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article imageMartina McBride talks holiday album, cookbook and Aretha Franklin Special

By Markos Papadatos     Oct 24, 2018 in Music
Martina McBride chatted with Digital Journal about her Christmas album, her new cookbook, and her favorite recipes, as well as the digital transformation of the music business. She also paid homage to the late Aretha Franklin.
On the song selection process for her new Christmas album, It's the Holiday Season, McBride said, "I thought about songs that would lend themselves to more of a swing/big band style. While our first Christmas album, White Christmas, had more of the hymns, which I love to sing, this style really dictated that we do more of the classic pop Christmas songs. Plus, I've always wanted to do some of the more kid-friendly songs like 'Frosty the Snowman' and 'Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer' and this gave me a way to do them that made a lot of sense to me, musically."
Her Christmas album, It's the Holiday Season, earned a glowing review from Digital Journal. The CD is available on iTunes and on Spotify.
McBride's new cookbook, Martina's Kitchen Mix: My Recipe Playlist for Real Life, will be released on October 30. When asked what inspired her to do another cookbook, McBride said, "It's really like the decision to make another album. You love the process and feel like you have something more to share. I wanted the opportunity to share some of the new recipes I've been cooking over the past couple of years, and also some family recipes that have been handed down. I am always inspired to encourage people to cook at home. With this book, which has a lot of variations and 'ad-libs,' I hope to inspire people to experiment and get creative and make these recipes their own."
Favorite Recipes
On her favorite recipes, McBride said, "Well, much like songs on an album, I don't put recipes in the book unless I think they are delicious. I also like recipes that are approachable and not too overwhelming for other home cooks like me. One of my favorites is, of course, my mom's pot roast. It's just the definition of comfort food to me."
McBride continued, "On the healthier side, I love the Garlic Roasted Cabbage Steak with Eggplant Tomato Sauce. It's a vegetarian recipe, which I tried to include more of in this book, that is so delicious. I stumbled upon adding eggplant to my tomato sauce by accident. I had some eggplant left over and just decided to chop it up and add it to my sauce. It really gives a nice depth of flavor. That's what I mean by hoping people aren't so bound to a recipe but gain some confidence to try their own take on it."
Advice for aspiring foodies, future plans
For aspiring foodies, who wish to compile and publish their own cookbooks someday, McBride said, "Just keep cooking and documenting recipes and your personal touches or changes that you make to them. Personally, I typed up a proposal with sample recipes and a couple of sample chapters and pitched it to a publisher who then, decided to take a chance on it."
Speaking of food, McBride revealed that in 2019, they will be shooting the second season of the series Martina's Table for the Food Network. "We will also be touring, and making a new album," she said.
Digital transformation of the music industry
McBride acknowledged that she loves the popularity and resurgence of vinyl. "I still love the idea of holding something in my hand, the act of putting it on the turntable, turning it over and just having physical contact with it. Being able to hand a copy to a friend as a gift. Sitting around looking at the covers and listening. Actually carrying albums to a friend's house to share and listen."
She continued, "I think that whole culture has changed with the popularity of streaming. I am disappointed that my kids, for example, won't really have the same experience. Even though they share music, it just feels different when your whole physical contact with it is plugging in an aux cord to your phone. I'm glad vinyl is still around to mimic the same experience of physically sharing music that I had growing up."
America's Got Talent
This summer, McBride served as a guest judge on the American reality competition, America's Got Talent. "It was really fun," she admitted. "Everyone was very nice and welcoming and it was so entertaining to see all of the different kinds of talent."
Joy of Christmas Tour
This November, McBride will be going on her "Joy of Christmas" Tour, which she shared will be quite different this year. "We are playing with local symphony orchestras so that's a whole new experience for us and for the fans. Also, we will have nine new song choices from It's The Holiday Season. But some elements will stay the same and it will definitely have a lot of Christmas spirit," she exclaimed.
A few years back, McBride was a part of Aretha Franklin's Grammy tribute, and she fondly remembers the late "Queen of Soul" Aretha Franklin. "Eric Clapton once said about Stevie Ray Vaughn that he was an 'open channel.' That the music just flowed through him, divine and inspired. I felt that way about Aretha's singing. I never heard her thinking or planning what to do. It just flowed through her, divine and inspired. To be that open and fluid as a singer was a real inspiration to me," McBride said.
For more information on Martina McBride, her tour dates and latest cooking endeavors, check out her website.
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