Fresno Beehive

Martina McBride on her first tour, her current tour and the next women of country

Country singer Martina McBride play Monday, March 20 at Table Mountain Casino on her Love Unleashed tour.
Country singer Martina McBride play Monday, March 20 at Table Mountain Casino on her Love Unleashed tour. Special to The Bee

Martina McBride has been touring for 25 years.

In that time, the singer helped defined a generation women in country music, with strong pop sensibilities and massively powerful voice (listen to the chorus of “Independence Day,” if you need proof). That earned her a half-dozen No. 1singles and the female vocalist of the year spot at the Country Music Association awards in 1999 (and 2002, 2003 and 2004).

McBride is currently on the road on her Love Unleashed tour, in support of “Reckless.” That’s the follow up to the 2014 album “Everlasting.”

We talked with McBride in advance of her concert, Monday at Table Mounatin Casino.

Question: Do your remember your first tour? Did you know then that you would be here, two decades later?

Answer: My first tour was opening for Garth Brooks in 1992. My album, “The Time Has Come,” had just come out. Or maybe it wasn't even out yet. We did 77 shows with Garth that year and went on to tour Europe and the UK with him as well. I probably didn't really think about whether or not I would still be touring two decades later. I'm very grateful that I still am.

Obvious, your career has changed since then. How has the industry changed?

A few obvious ways are: streaming, the decline of physical CD sales, the cuts in budgets for projects, social media and all the new ways we have to get our music to the fans.

You are part of CMT’s “Next Women of Country.” What's your take on the future of women in the industry?

I think the best and most unique will continue to stand out. CMT is doing great things to support women in country music. I think women are, for the most part, releasing the most unique music and I'd like to think that fans will continue to discover that and to spread the word about their favorite female artists.

Tell us some about the new album. How does it feel to get back into country after the departure of "Everlasting."

It is a return to country ... It feels a lot like some of my earlier albums. I wanted to make an album with songs that are relatable. I went back and found some songs that had been written over six years ago. I think that lends a feel to the album that is a little bit of a throwback to the mid 2000's.

And what can people expect from this tour?

This tour is all about love and positivity. I made a decision in my own life to watch less news and spend more time having positive experiences with my family and friends. There is so much bad news out there right now. It can be overwhelming. I want this show to be a place where people can come and leave the world behind for a while and just enjoy being together, enjoying music and feeling positive. We play a mix of my hits from the past 25 years as well as a couple of songs from “Timeless” and a couple of songs from the new album, “Reckless.”

Joshua Tehee: 559-441-6479, @joshuatehee

Martina McBride

Love Unleashed tour

  • 7 p.m. Monday
  • Table Mountain Casino, 8184 Table Mountain Rd., Friant
  • This show is sold out
  • 800-541-3637, www.tmcasino.com
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