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McBride delivers greatest hits, kind of

Chautauqua Amphitheater, Chautauqua, N.Y., June 22, 2024

Reviewed by Michael Rampa

Martina McBride has not released any new music since "Reckless" in 2016. Given the time gone by, it seemed that her live show would feature the greatest hits and that is what she delivered...kind of.

The show was about the devil in the details. The songs sounded different, but you could not put your finger on why.

It was not a vocal issue. She showed her five-octave range opening with the peppy "My Baby Loves Me." "Concrete Angel" felt more somber than usual, and the set list began to reveal clues why it sounded different. In this case, it was a long intro adding more weight to the material.

McBride is a belter and a balladeer, and the big anthems are always the highlight. "Independence Day," "A Broken Wing" and "Wild Angels" were fired off in rapid succession.

With Greg Foresman on vacation, Harry Smith pulled electric guitar duties. Foresman fronted his own blues band for years with his brand of bruising blues, which is conducive to a scorcher like "When God Fearin' Women Get The Blues." Conversely, Smith plays with more finesse and evokes the subtle tone of Mark Knopfler. The key and chord changes were seamless. The arrangements felt lighter.

McBride may not have released new music in a while but this show kind of felt like it.

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