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Wednesday, October 28, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Mcgraw, Mcbride More Than Fair

William Berry Correspondent

Tim McGraw and Martina McBride

Sunday, Sept. 10, Spokane Interstate Fair

Seeing Tim McGraw’s show at the Interstate Fair brought me to the realization that all those people moving their lips as they drive aren’t just talking to themselves. They are singing along with and diligently committing to memory McGraw’s latest songs.

McGraw is hot stuff for country fans, and Sunday he showed why. He gave the fans packed into the stands at the Interstate Fairgrounds an hour and a half of rowdy, hard-driving country music. Party tunes, such as “Gettin’ Down on the Farm,” “I Like It, I Love It (I Want Some More Of It)” and the title track from his soon-to-be-released album, “All I Want (Is a Life),” are a strong suit for him. Bad boys are always more entertaining.

But McGraw has something for after the party, too. He turns a ballad around just right, so the hooks are sure to get you. From “Not a Moment Too Soon” and “I Don’t Want to Be Here in the Morning” to “She Can’t Be Really Gone” he gives a weighty significance to seemingly simple turns of phrase.

Poetry should do just that, - take thoughts which many people might share and express them better than any of us could. Call it poetry or not, McGraw hit the nail on the head with “Don’t Take the Girl.” This is a powerful love song which has obviously touched a lot of hearts. McGraw didn’t even have to supply the final verse - he just stood still on stage with his head bowed and let the audience finish his song.

As an entertainer, he has what it takes. His voice is dynamic and flexible, he has a stack of good material and, although the posturing-forthe-ladies bits are lost on me, he seems to have a great time on stage.

Opening the show was Martina McBride, another up-and-comer who has a lot to say. Women, in particular, are listening carefully.

“My Baby Loves Me Just the Way That I Am” has gained quite a following in the acceptance and validation department.

McBride’s upbeat country rock is exemplified by her “Wild Angels,” the namesake tune of the album she is releasing next month. She also sang two ballads from the album, “Safe in the Arms of Love” and the soaring “Where I Used to Have a Heart.” Her clear voice and fresh attitude make her easy on the ears.

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