Country music legend Clint Black performs in Beaver Creek, March 26
If You Go ...
What: Country music legend Clint Black.
When: 7:30 p.m. Sunday, March 26.
Where: Vilar Performing Arts Center, 68 Avondale Lane, Beaver Creek.
Cost: Tickets start at $55.
More information: Tickets are available at the VPAC box office, by calling 970-845-8497 or at http://www.vilarpac.org. A free shuttle is available from any Vail hotel or lodge with pick-up at 6:45 p.m. Book a shuttle or buy tickets by calling 970-845-TIXS.
Check out that grin on Clint Black’s face. That’s the look of a man who still can’t quite believe it’s all working out this well. Or maybe he’s thinking about his 22 No. 1 hits, or any number of other successes.
You’d grin, too.
Black is bringing that grin — and his band and his massive catalog of country music — to the Vilar Performing Arts Center in Beaver Creek for a show tonight. This tour is smaller, with more intimate theaters, such as the Vilar, Aspen’s Wheeler Opera House and the Avalon Theater in Grand Junction.
“I do prefer these types of venues. They sound better, are more comfortable and allow for a closer connection with the audience. The venues I played on my way up, though, were not nearly this nice,” Black said in an email interview. “We’re excited to be back.”
Some people are calling it a comeback tour. Some people would be mistaken.
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“You can’t have a comeback if you haven’t gone anywhere,” Black said. “I don’t see me as having gone away. I tour extensively, write and produce for television, films, as well as other artists.”
It seems to be working out for him. Black has sold more than 20 million albums with 57 charted singles, 31 in the top 10, and 22 hit No. 1. He has Grammys, Country Music Awards, American Music Awards, Academy of Country Music Awards and is a member of the Grand Ole Opry.
All in all, Black is a pretty regular guy. He had the very good sense to marry fellow Texan and actress Lisa Hartman. She starred in the TV series “Knots Landing” and other shows and has several movies to her credit.
It happened something like this: After a New Year’s Eve concert in Houston, she wandered backstage to meet Black. They kept their courtship secret way better than any of the federal clandestine services manage to do, and were married in 1991 in Katy, Texas, Black’s hometown.
Clint Patrick Black is the youngest of four brothers. He began performing with brother Kevin at family barbecues. After high school, he worked construction for a year and spent 10 years on the local nightclub circuit around Houston. He landed a Nashville recording contract in 1988, released his debut album, “Killin’ Time,” in 1989 and had five No. 1 songs.
His new album, “On Purpose,” is dedicated to his father, who died in late 2012.
In between, he has written and produced music, television, movies and all kinds of other things. But all the while, he has been stockpiling songs. He said he usually narrows an album down from 30 songs to 10.
“For almost every album I have made, I had two or three albums’ worth of material written,” he said.
For “On Purpose,” he started with 40 songs, because … dad.
“My dad was a huge country fan and is the first reason I listen to country music,” Black said. “He is probably the reason I’m a songwriter today. I grew up wanting to be the writer behind the song. That really all started with him.”
“On Purpose” is his first new full-length album in a decade, and may be some of Black’s best work. The lilting “You Still Get to Me” is Black and Hartman’s third duet. “Calling It News” is a wry, topical statement. “The Trouble” is colored by Australian slang.
“To him (his dad), country music was a sacred thing. From time to time, I imagine him out there just beyond the spotlight, listening. So I dedicate this album to him, wishing we could share one more release together. But the clock ran out. I’ll just live with the faith that somehow, he’s able to hear it,” Black said.
Along with singing and songwriting, Black became an actor and video director, founded song-publishing companies and recorded with a wide variety of artists. Among other successes, he helped break Little Big Town as a platinum act.
He has written and produced songs for Hasbro’s children’s shows, competed for his charity on Celebrity Apprentice and, in 2010 and 2012, starred in the films “Flicka 2” and “Flicka: Country Pride,” the latter with his wife and his daughter, Lily Pearl.
Staff Writer Randy Wyrick can be reached at 970-748-2935 and email@example.com.