Burton

On her latest hit album, “Everlasting,” Martina McBride sings, “If you don’t know me by now, you will never ever know me.” No? If that’s true, it’s worth the effort to keep trying. Martina brings a brand new show to the Palladium on Sept. 5, marking the Palladiums 1,000th show and Martina’s second appearance at the venue.

I spoke to her by phone on Aug. 26 and she reports this tour is different from anything she’s done before. The current show is comprised of an 11-piece band, including four horn players and three back-up singers, who are choreographed Motown style. Along with the iconic soul songs from the “Everlasting” album, the show will seamlessly blend Martina’s signature hit songs.

Martina brings a singleness of purpose to her music.

“It’s all I ever wanted to do,” she said. “I knew from an early age, maybe 5 or 6, that I could sing.” At age 7, she began singing with her father’s country band in Sharon, Kansas, where she was born. In 1992, at age 26, she released “My Baby Loves Me,” which became the first of a string of hits, making her one of the most successful female country artists of all time. To date, Martina has sold more than 18 million albums which have included twenty Top 10 singles and six No. 1 hits. She has three wins as “Top Female Vocalist” from the Academy of Country Music.

This is a major accomplishment, particularly, in the current climate of country music where radio play is dominated by male “bro” bonding. It is extremely difficult to have a No. 1 hit without significant radio play, yet Martina did it. In doing so, she broke yet another historic landmark. She is the first solo female artist to debut as No. 1 on the Top Country Albums Chart with an independently released and distributed label. Additionally, she has created her own radio show on Sirius XM Y2Kountry, playing songs she wants to play.

When asked who her musical influences were, she replied, “There’s a lot – Linda Ronstadt, Aretha Franklin, Bonnie Raitt. I liked Pat Benatar a lot, too.” I mentioned the documentary, “20 Feet From Stardom,” about phenomenally accomplished back-up singers who never broke out as solo artists. She obviously had given this some thought, as she relied quickly, “Not everyone is cut out to be a solo artist. It takes single-minded dedication … and there’s a certain fate and luck combination there too.”

When asked if she thought she’d still be making albums in her 60s, she said, “What else am I gonna do? This is what I do.”

Martina is having so much fun with this new tour. She’s added 40 dates, seven of which have already sold out. Regarding the Palladium, Martina said, “We’ve played there before and we love it. It’s a beautiful venue.”

Martina’s songs sometimes tackle serious issues, such as domestic violence, child abuse and cancer. I asked where she gets her ideas and if she sees story images in her head as she’s writing. “Sometimes I see it. Usually though, it’s a collaborative effort to bring it to life in the videos.” She reports the ideas come to her when she hears real life stories that touch her in some way.

She also likes to enjoy the happy side of life. When asked what her next project will be, Martina replied, “I want to do an album of originals next. After that, maybe some gospel, acoustic and standards. Right now, I’m just having fun with this tour. Usually, I’m a homebody, but this tour is different – it’s just plain fun. We’re all having such a good time.”

See the Martina McBride show at the Palladium on Sept. 5 and/or follow her on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/martinamcbride.

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