Hoosier Park: Clint Black Still Killin' It

By Heather Collins

ANDERSON, INDIANA (ENTERTAINMENT) - As tradition would have it, Clint Black was killin’ it Friday night in Indiana and still keeping it country. Black nearly sold out the Terrace Showroom at Hoosier Park Racing and Casino Friday night in Anderson, IN.

Black began the show solo playing familiar tracks from his first album, Killin’ Time released in 1989. Black sprinkled the first part of the show with two covers from country music great, WIllie Nelson including the great gospel tune, “Time of the Preacher,” from Willie Nelson’s Red Headed Stranger album, as well as, “I Couldn’t Believe it was True.” Black sounded astonishingly like Nelson while paying homage to the fellow country music great.

Black also told the crowd a riveting, toasty, and  smoke-filled story about his first encounter with Nelson at the Academy of Country Music Awards, you’ll have to attend a Clint Black concert to get the true story.

Black hasn’t lost a note, but has added harmonica to his repertoire. Black comedically and charismatically weaved laugh-out-loud quips and stories throughout his performance. Fans were thoroughly entertained by Clint Black performing his hits and killin’ it with his comedic charm and genuine grin and grit.

Black dedicated the show to fan Cee Cee DeHart, who was attending her 100th Clint Black Show. Black said it was the first time he has dedicated a show to someone. Black found out DeHart was celebrating her 100th Clint Black show and stepped in to pay airfare, ground transportation, tickets and meet-and-greets.

Fans can now win tickets, meet-and-greet passes and gift bag via Clint Black’s website.

Albany, Indiana resident Tammy Edwards attended the show with her husband, Jeff Edwards. The concert was a 55th birthday present to her husband.

“He’s as good as ever,” said Jeff Edwards.

Tammy Edwards added that Clint Black still has the same voice and same charism he had when she saw him live 20 years ago. She added the only thing that’s really changed is that Black has more guitars than he did back then.

Tammy said her favorite aspect of the show is Clint Black’s audience interaction. Clint Black is also known for personally responding to social media interactions, an exciting treat for fans.

By far Clint Black’s most enthusiastic fan of the show was Springport resident and long time Clint Black fan, Vincent Upchurch.

“He’s country. Music today that they call country is not country. Clint Black is country,” said Upchurch. “He is fantastic, he’s talented as all get-out. There’s nobody better at country than Clint Black.”

Upchurch added he’s always been a fan of traditional country music since when was seven years old.

“I can remember when I was seven or eight, my dad was sitting at his console stereo listening to Merle Haggard and George Jones,” said Upchurch.

Upchurch ranks Clint Black right up there with the traditional country greats such as George Jones and George Strait. Upchurch was vehement about new-age country not resonating with him and not being real country music.

“New country is not country,” said Upchurch. “It’s about time somebody country tries to push this pop crap to the side.”

Many fans of the show shared Upchurch sentiments and yearn for good ol’ country music, the way it should be -- without techno and auto-tune. Traditional country music fans get  more than could fill a 10-gallon hat’s worth of true grit, twang, and soulful country music during Clint Black’s latest tour performances.

Black did discuss a new upcoming album in the works! Black’s latest release, When I said I Do,  was distributed through Crack Barrel Country Stores in August of 2013. When I said I do contained three new tracks. A full album release by the songwriting sensation with all new material is expected soon.

Clint Black and his notorious black cowboy hat first hit the country music scene in the late ‘80s with his debut album, Killin’ Time. Five of the singles from Killin’ Time quickly went to number one on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart, a feat which hadn’t been accomplished for 14 years prior. At his debut year end, both “Killin’ Time” and a “Better Man” sat in the number one and number two spots of country music singles.

Like a true country music troubadour, Black left RCA records in 2003 to create his own artist-friendly record label, Equity Music Group.  Equity Music Group signed acts such as Little Big Town, who will be following in Black’s footsteps and performing at Hoosier Park on August 9th with Brothers Osbournes.

Black has consistently used his road band versus studio musicians including writing partner and lead guitarist, Hayden Nicholas and newcomer, Dwain Rowe. His touring band still consists of three of the original band members seen playing with him in the “Killin’ Time” music video, yet another country music feat!

For more information on Clint Black visit ClintBlack.com, or follow him on Facebook and Twitter.