Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Cowboy sweetheart

Clint Black keeps it clean and heart-felt

Express Staff Writer

Clint Black is touring with the first album he’s released in nearly a decade.
Courtesy photo

    Clint Black fans witnessed the devotion behind the music when he entertained an intimate crowd at the Sun Valley Pavilion earlier this month.
    The award-winning singer-songwriter enlisted only four other musicians, to allow fans to get up close and personal.
    The man behind the popular debut album “Killin’ Time,” which produced four straight No. 1 singles, just released his first album in seven years, “When I Said I Do,” with songs he sang with his wife of more than a decade, Lisa Hartman Black.
    He talked a little about his quieter take on life in an interview before the show.

Your latest album just dropped. How’s it being received?
    By truck. Ha! I’ve gotten some nice comments on my Facebook page and Twitter. I haven’t been reading much else but I’m very happy with the new songs, so my first review is good!

You have one of the most enduring, and quiet, love stories in the music world. You collaborated with your wife on this album and in videos. How have you maintained the work-and-home balance?
    Balance isn’t always easy but we pay close attention to the details and keep talking it all through. Once you build a solid life together, balance is easier. Our 22nd anniversary is coming Oct. 20th. We’ve grown very close and are working hard at parenting, which is the best job yet.

Is your daughter Lily showing singing prowess?
    Our daughter, Lily, is 12 now and always ready to entertain! We’ve raised her to enjoy music, play-acting and generally cutting up. She’s going to need an audience very soon!

Your topics of choice are pretty clean and loving, all-American and grateful to the unsung. Music at large isn’t. How do you resist jumping into that party pool?
    I always just consider my audience. It’s been easy for me to figure out where I want the lines to be for my songs. We can all put up with clean but we can’t all put up with dirty. We have a lot of very young kids listening, so I keep them in mind.

Idaho’s a good venue for an equestrian show. What’s the status on the “Aussie Adventure” (a musical he wrote for)?
    I don’t know where “Aussie Adventure” stands. It may or may not happen next year. I’ll put up the banner on my pages when it does, though. It sounds like a great show and I’m proud of the job I did with the music. It was a challenge and a bit frightening at times. It required a lot of research into Aussie slang, followed by the challenge of using it in a way American audience would understand without a lot of exposition. In the end, a satisfying exercise.
    I’ve stretched out a bit since then, writing for Hasbro’s HUB channel, for “Chuck the Truck” and “Transformers Rescue Bots.” It’s fun to write songs with a script and with the idea that lots of kids will be listening to it. They’re action shows, so the songs rock fairly hard for a Country guy.
    But that’s an aside to the main event! We’re doing this current show in 95 cities this year and love to hear song requests on Twitter. I try to read everything I can on my way into town and get some good ideas for what we call “audibles,” songs we throw into the show that weren’t listed when the show began. Nothing like the Internet to give us access to what the audience is thinking.

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