Born Martina Schiff, she was raised making music on a farm in tiny Sharon, Kansas. Her dad, Daryl Schiff, had a band that rehearsed every week in the family's house. When she was 7 and little brother Marty was 5, they joined the group.
""There wasn't much to do growing up on a farm. We had three channels on the TV, one of which was fuzzy. Marty and I would come home from school and we were kind of isolated. There were no neighborhood kids. There was no convenience store. No video games. But we always had musical instruments. Our play time was sitting around making music and singing together.""
""We played wedding dances, VFW halls, American Legion posts and things like that. My mom ran the soundboard. I played keyboards and sang. My brother played guitar and steel. My dad led the band, played guitar and sang. I did that every Saturday night until I graduated from high school.""
""Satin Sheets"" and ""Help Me Make it Through the Night"" were in her repertoire as a young girl. Daryl Schiff sang ""Heartaches by the Number,"" ""I'll Be There"" and several of the other standards. But it wasn't only nostalgia that prompted the recording of Timeless. These performances have been smoldering inside Martina McBride since the dawn of her recording career.
""I've always wanted to make a traditional country album and I'd say that every time I'd start a record. Then I'd gather songs that always kind of led me in another direction. But it has always been in my heart to do a record like this.""
""This album came about as a result of a project I was doing for Hallmark (2005's My Heart). I decided to record ""Together Again"" for that record. After it was finished, I said, 'I wish I could do a whole album of this stuff.' I went to the head of my record company and said, 'I have a crazy idea that I want to do a whole album of classic country music.' He said, 'I think that's great. Do it.' And from then on, we were off and running.""
|Martina McBride is one of the most reliable female performers in country music. Her bright, sunny twang-filled albums have been appearing on the charts since she first arrived on the scene in 1992. On her ninth studio album, Waking Up Laughing, McBride continues to mine a slick, honky-tonk-tinged pop vibe that expertly splits the difference between commercial anthems ("How I Feel") and slightly tougher material ("Cry Cry [Til the Sun Shines]"). With her nearly flawless voice fully intact, McBride also co-produced and wrote several songs on the album--including the smash single "Anyway" and the harrowing, yet oddly sunny-sounding tale of hard times, "Beautiful Again"--making it perhaps the most personal album of her career.|
"They are more traditionally "country" songs, a term that in the 21st century can mean almost anything -- and yes, that's good: it simply stands for American music these days. Waking Up Laughing is another brick in Martina McBride's astonishingly consistent catalog. Her continual affirmation for Christian faith may alienate some but will no doubt register with many country fans. Any way you look at it, Waking Up Laughing is a winner. Thom Jurek- All Music Guide