By Michelle Vendegna
Clint Black was faced with an almost impossible task for his most recent album. After a six-year wait, he had to choose which songs would be released and which would just have to wait.
“It’s like sending your kids off to college, and I can only send 14 of them.,” said Black, who was sought after by three major labels during that time. By the end of it, he had to make a choice.
“I was looking for someone who wanted me and my songs,” Black said. “Each proved they just wanted me,” not his songs.
Singing someone else’s music was not what Black had planned, so he finally ended up with a small independent record company called Thirty Tigers. The new label allowed him to immerse himself in all aspect of the new album, On Purpose, which was released in September 2015.
Black’s current tour features new songs, greatest hits, hard-core country songs and some songs that rock a little harder. The tour includes three Colorado concerts, including his only Front Range performance, March 17 at the Lincoln Center in Fort Collins. He also will play Beaver Creek on March 18 and Aspen on March 19.
“Fans that haven’t seen a show for a while will see a much better musician,” Black said.
He said he has been working on his guitar and harmonica skills, as well as working with a band with a smaller configuration to show off the skills of the musicians he works with.
“These are great musicians out there with me, and they get a chance to play,” he said.
A smaller venue such as the Lincoln Center makes it easier for Black to interact with the audience, so expect him to throw some stories and a little humor into the mix.
When not recording or writing, Black lends his voice and image to the International Rett Syndrome Foundation (rettsyndrome.org). The organization funds research for Rett Syndrome, a genetic disease that affects brain development and claimed the life of Black’s niece.
Black’s career has spanned more than two decades, and in February the Taste of Country website took a week to honor the country singer and his 1989 debut album, Killin’ Time.
“I made a rootsy country album that became mainstream,” Black said about listening to the tracks now. He said he was able to hear the album for what it was after all this time and leave out the critical ear. At the time, he and his bandmates had very little recording experience, but the album caught on and launched his career.
Fast-forward to the present, and Black said he and band are better than ever.
“For me,” he said, “I feel like we are giving people a good night out and an extensive walk through the hits.”
Black said he still enjoys playing for people.
“I think my whole life I’ve been in search of an audience,” he said. “Since the first two songs I learned to play on the guitar, I set out into the neighborhood in search of ears.”
Michelle Vendegna: 970-669-5050 (ext. 530), firstname.lastname@example.org
If you go
What: Clint Black concert
When: 7:30 p.m. Thursday, March 17
Where: The Lincoln Center, 417 W. Magnolia, Fort Collins