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Clint Black - model musical citizen holds up well

Cerritos Center for the Performing Arts, Cerritos, Cal, Feb. 3, 2001

By Dan MacIntosh

CERRITOS, Cal. - Just when you are about to give up on mainstream country music altogether, Clint Black - with his Roy Rogers smile - returns to town like a hero saving the day. This Southern California visit was a reminder of just how good this man Black truly is.

Along with his trusty songwriting sidekick Hayden Nicholas, who plays guitar in the band, Black has amassed quite a few gems over the years, and many of these sharp jewels shone like diamonds against the black velvet background of this in-concert display.

Highlights included the stormy "Like the Rain," the thoughtful "We Tell Ourselves" and the steadfastly optimistic "Better Man."

Black also drew liberally from his adventurous "D'Lectrified" album. The best of these included his take on Eric Idle's "Galaxy Song," and Waylon Jennings tribute "Are You Sure Waylon Done It This Way." Additionally, one of Black's encore selections, Steely Dan's "Josie," most certainly belonged with Black's recent foray into d'lectrification, since it surprisingly found Black behind the drum kit pounding skins.

Black looked much more comfortable playing his acoustic guitar or wailing on the harmonica as he did especially well on "Put Yourself In My Shoes."

It came as no great surprise when a very pregnant Lisa Hartman Black joined her hubby to sing the smoochy "When I Said I Do." But even this lovey-dovey ode was performed with class.

Class is just something that comes naturally to Black. In his own casual way, he was the perfect master of ceremonies - whether joking about Southern California's energy crisis or making Nicholas blush.

Instead of looking for clean cut guys who look good in hats, Nashville executives should instead hold up Clint Black as the model musical citizen.

©Country Standard Time • Jeffrey B. Remz, editor & publisher •
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