Clint Black talks about upcoming NH show and a decade atop country charts
PLYMOUTH - At age 51, country music superstar Clint Black says his music is better than ever.
That's saying something, given he has been on top of the music charts for most of his career.
Black, who will be performing at the Flying Monkey Movie House and Performance Center in Plymouth on Thursday, March 7, at 7:30 p.m., with guest star Paul Warnick, has nearly two dozen No. 1 hit singles, and almost as many Top 5 and Top 10 hits. His debut album, the triple-platinum CD "Killin Time" included popular tunes "Better Man," "Nothin' But the Taillights" and "Where Are You Now."
Reached as he was preparing for a show in Arlington, Texas, last week, Black said he's taking full advantage of modern technology to stay in touch with his loyal fans, and he's enjoying touring more than ever.
NH Weekend: Are you happy with your career and your performances at this point of your life?
Black: I've always hoped I'd be touring in my 50s and beyond. I've looked to older artists as markers for what is possible. I'm absolutely certain, objectively, that I'm a better musician/singer now than ever before. I've been practicing harder as time goes by, so for me, it's all paying off in front of audiences, and I'm grateful to be able to do it, still.
NH Weekend: Has your following remained loyal over the years?
Black: I find my fans through Facebook and Twitter and hear from many of them how they've been fans from the beginning. They still show up for concerts and write me nice letters. I've done my best to respond as I can through the social media. I haven't put much new music out in recent years, but they've watched my movies and come to the shows.
NH Weekend: How have the changes in the music industry changed the way you produce and perform music?
Black: I've always tried to appeal to my own musical tastes first and that has worked for me. I do think about my audience but I have to please myself first or I'm cheating us all. Technology has developed and enabled me to be more closely integrated into the process. Through computers, my ability to participate and understand the recording and mixing process has increased and I'm able to get closer to the sound I'm after.
NH Weekend: What can fans expect at your Plymouth show?
Black: Well this is an acoustic tour, which means I will be up close and personal with my audience, which I love. As far as the music, you can expect a bit of everything. I'll do, at least in small part, a review of my life in music so far, a couple of cover tunes from the club days, some hits, a B-side or two, and something new as well.
My drummer, bass player and lead guitarist will join me on stage so it won't be just me on acoustic. But my guitarist and I will play acoustic guitars only, which has led us to a show unlike anything you've seen us do before. It's very satisfying for us and according to the Facebook and Twitter posts, for the audience as well.
NH Weekend: Is performing for you different that in earlier days?
Black: I've always loved performing, whether I was 18 in a bar playing to four people, growing my act in the '90s, or out on an acoustic tour. There's a certain love you have to have for performing to get on that stage every night and smile. It's easy to see when some artists just don't find it fun anymore , but not me! Especially in this new acoustic setting. I can be more intimate with my audience and share the fun a bit more. I've always been in love with them.
NH Weekend: Where do you see country music, and the music industry itself, going in years ahead? Are you optimistic?
Black: Anytime someone can shine a spotlight on country music in the mainstream in a positive way, it is a good thing for the entire industry. I do believe the industry has to make it worthwhile for the fans to buy music from us again instead of just surfing around and hearing it online. Pirating and file sharing devalued it for quite a while and we have to convince fans that it is bad for the music culture. If music isn't profitable to record companies, you won't hear much more from their artists.
Tickets to the Clint Black concert at The Flying Monkey Movie House and Performance Center at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, March 7, are $69 and $79. Granite State performer Paul Warnick will open the show. Tickets start at $69. For more information, call 536-2551 or go toflyingmonkeynh.com.