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Country singer Clint Black promises intimate show in Mount Vernon Thursday

The Columbus Dispatch 9/12/2022 Margaret Quamme

Country singer Clint Black got his start in 1989, and had his biggest hits then — songs such as “Killin' Time” and “A Better Man.”

He has kept busy ever since, and these days juggles two different rounds of concert tours a year, including an appearance Thursday at the Knox Memorial Theater in Mount Vernon.

Some of his shows are part of the “Mostly Hits and the Mrs.” tour, which also includes his wife, actor and singer Lisa Hartman Black, and his daughter, Lily Pearl Black.

The Mount Vernon show is part of his solo tour. It's intimate and stripped down, rather than an elaborate production.

Clint Black: Smaller show brings music into focus

“I roll up my sleeves. That's my wardrobe change,” Black, 60, said, speaking by phone from his home in Nashville, Tennessee.

In addition to singing, Black will be playing guitar and harmonica. He will be accompanied by the guitar player and bassist who have been with him from the beginning, as well as a “great drummer,” a “fantastic keyboardist” and “a guy who plays fiddle, dobro, lap steel and guitar.”

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“We have several arrangements where the band really gets to show off,” Black said. “And in the more intimate venues, I talk a little more, usually to get a laugh. We have a lot of laughs in the show.”

Clint Black: A man of many talents

Black is hands-on in crafting both his music and the show. Most of the numbers in the show are performed in front of video backdrops created by the singer himself.

“Back in '94 I started directing my music videos. I learned a lot over the years from great video producers. I would always come up with a treatment, and my producer would budget it out and say, Yeah, that'll cost you a million dollars. I had to learn how to cut back and make affordable videos. So I bought a camera and I started to shoot stuff. But I wasn't an editor until I started doing these stage videos. I hired a couple of guys who would come over and tutor me in how to use the software. I've learned a lot in the last three or four years. I could hire people to do that stuff, but then I'd just be coming around looking over their shoulder and saying, 'Is that too much fire?' 'What about the rain?' I can't help it. I just love the creative stuff.”

Replay Video

Besides making videos during the COVID lockdown, Black also put out a new album, 2020's “Out of Sane.”

In 2021, he began hosting a talk show on country music television network Circle. “Talking in Circles” features lengthy interviews with stars such as Vince Gill, Darius Rucker, Gary LeVox, Joe Bonamassa, Amy Grant, Brad Paisley and many more. He has just finished recording the third season of the show.

“The network has been really encouraging about it,” he said. “I can go into the weeds and talk about anything that I would want to talk about with Joe Bonamassa or Dennis Quaid or whoever the guest is. There's no pressure to be like any other talk show. People who have been on the show, who may have been an acquaintance, or who maybe I met them once briefly, we've become friends. And talking to other songwriters about how they do it just gives me another way of looking at songwriting. There are so many ways to have a career, especially now.”

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In his spare time, he also started a coffee business, with the aim of selling freshly ground coffee online.

“A friend of mine would help me to get some coffee together and send out to family and friends for Christmas. He said, 'You've got a perfect name to be in the coffee business.' He's thinking 'Clint Black Coffee.' (Black finally settled on Clint Black Cowboy Coffee as a name.) I have a mom and pop that we found in Texas who roast this for me as we go. So it's probably three weeks since it was roasted when you get it. I like to be able to squeeze the bag and have it smell like it was just roasted.”

In comparison with all the COVID projects, being back on the road touring feels easy.

“Now we say,” Black joked, “we have to get out on the road to get some rest.”

margaretquamme@hotmail.com

At a glance

Clint Black will perform at 8 p.m. Thursday, September 15 at the Knox Memorial Theater, 112 E. High St., Mount Vernon. Tickets start at $58. (knoxmemorial.org)

This article originally appeared on The Columbus Dispatch: Country singer Clint Black promises intimate show in Mount Vernon Thursday

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