A Timeless Soundstage:

Martina McBride sings new life into country classics

by Alison Bonaguro
(as seen in Country Music Today, November 2005



"When my dad was a teenager, he won a contest. And his prize was a trip to a recording studio in Kansas where he made a 78. When I was growing up, if I was really really good, my grandma would play that 78 for us." It's stories like that that made Martina McBride who she is today. And who she is, is an artist who can do justice to the classic country songs she grew up on. Martina McBride shared those stories, and three hours of songs, at her September taping of the PBS Soundstage concert series. Filmed at the Genesee Theatre just outside Chicago, the sold-out show was spectacular from start to finish. The first half of the show was full of her renditions of classics from Loretta Lynn, Merle Haggard, Buck Owens and more: all the hits from her newly released "Timeless" CD. When she sang Bill Anderson's "Once a Day," she said "I figured we'd better put this one on the album because poor Bill just hasn't had any hits." "Timeless" pays homage to some of the most prolific country classic tunes of our time, including her current single "(I Never Promised You A) Rose Garden."

Martina's own career has been just as full of top-ten hits, so after intermission she gave all 1800 fans another long set of her own singles. The eight-piece band and six back-up singers were replaced with Martina's touring band, including her little brother on acoustic guitar. The first couple beats of "When God Fearin' Women Get the Blues" got everyone on their feet, which is where they stayed until she stopped singing nine songs later.

The Martina McBride Soundstage episode began airing on October 14 on PBS.