Martina McBride’s upcoming album, Timeless, will be a collection of country classics, including the project’s first single, a remake of Lynn Anderson’s 1970 smash, “Rose Garden.” The album will be released Oct. 18.
McBride’s love of traditional country music dates back to her childhood on a farm in Sharon, Kan. When she was 7 and her brother Marty was 5, they joined her father’s country band that practiced regularly at the family’s home.
“I’ve always wanted to make a traditional country album, and I’d say that every time I’d start a record,” said McBride. “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.”
The album includes songs written and/or popularized by several Country Music Hall of Fame members, including Loretta Lynn’s “You Ain’t Woman Enough,” Eddy Arnold’s “Make the World Go Away,” Hank Snow’s “I Don’t Hurt Anymore,” Don Gibson’s “I Can’t Stop Loving You,” the Everly Brothers’ “Let It Be Me,” Merle Haggard’s “Today I Started Loving You Again,” Tammy Wynette’s “Til I Can Make It on My Own,” Waylon Jennings’ “Dreaming My Dreams” and Kris Kristofferson’s “Help Me Make It Through the Night.”
Dolly Parton makes a guest appearance on McBride’s version of Johnny Cash’s “I Still Miss Someone.” Other classic hits on the album include Hank Williams’ “You Win Again” and “Take These Chains From My Heart,” Buck Owens’ “Crying Time” and “Love’s Gonna Live Here” and Ray Price’s “I’ll Be There (If You Ever Want Me)” and “Heartaches by the Number.” McBride also covers several other hits, including Jeanne Pruett’s “Satin Sheets,” Lee Roy Van Dyke’s “Walk on By,” Connie Smith’s “Once a Day,” Buddy Holly’s “True Love Ways” and Charlie Walker’s “Pick Me Up on Your Way Down.”
“I wasn’t thinking of the ’business’ of country music when I made this album,” she said. “I made Timeless for the love of the music and for the experience of singing these songs. Obviously, I hope people like it. But for me, the bottom line was just trying to pay tribute to these songs and give them the respect they deserve.
“This record really is not about me. It’s about this music,” she adds. “I want everybody who hears it to go, ’Wow, what great songs.’ I think there will be a lot of people who have fond memories of these songs and also many people who will be hearing them for the first time. It’s exciting to think that it may inspire someone to go back and listen to the originals and discover how wonderful traditional country music is.”
McBride recorded the songs live in the studio with a band featuring steel guitarist Paul Franklin, fiddler Stuart Duncan, bassists Glenn Worf and Larry Paxton, keyboardist Gordon Mote, drummer Eddie Bayers and guitarists Steve Gibson, Paul Worley and McBride’s brother, Marty Schiff.
“It was just a joyful process,” McBride noted. “I wanted only musicians who had the same kind of desire to do this record as I had. I wanted people who were excited about recreating this music and who would understand how to give it the authenticity I wanted. I wasn’t interested in doing a 2005 version. I wanted to get the feel of the original recording. I have to say, the musicianship on this record is some of the finest I have ever heard.”