We have waited 10 years for a Clint Black album. It has been too long. He has been making films and doing other things. Perhaps Clint is part of the rescue mission going on in Nashville and parts thereabouts this year, mopping up the mess and rebuilding the once mighty empire of real country music. The legends are coming back and releasing new material. They are returning to the scene of the murder on music row and trying to patch up the ruins where the trainwreck hit.
The black hat, the distinct sound and the heartfelt songs are back. On an awards show a few years ago, Clint was presenting best album and joked that they weren’t really albums these days, most of them had 10 tracks or less on them. This has 14 songs on it, so he stuck to his guns. Clint has said a few things over the years, which have been honest truths, (as they call them in the classics). He says them with a smile, but he always says them.
I am a big Clint fan, I always have been. He has sung some of the best songs in country music history. He can sing Burn One Down For Me or Better Man to me any day, amongst countless others. I am so happy to hear this new music, which fits into my life as smoothly as chocolate or as easy as a merlot at midnight.
Clint hasn’t lost it. His voice is still as strong as ever, his songs still rich and pure country. I love when he does a duet with his wife, actress/singer, Lisa Hartman Black, they blend so well together as they do on You still get to me.
Clint mixes it up, with thoughtful songs, romantic songs; up tempo country rock; a tongue in cheek but direct hit at social media, fun boppy songs and a beer song, of course. The standouts for me were Time for that, a great way to start an album, One way to live, You still get to me, Right on time, Stay gone, Breathing air and the best was saved til last, aptly called: The Last Day.
Mr Black may be singing about slightly different things, the world has changed in ten years, but the heart is there in all of the songs and he has seen the importance in different subjects without sacrificing his style or his essence. I think that some artists think that they have to change with the times to still appeal. Your subjects can change without your belief system changing or what made people love you in the first place. I think that Clint did his homework. He hasn’t sold out, he isn’t stale. He has just put a fresh lick of paint on what has always worked for him and for us, and he has kept up with what is going on in the world. ……maybe not via social media, though he is on Twitter!
In one interview, Clint said: “I’d been talking to record companies but they wanted to find a song they thought could be a hit on radio and get me to sing it. That’s a great deal for a lot of people but not for me – I’ve never been just a singer and I wasn’t going to start at this age…..if you don’t really want me, the songwriter, you don’t get me, the artist.” That’s telling them, Clint.
This Clint will always make my day. He stands by what he believes in and he is a man of purpose and conviction. He does it his way on purpose. Perhaps he can teach some of the new breed out there that it is okay to be yourself. As my dear Australian friend and one of the best Country Music songwriters around would say: Be yourself, everybody else is taken.
Let’s hope that Clint makes another album in less than 10 years.
Time for that
Better and Worse
One way to live
Doing it now for love
You still get to me with Lisa Hartman Black
Right on time
Still Calling it News
Making you smile
Beer with Big and Rich
The Last Day