Martina McBride’s “Joy of Christmas” tour stops at Hobart Arena

Martina McBride performs at Hobart November 29. Photo: Joseph Lianes

By Tim Walker

Martina McBride is one of country music’s biggest female stars, and she’s been a household name since the release of her first album, “The Time Has Come”, back in 1992. But her Christmas tour and the songs she performs during those holiday shows are the ones that really get her excited.

“It’s one of my favorite shows to do,” says McBride when speaking with the Dayton City Paper recently, “It’s just really, really special.” McBride’s holiday-themed “Joy of Christmas Tour” kicks off on Nov. 24 in Biloxi, Mississippi, and continues through 16 cities, visiting Troy for a performance at Hobart Arena on Wednesday, Nov. 29. The show in Troy will be the only Ohio appearance for McBride’s Christmas show. The performance begins at 8 p.m., and good seats are still available through Hobart Arena’s box office.

McBride is known in the country music world for her incredible soprano singing range and for her country-pop crossover recordings. She’s enjoyed a string of major hit singles, which have performed equally well on both the country and the adult contemporary charts over the past several decades. McBride has released a total of 13 studio albums, two greatest hits compilations, and one live album, and with ten of her albums having gone gold, she has sold over 14 million albums in the United States alone. In addition, McBride has won the Country Music Association’s “Female Vocalist of the Year” award four times, putting her in a 3-way tie with Reba McEntire and Carrie Underwood for the second-most wins (Miranda Lambert currently has six wins). Martina McBride has also received 14 Grammy Award nominations. Her best-loved songs include “Independence Day”, “Wild Angels”, and “This One’s For the Girls”.

It’s obvious when speaking to her, however, that the Christmas show holds a special place in her heart. “It’s a really beautiful show,” McBride continues. “It’s very visual. We have a big video screen with lots of scenes going on. I do six different costume changes, and it even snows. It’s just a really Christmas-y show… my goal is to put everybody in the Christmas spirit. And then there’s that music. We do a lot of classics, and we’re going to do some hits as well, so it’s a lot of music, and just a lot of fun for everyone.”

Like many artists, McBride believes that it is important to ‘give back’ to the community, and she has used her fame, talent, and success in the music industry to reach out and help numerous charities over the course of her career. Recently, she performed as part of the Nov. 12 “Country Rising” concert in Nashville, which raised money for hurricane relief efforts as well as for the victims of the horrifying Oct. 1 mass shooting in Las Vegas. McBride was joined at that benefit concert by some of country music’s biggest names, including Keith Urban, Jason Aldean, George Strait, Reba McEntire, and Chris Stapleton, but that show was only one example of the charity work with which she’s involved.

“Team Music is Love is my charity,” McBride continues, ”And I’m just really, really proud of it. It’s very fan-driven, and the fans are the volunteers, and we try to do a lot locally when we’re out on tour. And then we also try to give back on a national level, like with the hurricane relief effort we just did. ‘Team Music is Love’ partnered with ‘One Gen Away’, a charity based in Tennessee, and we were able to give away a lot of food to a lot of people who really needed it. There were two semi trucks full of food, actually.” One Gen Away was started in Franklin, Tennessee by pastor Chris Whitney and his wife Elaine, and the charity works to provide healthy food to families who don’t have access to food sources due to physical or economic barriers.

“People can go to TeamMusicIsLove.com and find out what we’re all about,” continues McBride. “If they want to they can also become part of the effort. It’s wonderful to be able to give back.”

Giving back, helping people, and making people happy is what Martina McBride is known for. And the “Joy of Christmas” tour will be heading out soon with an aim of doing just that. “I am really looking forward to this tour,” the singer says. “It’s just so much fun, and really special, and I love performing those great songs. I can’t wait for it to start.”

With an evening of holiday songs performed by a giving, talented performer like Martina McBride, Nov. 29 promises to be a night to remember at Hobart Arena.

Martina McBride will bring her “Joy of Christmas” tour to Hobart Arena in Troy on Nov. 29 for its only Ohio stop. The show starts at 8 p.m., and tickets are still available. Go to http://HobartArena.com/ or call 937.339.2911 for more information.

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Tim Walker
Tim Walker is 51 and a writer, DJ, and local musician. He lives with his wife and their two children in Dayton, where he enjoys pizza, jazz, and black T-shirts. Reach DCP freelance writer Tim Walker at TimWalker@DaytonCityPaper.com

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