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Martina McBride reveling in the Christmas spirit

This is Martina McBride's first Christmas tour since 2006. Photo: Courtesy

This is Martina McBride's first Christmas tour since 2006. Photo: Courtesy

[UPDATE - WE HAVE OUR WINNER. JON, WHO POSTED BELOW, WAS RANDOMLY SELECTED. THANKS EVERYONE, AS ALWAYS, FOR PARTICIPATING. HOPE I'LL HAVE MORE FUN THINGS TO GIVE AWAY OVER THE HOLIDAYS.

HAPPY THANKSGIVING.

MELISSA

Want to win a pair of free tickets to see Martina McBride's Christmas show at the Fox Theatre on Friday? Leave a comment below and we'll randomly choose a winner at 5 p.m. Tuesday. Tickets can be picked up at will call. And thanks to our friends at the Fox for making these great seats available!]

Six years have passed since Martina McBride’s last Christmas tour, and 14 years since “White Christmas,” her last holiday album.

But the country chanteuse known for “This One’s For the Girls,” “A Broken Wing,” “Independence Day” and a couple of dozen other hits, is ready to embrace the Christmas spirit this year with her “Joy of Christmas” tour, launching Friday at the Fox Theatre.

McBride, last seen in Atlanta earlier this year opening for George Strait, will return to the road with him next year, too, as he begins to wrap up the performing side of his career.

But first, there is an appearance on Thursday’s Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade (9 a.m. on NBC) a new album in the planning stages and this 16-date Christmas tour.

McBride called in from Nashville earlier this week to let us know what to expect at Friday’s show and also give a glimpse of Christmas in the McBride household.

Q. We’re your first date of the tour, so have you done any special planning this week?

A. Yesterday I got all my outfits. I’ll have six costume changes. The first show is so important, so we always choose the locale carefully and try to find a place where we think will be a good place to start the tour.

Q. What about Atlanta makes it a good place to start?

A. We’ve had such great crowds and fans there, and fun shows. It seemed like it made sense to start there.

Q. I understand you have a large band – 12 pieces?

A.Yes, some string players and background vocalists as well as my regular band. We did [a Christmas tour] for three years starting in 2006. It was a larger production, but I sang to track, so it’s fun to have a band on stage. The show is a little more focused and I think it’s better than the one we put on before. It’s more intimate.

Q. What can fans expect to hear? Are you also doing non-holiday songs?

A. We’ll do most of the songs from my (1998) Christmas record, from “I’ll Be Home for Christmas” to “Let it Snow. We do a duet with Elvis on “Blue Christmas.” I’ll go out and chat with audience and have it be spontaneous and fun. We do hymns as well. My goal is to put everyone in the Christmas spirit. We do a couple of non-holiday songs, too.

Q. I assume the Elvis duet is on video. What is the rest of the production like?

A. Yeah, we use video to create an environment for each song. We have some snow and other things that I don’t want to give away. Everything you can think about for Christmas!

Q. It’s been awhile since you released a Christmas album. Is that something you’d do again?

A.We were going to do one for this year but the timing didn’t work out, so hopefully next year.

Q. What is your favorite Christmas song?

A. I love all Christmas music, so picking one is hard, but I love ‘O Holy Night.’ It’s so emotional. I really like singing the hymns.

Q. What’s a typical Christmas like in the McBride household?

A. We stay home all day and the five of us are all together. We have a big breakfast and I make a big dinner. It’s our day to just be in the house with each other – kind of like everyone else’s Christmas, really.

 Q. What is your favorite part of Christmas?

A. I love being with my family, just taking the day to shut off the world. We have a 7-year-old so we still have an exciting Christmas morning.

Q. Is it unusual for you to be on the road so close to the holidays?

A. We haven’t done this tour since 2006, so yeah. It’s interesting because it forces you to get organized and start Christmas shopping early, which you don’t usually do. But doing a Christmas show every night puts you in a Christmas spirit as well. It’s a beautiful show, beautiful to look at.

Q. You’re going back on tour with George Strait. How do you feel about being part of his last live hurrah?

A. It’s really great, to be asked to be part of this special event. It’s really an honor.

Q. What else do you have planned for next year?

A. I’m starting a new album in January that will be out for September. I’m just starting to find songs for that, so it’s early in the process.

Martina McBride performs at 8 p.m. Friday. $37.50-$57.50. Fox Theatre, 660 Peachtree St. N.E., Atlanta. 1-855-285-8499, www.foxatltix.com.

36 comments Add your comment

Steve

November 20th, 2012
12:22 pm

Martina is such a delight to listen to when she sings. Her songs carry a true message for all to hear. She puts her heart and soul into every song and her concerts are excellent. It makes you feel like she is singing just for you and that makes the connection something special. God Bless you Martina!! Merry Christmas.

Toni

November 20th, 2012
12:45 pm

I love Martina. Her songs have always touched me.

Jason

November 20th, 2012
2:06 pm

Martina is great in larger venues-I’ll bet show at the FOX would be wonderful!

ashley

November 20th, 2012
2:11 pm

Martina is great! What a great way to kick off the holidays-truly my favorite time of year.

MusicFan

November 20th, 2012
2:19 pm

Got to see Martina’s Christmas concert at Gwinnett Arena a while back and it was spectacular. Love when she sings “Oh, Holy Night”!!

Joey

November 20th, 2012
2:25 pm

What a great venue for a Christmas Concert with Martina! What a gorgeous voice to bring us into the holiday season!

rcs

November 20th, 2012
2:37 pm

What a voice. I’m sure her Christmas show is spectacular.

OTP

November 20th, 2012
2:41 pm

Martina is hot!

FWP

November 20th, 2012
3:01 pm

Martina is one of my favorite female artists. Don’t know how such a powerful voice comes out of such a tiny body!

sandra Powell

November 20th, 2012
3:09 pm

Would love to see this concert

Rupricht

November 20th, 2012
3:18 pm

Martina & Vince Gill were my introductions to country music. His Breath of Heaven Christmas collection is always a staple around our house during the holiday season.

Elvis

November 20th, 2012
3:19 pm

Martina is great!

BTC

November 20th, 2012
3:24 pm

Martina is a top performer and vocalist – a true professional in every way! My wife and I just adore her and can’t think of a better way to kick off the Holiday season. We’ve been going through some hard times lately and can’t attend shows like these. Seeing this show would make 2012 the best!

david c

November 20th, 2012
3:34 pm

I’m ready!

RC

November 20th, 2012
3:36 pm

Sweet-spirited lady. You can tell her heart is within everything she sings.

Jon

November 20th, 2012
3:38 pm

Always been a fan of her as a vocalist. Would be great to see her singing Christmas songs at this show!

Amanda

November 20th, 2012
3:48 pm

I’m excited that she decided to do a Christmas show right here in Atlanta– It would be a wonderful date with my husband to start the Christmas season!

Alan

November 20th, 2012
3:50 pm

I love Martina. That would make a great date

Renee

November 20th, 2012
3:58 pm

What a great way to kick off the holiday season. I love Martina

James

November 20th, 2012
4:04 pm

Hopefully will get to see the show. My wife and I haven’t seen her in many years.

Michelle

November 20th, 2012
4:17 pm

Sounds wonderful!

David

November 20th, 2012
4:28 pm

Martina McBride is beyond the realm of a classic voice that brings a heartfelt message. Her Christmas albums are spectacular and her band (lest we forget, a vocalist needs a brilliant band of musicians) is spot on. All I can really say is thanks for the opportunity to see a classic show.

Sherrie

November 20th, 2012
4:37 pm

Martina sings a beautiful version of ‘O, Holy Night’ and I would love to see her sing it live!

Grinch

November 20th, 2012
4:50 pm

Just hoping for the free tickets

Crystal

November 20th, 2012
4:58 pm

Martina McBride put on one for the greatest Christmas shows I have seen. I saw her a few years ago.

Gary

November 20th, 2012
4:59 pm

Love Martina McBride

Dale

November 20th, 2012
5:06 pm

Martina … WOW!!!

Michael

November 20th, 2012
5:22 pm

I have been wanting to see Martina McBride for the longest time. It would be great to see her live in concert with my fiance. How romantic.

David

November 20th, 2012
5:26 pm

I want to see Martina!

Greg

November 20th, 2012
5:55 pm

She is great.

Melissa Ruggieri

November 20th, 2012
6:27 pm

Congrats to Jon, who was randomly selected as our winner!

Annie

November 20th, 2012
7:53 pm

It would be a blessinng to get tickets to see Martian.

Jay Terrell

November 20th, 2012
8:07 pm

bet it’ll be a great show. Martina is quite a talent

[...] Atlanta Journal Constitution (blog) [...]

TC

November 21st, 2012
7:23 am

I can’t think of a better place to hear Martina sing, than the Fox!

floydkirk

November 26th, 2012
8:11 am

She is great i love her singing. I’m sure her Christmas show is spectacular.