Martina McBride: 'It was a special time'

Martina McBride: 'It was a special time'

With country star MARTINA McBRIDE in town Thursday night at the Virginia Theatre, staff writer Paul Wood asked her five questions:

What's a favorite song from the Joy of Christmas Tour? Will it end up on your new album?

Right now the bulk of the Joy Of Christmas show is from my "White Christmas" album (also renamed The Classic Christmas Album). I love singing "O Holy Night" and "Winter Wonderland."

I was surprised to learn you were in a rock band, The Penetrators. What made you shift back to country?

I love to sing all kinds of music! I had sang rock and pop for a few years after graduating from high school. I went back to singing with my dad's country band and it just became clear to me that this was the kind of music I wanted to pursue for a career. I've always loved the lyrics and storytelling aspect of country music.

You've got a strong Garth Brooks connection through your husband and also as a solo act. Do you have a favorite story of the three of you?

I guess just doing the tour together, first as a merchandise salesperson and then as an opening act. It was so great to be on tour with Garth and also have my husband traveling with him as well. We were newlyweds and it was a special time.

You celebrate 25 years in country music in 2017. Is it the fans or the music that keep you going?

Both! I still love to sing and perform and I love to record and write as well. But there is nothing like getting on stage and feeling the love of your fans. It's pretty incredible.

Tell us about your charity Team Music is Love.

Team Music Is Love is a really unique thing, mostly because we do several different projects over the year ... we aren't tied to just one cause or initiative ... and also because the fans are the volunteers! We have fans come from all over the world to help with our projects. We've done everything from sponsor food trucks to help with Hurricane Harvey relief to start a music program at a home for rescued girls in Guatemala. We also take our charity on the road, sometimes doing projects in the cities where we do shows. For the Joy Of Christmas tour we held diaper drives at four of our shows and Huggies matched the donations. Anyone can join us!

What's in your near future?

2018 is shaping up to be a very busy year! We are releasing a new Christmas album next fall as well as a new cookbook. I'm working on some TV projects and also launching a couple of food and lifestyle related projects. Stay tuned!

If you go

What: Martina McBride's 'The Joy of Christmas' tour.

Where: Virginia Theatre, 203 W. Park Ave., C.

When: 8 p.m. tonight.

Tickets: $49.50 to $125.

More information: 217-356-9063, thevirginia.org/event/martina-mcbride-the-joy-of-christmas/