Growing up in the south you learn to appreciate the culture that surrounds you. It’s the driving force for everything they represent. Whether it’s culinary, historical, or musical, the culture becomes a part of who you are and how you think south of the Mason-Dixon Line. Times in the south seem as though they are in slow motion, or as they often joke, they just like to take their time. It’s this slow down, smell the roses attitude that keeps what’s important in life in perspective. This perspective also helps you to recognize and appreciate the good things in life when they come along.
Clint Black is one of those good things in life that it was easy to recognize when it came along. Always a fan, I had never had the opportunity to see him live on stage. Hearing that he would be coming to the Turning Stone this year was a huge highlight, and one I knew I wanted to bring to the readers.
Over the last 25 years, Clint has accumulated quite the playlist of hits (19 number one singles), shelves of awards (5 ACM’s, 1 AMA, 2 CMA’s), and carved out a name for himself in country music (member of Grand Ole Opry 1991). Clint’s traditional sound with a modern twist made him a crowd favorite since his first album Killing Time hit the airwaves back in 1989. Hitting number one with the songs first release, “A Better Man”, it was the first time in 14 years that a country musician had debuted and hit number one right out of the gate. That album went on to produce five top ten hits, with “A Better Man” and “Killing Time” taking spots one and two for best country songs for the year 1989. The CMA’s Horizon Award recipient in 1989, Clint continued his career over the next 25 years collecting hit after hit, the majority he penned himself. An accomplished songwriter, he continued in the music business establishing his own label, Equity Music Group, after he and wife, Lisa Hartman Black, welcomed their daughter Lily in 2001.
As Clint took the Showroom stage, it was his slowed down, back to basics acoustic sound that set the tone for the night, and told the story of what country music represents to him, and how he has become a representative in country music. As he sat there strumming the guitar, playing his harmonica, and singing to the crowd, the words and the melody resonated and transported you back to another time and place in country music. Still sporting his black cowboy hat and his charming smile, Clint reminisced about days gone by, musicians that inspired him, and paid homage through music to the basic country roots that motivated it all. He was simply amazing. His one on one rapport with the audience was genuine and really demonstrated his love of his music and sharing it with those lucky enough to sit and listen with him. Joined after the first few numbers by his road band, this show gave you a small taste of what you may experience on the stage at the Grand Ole Opry with the back woods Appalachian sound of the roots of country music, to a modern-day sound of country music with a full band twist. Clint Black, recognized with a star on the Hollywood’s Walk of Fame, is truly a country super star. With a non-stop touring schedule that hasn’t slowed down since his first release, it was certainly my pleasure to be able to catch his performance at The Turning Stone for our readers. Although it was my first Clint Black experience, it certainly won’t be my last.