MARTINA MCBRIDE

Top-Notch Country Songstress

The Northern Lights Theater 1721 W Canal Street, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, 53233
Price: $75/$65/$60

Thursday, December 11 & Friday, December 12 at 8 p.m.

Martina McBride intended her latest album to be a simple gift, but what she wound up with was a timeless treasure. The multi-million record selling vocalist gathered a group of enduring musical chestnuts and assembled a small band to record them live in the studio. The result, a collection titled Everlasting, is a stunning listening experience, with McBride finding fresh nuances in familiar lyrics and working within beautifully crafted new arrangements of cherished melodies.

She breathes new life into ballads by digging into the deeper meanings of their messages. McBride is equally refreshing on such tempo tunes as “Wild Night” and “Suspicious Minds.” Motown also gets some new twists in her versions of “Come See About Me” and “What Becomes of the Broken Hearted.” The 1967 Linda Ronstadt ballad “Little Bit of Rain” becomes a standout moment on McBride’s new record. So is her reworking of the 1966 Etta James/Sugar Pie DeSanto romp “In the Basement,” where McBride is joined by pop star Kelly Clarkson.

“I just meant this album to be like a gift,” says Martina McBride. “I wanted to do something different. What I love about this record is that you can just relax with it. I wanted to make an album that you could put on when you’re cooking or when you have friends over. It is like comfort food.”

Everlasting is a departure for Martina McBride in several respects. The pop repertoire and her blue-eyed soul musical approach are certainly new for her. This is also the first collection on her own label. And it marks her first album collaboration with superstar producer Don Was, famed for his work with The Rolling Stones, Bonnie Raitt, John Mayer, Bob Dylan, Joe Cocker, Bette Midler, Carly Simon, The B-52s, Ringo Starr and more.

The release of Everlasting comes during a time of several other career highlights for her. During the first weeks of 2014, Martina performed at all-star salutes to Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame members Greg Allman and Carole King and was a presenter at the Grammy Awards. Martina also has her first book, published by Harper Collins and titled Around The Table, due out in fall. She looks at this new chapter in her life as yet another adventure.