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The Friday Morning Listen: Martina McBride

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It’s the big weekend. Beer will be consumed. T-Shirts and hats will be purchased. High technology will be employed. And…those cars will go very, very fast.

Yes, it’s the weekend of the Daytona 500.

To say that I’m a big fan of NASCAR would be, well, a lie. I don’t hate it or anything, nor do I look down my nose at fans of the sport. It’s just not something I grew up around. On the other hand, I am an American male, meaning that it’s hard for me to resist big, noisy cars goin’ fast. Hell, yea!


Like a lot of cultural things, stereotypes about fans of NASCAR are flung freely. Heck, my mention of beer being swilled is probably a stereotype, though I’ve got some relatives on The Wife’s side who will definitely be partaking of a few “cornflakes in a can” (as Archie Bunker used to say).

So, is the NASCAR fans’ love of country music a stereotype too? Probably not. So this morning I decided to listen to a country record that breaks with the ‘modern tradition’ of having the life compressed out of it. For all of the technology used to make stock cars blister, Martina McBride’s Timeless uses old technology to sound absolutely wonderful.

John McBride, from the liner notes:

    Martina and I were striving for an authentic sound for this album. We used only 3 microphones newer than 1968 on this project, a 1953 Gretsch Round Badge Kit., and no guitars or guitar amps newer than 1965. We stayed in the analogue domain for 99% of this record. No digital plug-ins were ever used, only real outboard equipment for compression, EQ, etc., and very little at that. The album was mastered to 1″ tape and hopefully the difference is audible.

So if you’d like to hear McBride do fine justice to the songs of Hank Williams, Don Gibson, Merle Haggard, Loretta Lynn, Harlan Howard, Buddy Holly, Buck Owens & and others…check this record out.

I’ve gotta say, I haven’t heard “I Can’t Stop Loving You”, “(I Never Promised You A) Rose Garden”, or “Make The World Go Away” in years. Very cool stuff.

Now, about this NASCAR thing….who am I supposed to root for, being a person knowing nothing about it? C’mon, any NASCAR fans on Blogcritics?

(First posted on Mark Is Cranky)

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About Mark Saleski

  • georgiaboy

    Did she really re-record “Rose Garden?” Or those other country classics? Why? They don’t have disabled kids getting saved from burning houses by puppy dogs before turning into angels. This is beyond terrible. Stick with the originals.

  • DJRadiohead

    As a transplant to the south (read: Yankee) I am surrounded by NASCAR coverage but just don’t care all that much about. My NASCAR friend Matthew is rooting for Robby Gordon. He’s met the guy a couple times, likes him. Now, Robby Gordon apparently does not have a spotless reputation but it all misses me.

    So… you could pull for Robby Gordon if you wanted.

    I don’t do country music. I have as much country music in my collection as rap. Well… that’s only because I don’t count the Johnny Cash in my collection as country. It’s his Sun Records and American Recordings stuff. Pre and post Nashville.

    I am, however, very intrigued by the authentic and genuine sounds used on this record. Your favorite, Elliott Smith, was a collector of vintage equipment. There is a story about the guys now running his old studio. In the story it talks about some of the equipment and instruments he collected. I love all that ‘vintage’ stuff.

  • Mark Saleski

    i love how people can hate music they haven’t even heard (not talking to you dj)

  • John Douglas

    I love this album also – compare it to ANY of the “pop” records coming out of Nashville and tell me your stereo doesn’t sound more expensive! Rock on Martina – you did great.

  • Jeff

    After hearing Timeless, I checked out the 30 sec previews at Amazon of the many of the originals. IMHO Martina’s version is so much better, for example, Satin Sheets.

    At her concert she closed the first part with Stand by Your Man and brought down the house an extended ending. Boy can she sing — few can touch her. Definitely worth catching.

  • Mark Saleski

    i can’t really say that her version are ‘better’. just different. and really, there to celebrate the songs.

  • scott clark

    I think what she is doing to the sounds of music is a great thing. My 4 yr old twin daughters love the way she sings. Keep it up Martina!!

    Lacrosse,Wi loves you

  • Maxwell

    Ok well one thing I want to get straight is that Martina Mcbride is a good singer and her songs are great! What the hell are you talking about disabled girl she dont talk about a girl she talks about a boy and her timeless songs are awesome so dont diss her Georgia Boy

  • Joseph

    Her version of Rose Garden is a complete disgracement…you can’t and never will top the original recording by Lynn Anderson, who does not have that silly Nashiville tang in her voice that is so popular today. Lynn Rules with Rose Garden and always will!!!

  • George

    I could not agree more with the above comment. Martina can’t possibly do justice to a standard like “Rose Garden”. Period.

  • Does is matter?

    That is one crappy cover of Rose Garden. Her voice sounds like absolute shit!

  • Jean Matin

    I really don’t like her version of Rose Garden either. It’s like the people above stated, her voice is not right for the song and the instrumentation is not really that good either. I think Lynn had it right from the start, especially that excellent introduction to the song that no one can seem to reproduce today. The intro always comes off sounding strained and overdone, whereas on the Anderson version it flows and comes alive and makes one wake up and take notice right away. Just my thoughts.

  • Martina McStupid

    You would have to be totally stupid to record a song like Rose Garden and expect any of the results Lynn Anderson got. This piece of crap never even approached number one…thank GOD!

  • Martina McStupid

    I must admit amidst all the hype of this record that I really do not care for Rose Garden either. I think I will stick with the Anderson version. The rest of the album is not too bad but that cover of Rose Garden is not too nice.

  • Shirley McFee

    I too am very happy her version of Rose Garden did not even approach the number one spot. I think that this song of all the others on the album was a marketing attempt. There is no other song on this album that had the worldwide fame of Rose Garden, and most probably the reason it was the first release from the album. Rose Garden was number one in most of the civilised word when it was covered by Lynn Anderson, something that few country songs have ever managed to do. Nice try Martina, but you can’t recover a true classic, nor do you have the voice of Anderson to pull it off. And in Europe we are not buying it at all.

  • Douglas

    Yep, I agree, “Rose Garden” by McBride is not even in the same league as the Anderson version

  • Joseph

    I did like her version of “You ain’t Woman enough”. I think her voice is well-suited for this type of music. But I will have to agree with the above people in that the “I never Promised you a Rose Garden” is pretty bad.

  • DJ Johnny O

    You call that a cover of Rose Garden? I call it complete crap!!!

  • Cynthia

    I don’t find Rose Garden bad I just find that it is not the same as the version we all know and love.

    I cant say I would prefer it over the Anderson version but it does have it’s merits and it is a tribute to Andnerson’s version.

  • Bob Farar

    If you say so, Cynthis! I think not! I would not call that a tribute to Rose Garden at all…rather an insult!

  • Steven


  • Karen Anne

    My kids all loved Rose Garden and I certainly do not see the need to re-record it again by a singer with less of a voice than Lynn Anderson and with a completely different singing style, if it was to have been a tribute, that is. I am inclined with the person who wrote that is was more than likely a vehicle for McBride and hence the reason it was the first release.

  • godoggo

    Real men just root for a crash.

  • brandi

    i dont agree with some of these ugly remarks they are fuck up and there just pure bull shit martina mbcride sings evthing amazingly and she puts her heart and soul in everthing she does she is the best singer today tomorrow and forever and ya’ll probaly sing like shit and are jelous of her because she has beauty ,talent,grace ,and brains

  • http://123 Fer

    Hello !!!

    saludos de chile !!

  • Aime

    I want to meet MartinaMcBride

  • Ashley

    There is NO need to be making the rude comments you have made about this CD!! This CD was as AMAZING as Martina and that is pretty darn amazing then. She is my favorite singer in the world!

  • Ashley

    ohh yeah and by the way I ahve met her and she is the sweetest person EVER!