I’m coming out


I don’t know if it is a secret that I like country music, but if it was, it isn’t anymore. I assume y’all heard me squealing with delight around 10:15 last night? I was watching a rerun of a Reba McEntire tribute concert on CMT. (No, I’m not making this up. That’s really what I was watching.) I probably missed it the first time because I don’t really feel one way or the other about Reba. I like her as a person, and I certainly don’t switch the station when her songs come on the radio. (That distinction is reserved for Rascal Flatts.) But Reba’s voice is…um…kind of…well…country. Yeah, I know she’s a country singer. Yeah, I know she’s from Oklahoma. This is why I’m not a very good country music fan. Sometimes the twang is too much.   

Such is not the case with Martina McBride, who manages to avoid the twang and keep the country and who was the reason for my squealing. She and Kelly Clarkson sang “Does He Love You,” which is my favorite Reba song. She recorded it with Linda Davis and it was a #1 hit in 1993. Don’t look up the lyrics. That’s not a good way to get a feeling for the song. I think perhaps one has to have not just an appreciation for country music but also an appreciation for Lifetime movies to get this song. There is drama and there is passion.

I can barely remember a time when I didn’t have a thing for Martina McBride. She is not just beautiful and sweet and endearing, she’s also phenomenally talented. Seriously, her voice is like music. It reminds me of the first time I heard Chris refer to his voice as his “instrument.” Not every singer can call her voice an instrument, but Martina can. I’ve seen her in concert three times, and it’s not because she’s totally cute (even though she is). In 2005, she released an album of classic country songs, and when she sings “Help Me Make It Through the Night,” which is one of my favorite songs of all time, I get goosebumps every time. Last January, I heard her sing it live and I thought I would die of happiness. Luckily, I didn’t, because she’s coming back to Fort Wayne this summer and damnit if I’m not taking my mom and my sister.

So you can see how the combination of that fabulous ballad and the fabulous Martina produced that ridiculous squeal. (Seriously, I sounded like Alice.) Martina came out first, did her thing and was awesome and then Kelly appeared at the other end of the stage and did her thing, which was also pretty awesome. This is a song that requires awesome voices, and I confess that I kind of like it better when people who aren’t Reba sing it. At the end of the song, Martina and Kelly met in the center of the stage and sang directly to each other, just like Reba and Linda Davis did. It was so cool that I stood up and clapped like I was there. I TiVo’d it so I can watch it over and over and over.