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Martina McBride - Timeless
By: Cheryl Harvey Hill, Sr. Staff Journalist

Timeless was produced by Martina McBride and she pays tribute to her musical heroes in a most enjoyable way. The album is a heartwarming stroll down a marvelous musical memory lane with eighteen true country classics and it is unlike any album McBride has recorded before.

"Every time I hear this music, it feels like coming home," says McBride. "What I love about these songs is that they are like conversations. These lyrics are so simple yet so eloquent. It’s just honest. I have a comfort level with this music and a respect for it that is deep."

Her comfort level is obvious on her seamless vocal delivery but I think what makes the album so exceptional is that she managed to put her own, magnificent, stamp on every song without losing any of the integrity of the original. As readily identifiable as these songs are, McBride manages to deliver them with a fresh energy. I think Paul Worley said it best when he stated during the video shoot, "Martina is in a wonderful place in her career; she has reached the top and, wisely, this time around, her thought process was, 'it's time for me to make some music that just comes from my soul.'" Thank goodness she decided to be true to herself; the end result is uniquely Martina and, not surprisingly, uniquely ingenious.

It is impossible to choose just one outstanding track from such an award winning group of songs but one of my favorite cuts is when Dolly Parton provides the vocal harmony on Johnny Cash's "I Still Miss Someone." Cash is just one of the many exceptional songwriters honored on this project, among the others are Ray Price, Buck Owens, Connie Smith, Buddy Holly and Hank Williams; making the songwriter list read like a "Who's Who" in the Country Music Hall of Fame. McBride includes several songs that were made popular by country music's elite; among them are three of my personal favorites; Eddy Arnold's "Make the World Go Away," Tammy Wynette's "Till I Can Make it on My Own" and Kris Kristofferson's "Help me Make it Through the Night."  

"I wasn't thinking of the 'business' of country music when I made this album," she said. "I made Timeless for the love of the music and for the experience of singing these songs. Obviously, I hope people like it. But for me, the bottom line was just trying to pay tribute to these songs and give them the respect they deserve."

"This record really is not about me. It's about this music," she adds. "I want everybody who hears it to go, 'Wow, what great songs.' I think there will be a lot of people who have fond memories of these songs and also many people who will be hearing them for the first time. It's exciting to think that it may inspire someone to go back and listen to the originals and discover how wonderful traditional country music is."

McBride says the recording process was "joyful." "I wanted only musicians who had the same kind of desire to do this record as I had. I wanted people who were excited about recreating this music and who would understand how to give it the authenticity I wanted. I wasn't interested in doing a 2005 version. I wanted to get the feel of the original recording. I have to say, the musicianship on this record is some of the finest I have ever heard."

Well, now that is a definite given, and not at all surprising since we've come to expect only "the finest" from Martina McBride; after all, like the songs she selected for this album, talent like hers really is Timeless.


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Martina McBride - Timeless song list:

1. You Win Again 
2. I’ll Be There (If You Ever Want Me) 
3. I Can’t Stop Loving You 
4. Rose Garden 
5. Today I Started Loving You Again 
6. You Ain’t Woman Enough 
7. Once a Day 
8. Pick Me Up on Your Way Down 
9. I Don’t Hurt Anymore
10. True Love Ways 
11. Til I Can Make It On My Own 
12. I Still Miss Someone 
13. Heartaches by the Number 
14. Satin Sheets 
15. Thanks A Lot 
16. Love’s Gonna Live Here 
17. Make The World Go Away 
18. Help Me Make It Through the Night 

10 Questions with Martina McBride

1. Why did you decide to record a collection of classic country songs?
I was raised on classic country music and have always loved it.  A while back I had the opportunity to record the Buck Owens classic, Together Again, and it sparked the idea of doing an entire album of classics. 

2. What message do you hope to convey with your music?
I'm not really sending any messages with this new album.  I just hope people enjoy it and maybe it will inspire someone to get more into classic country.  I know that some people will be hearing these songs for the first time. This was really my way of paying tribute to this music and the original artists.

3. How do you maintain both a successful career and a healthy family life?
First of all, I have a great partner both in my career and in parenting.  My husband is my sound engineer on the road as well as my co-manager and he supports my decision to put family first.  He is also a very hands-on dad to our three daughters.

4. What music do you listen to at home?
Interestingly enough, I don't listen to much music.  I am a "peace and quiet" kind of gal.  When I'm home by myself, it's silent.  I don't have the TV, radio, or stereo on.  Of course there are a lot of artists I enjoy when I do listen to music.  Too many to mention.  I also love compilation discs of 70's and 80's pop music!

5. Apart from family, what's the most important thing you have accomplished?
I guess just building a successful career one step at a time.  It took a long time for me to be taken seriously as a singer, artist, and producer.  I'm glad I had to prove myself because it makes it that much sweeter. 

6. Do you have a motto that you live by?
I have several actually.  And I'm always looking for good new ones!  But a couple of important ones are, "One day at a time" and "Be true to yourself."  "Learn to trust your instincts" is another one.  I have learned over the years how important it is to listen to that little voice inside you.  Actually, learning to trust your instincts and being true to yourself really go hand in hand.  The next step, and something that can really be hard in this business or in life in general, is to have the courage to act on those instincts even when everyone else is trying to get you to do something different.

7. You always look so fashionable yet relaxed.  How would you describe your style?
I tend to go for more classic styles. Nothing too trendy.  And it needs to be comfortable. Except shoes.  I can stand uncomfortable shoes for a while if they are fabulous!

8. Do you cook for your family?  What is your favorite thing to cook?
I do cook most every night and we sit down together as a family at the dinner table, no tv, every night.  I really think that is important.  I love to try new recipes and I also like to cook my family's favorites, so it's usually a mixture.  One of my favorite things to do is sit down with my cookbooks or cooking magazines and a cup of coffee and plan the week's menu and make my grocery list.

9. Do you maintain a fitness schedule?
I really don't.  I get plenty of exercise with the three girls.  Probably the most important thing I do is try and eat as healthy as I can.  I try to set a good example for my daughters and teach them that the choices they make in what they put into their bodies is important.  I also teach them the "everything  in moderation" theory and that if what you really are craving is a cheeseburger, fries, and a shake then that's what you should have, as long as you don't have it every day!

10. If you could live in any era, what decade would you choose?
I'm not sure about this one.  There are good things about each era.  I would skip the ones with the big wars I think.  I like the innocence of the 50's and the glamour of the 40's.  But the conveniences of this decade are pretty great!

CMA’s Top Female Vocalist Records and Produces an Entire Album of Country Classic Hits First Recorded Over Thirty to Fifty Years Ago.  

Nashville, Tenn. -- Everyone who was there knew something really special was happening.   Martina McBride’s recording sessions at Blackbird Studio during the first half of 2005 had an atmosphere of contagious enthusiasm. For the first time in her career, the multi-platinum country star was solely producing an album. But not just any album.  An album unlike any she has ever recorded.  An album celebrating her place in a genre she holds dear while reminiscing and paying homage to the songs where her journey began. This is an entire album dedicated to some of the most revered country classics of our time.

 “Every time I hear this music, it feels like coming home,” says Martina. “What I love about these songs is that they are like conversations.  These lyrics are so simple yet so eloquent. It’s just honest. I have a comfort level with this music and a respect for it that is deep.”

Timeless, Martina’s eighth studio album, will be released October 18. The first single, “Rose Garden,” which produced a number one in 1970 for Lynn Anderson, will be released to radio on August 1.

 "Martina's love and understanding of country music is part of every word she sings on this album. There is no doubt in my mind that the writers of these timeless songs would agree that they have been given an equally timeless voice," says Joe Galante, Chairman, RCA Label Group.

Photo Credit: Andrew Eccles  

Related Links:
Martina McBride - Martina

Did you like this album? did you hate it? Submit a "Real People Review"
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Real People Reviews

The first time I heard Martina sing a song from "Timeless" on TV, I knew I had to go out and buy this CD for myself. It's the first and the last CD I choose to play while driving in my car. Martina's interpretation of "Timeless" classics is something else! She actually made great hits sound even better, and that is not always easy to do. 

I hope Martina comes up with an "Encore" performance to give those of us who grew up with...and love the songs she chose...another chance to have our hearts melt...our spirits uplifted...and loose ourselves for a while as we are caught up in reminiscing... and sometime singing along with her to another selection of such great standards. 

After purchasing Timeless for myself, I bought it as a birthday gift to give to a dear family friend. He told me that he loved it so much that he gave it to six other people. I plan on purchasing it for my sister's birthdays as well.

Thank you Martina! And thank you for the great musicians who played for you. I truly loved the piano and violin arrangements. You gave everyone a chance to "Shine."

I would purchase another such album for myself and others in a Heart Beat. In fact, that sounds like another good title for a CD of songs, which we love to hear at their best. One such song that I would like to hear Martina record is an old Johnny Cash song, which while I love it, the original version just does not have the instrumental quality to do justice to the lyrics and the melody...Burning Bridges, Teardrops Falling. It's a song, which captures something we have all probably experience at sometime in our lives and have felt deeply about. I can't help but think that Johnny would be proud to hear it comes alive once again with your great voice and your great band. If you do not remember it, I hope you will find the time to listen to it sometime during your travels. I think it's well worth giving some thought to the words...how you could renew it...stay true to it...and make it touch the young as well as the old again.

Once again...Thank you for this opportunity to write and express my appreciation for you...your choice of songs...your band and everything that went in to making "Timeless" a CD worth buying. It's wonderful to find a CD that actually has more than just one or two songs which yours truly wants to hear over and over again. I consider the cost of it "Money Well Spent." Until the next time...when you make me... "Think"... and... "Feel"... the way Timeless has, I remain respectfully yours.

~Carolyn in Yakima, WA

PS: What led me to write this letter was the fact that I was looking up some of the lyrics to the songs you sing that have bits and pieces which keep going through my head. I wanted to be able to put all of the pieces together so I could sing them too. My two older sisters and I would play a game we called Radio Station when we were little girls. We liked to sing the songs that were popular during those sweet innocent days. When I came across this web site ...and when it asked for comments...I was more than happy to share my thoughts with you and those who may or may not have heard "Timeless."

ed. And we thank you for sending it in.

I feel she did a very nice job. This wasn't the stuff I grew up with but it is music I'm coming to know and love. If she does another CD like this I'd like some Patsy and I'd also like to hear her make a rendition of Harper Valley PTA. I really do enjoy this CD. Martina, thank you.
~ H


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