OFFSTAGE: Martina McBride Looks Strait Ahead

(CMT Offstage keeps a 24/7 watch on everything that’s happening with country music artists behind the scenes and out of the spotlight.)

When Martina McBride was in Chicago to close out her Joy of Christmas tour, we caught up on her bus before the show. While she reflected on everything she loved about 2012, she told me she is very ready for what the new year will bring.

Specifically, George Strait. McBride is joining Strait for his Cowboy Rides Away tour, which kicks off on Jan. 18 in Texas.

“What I look forward to the most when I tour with George is just watching his show every night. It’s such a treat for me,” she said. “I do my show, then chill on my bus for a little bit, then I go back out and watch.”

She said Strait has an open door policy and always makes it feel like they are one big family out on the road. And they share so many of the same fans.

“There’s just a history there. I think my fans and his fans have really kind of grown up with us,” McBride told me. “Hell, I grew up with George Strait.”

Alison makes her living loving country music. She's based in Chicago, but she's always leaving her heart in Nashville.