Paint it Black
Country superstar gives spirited fans something to scream about
My brother Scott loves Clint Black’s voice more than anyone’s except for that of the legendary George Jones. So, of course, my brother was my date for Black’s Friday night show at Gold Country Casino, and he and I enthusiastically did the whole casino thing, starting out with taking in copious amounts of crab, shrimp, salad and bread pudding with whiskey sauce at the buffet.
The showroom looks kind of like a well-constructed circus tent. Thankfully, this tent was air-conditioned. A little after 8 p.m., the emcee got up on stage and announced to the packed house: “If you brought flowers for Clint Black, bring them to stage right.”
Dude is popular.
Next, over the P.A., we heard the recorded voice of Black’s 4-year-old daughter Lily announce, “My daddy, Clint Black!”
Huge cheers—many of them female voices—rose from the audience as Black and his top-notch band launched into “Killin’ Time,” from his popular 1989 album of the same name.
All night long, one could not help but notice just how much Black’s fans adore him. Every single song was received with thunderous applause and cheering. A small pack of women danced near us on the sidelines with blissful looks on their faces—that is until late in the show when they were told to go back to their seats after one couldn’t resist running up to Black mid-song and grabbing his hand.
Black—with his strong, spot-on, country voice and smiling eyes—had the audience in the palm of his hand all night long as he performed a mixture of old songs and new songs from his forthcoming album, Drinkin’ Songs and Other Logic. “Heartaches,” from Drinkin’ Songs, was one of a number of tunes which put newest and youngest band member, excellent fiddler Brandon Apple, in the solo spotlight.
Everyone in the band had numerous chances to shine. Lead guitarist/back-up singer Hayden Nicholas, of course had his turn repeatedly to show off his great guitar chops, but rhythm guitarist Martin Young also got to tear it up a bit a couple of times late in show when he came forward from stage left to do his thing.
Perfect support came from burly pedal steel player Jeff Peterson, electric bassist Jake Willemain and drummer Dick Gay (now there‘s a name!). Keyboard player (and back-up singer) Dane Bryant—whose credits include jazz group Take 6 and Diamond Rio—was wonderful. We were even treated, as a surprising part of the encore, to Bryant singing lead on Steely Dan’s “Josie,” while Black went back and played drums (and played them well).
Summing up the experience nicely, my brother exclaimed at the end of the night, “Only one song was good. Everything else was great!”