Clint Black is Back: Black returns to Waco Friday

Country artist Clint Black is hitting the road again to spread his new music. He is also broadening his musical repertoire with his first musical, "Looking for Christmas," debuting next month in San Diego. Photo courtesy of Clint Black

Country music singer/songwriter Clint Black returns to Waco for a show at the Hippodrome tonight at 8 p.m.

Black’s most recent album, “On Purpose,” was released in 2015. Black and his wife Lisa Hartman Black will have been married for 27 years next week and they have a 17-year-old daughter, Lily Pearl Black. Most recently, Black has been working on his first stage musical, “Looking for Christmas,” which debuts next month in San Diego. The Lariat got the chance to ask him about his career in an email Q&A.

Q: What can fans expect from your show on Friday?

A: We’ll doing a lot of hits, a few album cuts and a new song or two from “On Purpose.” The band is just fantastic and everyone gets plenty of chances to show off, so for those of us who love to see great musicians “doing their thing”, it’s very satisfying from a musical standpoint. I’ll also share some funny bits about some of the songs. We tend to have a lot of laughs at these intimate theater shows. It’s my favorite type of venue to play.

Q: How do you pass the time when you’re on your tour bus?

A: By doing interviews! ha! I do spend time on Twitter and Facebook; FaceTime with my family, answering emails for work and personal stuff, practice on my guitar, watch TV or play video games (rarely) and I can exercise on the bus.

Q: Does your family get to travel with you?

A: Not much. They’ll meet me places sometimes but Lily is still in school and I tend to be home when she has breaks.

Q: After your Longview show this weekend, your calendar doesn’t show any performances until December. What kind of plans do you have between now and then?

A: I’ll be rehearsing the actors and musicians for the holiday musical “Looking for Christmas.” That will take about five weeks. Then, Thanksgiving, rehearsals and we hit the road, Lisa and me!

Q: What inspired you to write a Christmas musical? Was writing an entire musical different from writing an album of songs?

A: Much of the music was written. I had thought of writing a Broadway style musical for some time, but it wasn’t until I met someone — James Sasser — that I was confronted with the opportunity and thought about it seriously. Of all the ideas I had, James liked the Christmas idea best. He and I developed the basis for the story and he went to work writing the first draft of the non-musical parts we call “the book”.

We got back together to work on the book and figure out what needed to change and what new songs would be needed to round out the story. It has been a great collaboration. I collaborate plenty on albums but with this endeavor, I was telling a story with music, so there was a specific need I had to meet with the lyrics.

Q: Country music today is different than country music when you started. What current music do you listen to?

A: I listen to some Dierks Bentley, and a few other artists who are current but more country.

Q: Is your daughter following you and your wife into the entertainment business?

A: I think she will. She has the talent and a wonderful voice. She may join us on stage for the run of December dates Lisa is doing with me. It won’t be the first time, but it’s still new and very special to us.

Q: Are you combining your trip to Waco with a college visit to Baylor for your daughter?

A: No. I’d love for her to go to a Texas college but I don’t think she will choose that and from what everyone has told me; I don’t get to decide!!! HA

Q: Are you going to visit Magnolia while you’re in town?

A: No. I won’t be able to get out and about at all. I’ll wake up on the bus before sound check and then start preparing for the show. My routine is pretty strict in favor of taking it easy on my vocal cords for performing. My catalogue/set list is pretty challenging and I’ve learned that a lot of talking on show days gets in the way of the singing. The show is the most important thing on my agenda. Every night is the World Series to me!