- Martina McBride on recording Shine
Seventeen years ago, she was just one of many. A girl with the ability to sing a song like nobody's business and the dream that people would let her do just that. As it turned out, people loved the young lady from Kansas so much that today, not only is she still doing that, she's doing it for more people than ever before.
"What's exciting for me is I still feel like my career is growing," says an enthusiastic Martina. "It's crazy, but I know from the internet and things like that there are still people discovering my music and hearing me for the first time. It might be a new song that gets their interest. I might be singing at a football game that makes them aware of who I am or they might hear an old song on the radio. Whatever it may be, people are still discovering my music. We're still making new fans that are coming out to see our shows that have never seen us before."
That growth is well represented on Shine, Martina's tenth studio album (all on RCA Records Nashville). Titled not only as a nod to the lyrics in three of the songs encompassed within, but because of what the word 'shine' suggests: Powerful. Positive. Strong. It's also what she plans to do as she takes that aforementioned growth and runs with it in a variety of directions.
In addition to the guitar-laden sound, Shine found Martina expanding her circle of co-producers by enlisting veteran Dann Huff to co-produce with her for the very first time. This decision brought a new perspective and, while it freed her from the minutia of production, it also afforded her the opportunity to be primarily an artist and a singer.
"I felt that I wanted to move forward, production-wise, which isn't always easy. I think it was time to find somebody with a different, fresh take on my music. I felt like I needed someone to help me do things a bit differently, and I instinctively felt Dann was right for the job.
"When you work with someone new you're kind of vulnerable at first. Everything is different and you're in a different headspace. You're not in that comfort zone and I think it's good to get out of your comfort zone and try new things with somebody who will work with you in a different way. I've known Dann for years, he's played guitars on all my records, but this is the first time I've been involved with him in the way of production and it was just awesome."
The infusion of new energy from Huff may be just what she needed to overcome what she admits was a time of struggling to find inspiration.
"This album feels to me like when I was making Evolution or Emotion. That was such a creative time for me with this crazy energy and creativity. I felt so passionate about those records and then I kind of lost that for a little bit. Not that I don't like the records I made after that, but I can remember going in with the Martina album kind of feeling like we had been there, done that. It was really a struggle for me to find inspiration and creativity. That's why I did Timeless so I could recharge and take a breather from having to create new music.
"With this record though, I found it. It's back. I'm so excited about this music and this time in my life right now. Creatively I have a renewed energy and I feel like this album reflects that."