McBride, who moved to Nashville with her husband, John, in 1989, recently discussed her career ahead of her next appearance.
Q: What is the biggest lesson you learned working in the family group with your father?
A: My father taught me professionalism and a strong work ethic. We had to pack everything up, take it to the show, unload it, play for four hours, recharge it and then come home around 3 in the morning. My dad paid us, so we were also taught money lessons. We bought all our equipment. It was a lesson in work and how to make it not only something we love to do, but also a responsibility.
Q: Everyone knows you as a country singer, but after singing country with your family, you spent time in rock and R&B-pop bands. What have these experiences taught you as a singer?
A: Well, flexibility because the more styles you can sing, the more balanced you are. I just like to sing. I love to sing all kinds of music and always have. It’s like anything else, the more you do it the better off you become. Trying to imitate people, that’s how you learn. Singing to records by Aretha Franklin, Linda Ronstadt or Reba McEntire is learned when you grow up.
Q: It looks like you’ve been busy on the road this year. When did you start touring again?
A: We started in July last year. July 2 was our first comeback show after the pandemic. We kept stopping. It’s been busy but it’s going well.
Q: What was it like having unexpected downtime in 2020 and 2021?
A: It was a time of mixed emotions. Of course, we were all wondering what was going to happen. Being off the road for 18 months was tough in many ways, you know, being away from making music and connecting with fans. Of course, no one knew the future. It’s scary when you don’t know what’s going to happen. But I also had all my children here under one roof. It was a time to slow down and reset, so it was nice to be able to get off the wheel, step back, and take time to just be together as a family.
Q: Has the pandemic impacted recording plans?
A: I didn’t have anything planned so it really wasn’t affected. I recorded a song called “Girls Like Me”. I was able to record this just as the lockdown was happening. I worked with a producer who luckily plays all instruments and works from home, so we were able to record the song. I made a video totally by myself, basically, so it was an interesting experience.
Q: What are your future publishing plans?
A: I’m just focusing on touring right now. We have a lot of dates this year. I’m concentrating on that and waiting for the next idea. I’m kind of looking for inspiration and what to do next.
Contact this contributing writer at 937-287-6139 or email [email protected]
HOW TO GET THERE
Who: Martina McBride
Where: Rose Music Center at The Heights, 6800 Executive Blvd., Huber Heights
When: 7 p.m. Friday, July 1. Doors open at 6 p.m.
Cost: $23.50, $33, $43, $53, $68, $73
More info: 513-232-6220 or www.rosemusiccenter.com
Information on the artist: www.martinamcbride.com