The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

Lifestyle

June 7, 2014

Martina McBride playing VBC 1st time in 6 years

— Even after 22 years, country crooner Martina McBride still gets amped about hitting the road to support a career marked by a record-tying four “Female Vocalist of the Year” awards from the Country Music Association, 14 Grammy nominations and more than 18 million albums sold.

McBride’s latest tour, in support of her April 8 release “Everlasting,” is scheduled for a June 14 stop at the Von Braun Center. It is the singer’s first North Alabama concert in six years.

“I’ve been there several times before, and I’m excited to be coming because I love to play Huntsville,” McBride, 47, said Tuesday in a phone interview from Nashville, Tennessee.

Her two-hour show uses a horn section and features tracks off the new album interspersed with her past hits. The tour’s May 8 opener in her home state of Kansas went through a 21-song set list, including one of her most recognized chart-toppers, “On a Broken Wing.”

McBride’s new cover record is a departure from her past traditional country or pop-country albums, melding R&B and soul standards with her three-octave soprano vocals, Southern-influenced instrumentation and harmonies provided by the McCrary Sisters.

The album starts with “Suspicious Minds,” which was made famous by Elvis Presley but originally performed and written by Mark James. Song selections run the gamut from duets with singer-songwriter Gavin DeGraw (Sam Cooke’s “Bring It On Home To Me”) and pop star Kelly Clarkson (Etta James and Sugar Pie’s “In the Basement”) to Van Morrison’s “Wild Night” and Otis Redding’s “What Becomes of the Brokenhearted.”

“I’m really proud of ‘Everlasting,’ and it’s a fun record,” McBride said.

The 7:30 p.m. show is Saturday at the VBC’s Mark C. Smith Concert Hall at 700 Monroe St. in Huntsville. For ticket information, visit http://www.vonbrauncenter.com or call 1-800-745-3000.

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