Martina McBride brings music and truck full of food to Greensburg
Country star Martina McBride is bringing music to Greensburg, along with a surprise bonus: a truckload of soup cans and other edibles, enough to feed 300 families.
McBride, who is performing Feb. 9 at the Palace Theatre, has partnered with the Westmoreland County Food Bank for her Team Music is Love charity initiative. Through the initiative, she has turned her Love Unleashed Tour into a philanthropic crusade. McBride partners with nonprofits in many of the towns and cities where she performs, to do some inspiring work on concert day.
“We try to give back to the local community,” McBride says. She and her fans have done things like visiting shelters and food banks, and visiting cancer patients to give them presents.
On her day in Greensburg, before the evening show, McBride fans and volunteers will be passing out the food donations 12:30 to 3 p.m. at the food bank at 100 Devonshire Drive, Delmont.
“That project is really driven by the fans,” McBride says. “We spread the love.”
Love is the theme of McBride's 2017 Love Unleashed Tour, which celebrates her 25th year of touring. During this past quarter century, McBride has sold more than 18 million albums, which include 20 Top 10 singles and six No. 1 hits. Fan song favorites include “Independence Day,” “Concrete Angel,” “Anyway,” “This One's for the Girls” and “I'm Gonna Love You Through It.”
The “Love Unleashed” idea stems from the general feeling of negativity in the world right now, says McBride, whose set list will include both classic hits and songs from her current album, “Reckless,” released in April 2016.
“I just wanted to do something to lift people up … to be more positive and loving,” McBride says.
She and her husband, John, have three daughters: young adults Delaney and Emma; and Ava, 11, who accompanies her mom on much of her tour. “Hopefully, this show will be a jump start for people to do that.”
McBride has performed at many large Pittsburgh-area venues including the former Mellon Arena in Uptown, the Petersen Events Center in Oakland, and an outdoor show once at the recently renamed KeyBank Pavilion in Burgettstown. This performance, at the cozy Palace Theatre, provides McBride's favorite kind of concert experience.
“I really like the intimate venues, to be honest; it's just a more personal experience,” she says. “I feel like I can make a really good connection with the audience. There's not a bad seat in the house. I just feel like it's a better experience for both of us.”
After the concert, McBride fans have a new release to look forward to this year: a new Christmas album, set to come out in October or November. McBride's original yuletide album, “White Christmas,” came out in 1998; the album was revised and re-released as “The Classic Christmas Album” in 2013.
Outside of recording and touring, McBride has earned more than 15 major music awards – including four female vocalist of the year wins from the Country Music Association, and three top female vocalist wins from the Academy of Country Music.
In 2014, McBride had a cookbook published: “Around the Table: Recipes and Inspirations for Gatherings Throughout the Year.” The book contains a collection of her favorite recipes, along with tips for hosting and decor.
Kellie B. Gormly is a Tribune-Review contributing writer.