The Palladium \/\/ Sunday, Oct. 24, 7 p.m. ET September 2021 In a career spanning three decades, Opry member and Grammy-winning country superstar singer and songwriter Clint Black has scored 22 No. 1 singles, nearly two dozen gold and platinum records and countless other awards with a style rooted in country tradition. Black\u2019s 1989 album \u201cKillin\u2019 Time\u201d is one of the great debuts in country history, selling over 3 million copies and spawning five No. 1 singles, including the title track \u201cA Better Man,\u201d \u201cNobody\u2019s Home\u201d and \u201cWalkin\u2019 Away.\u201d Last year, the Texas native released his 23rd album, the self-produced \u201cOut of Sane,\u201d featuring nearly all original songs. When he is not touring and working in his studio, Black is hosting and coproducing a new series, \u201cTalking in Circles with Clint Black,\u201d which premiered on Circle Network on Saturday, May 22. Be sure to purchase your tickets before they sell out at thecenterpresents.org. Janelle Morrison: We are looking forward to your show here in Carmel! How great is it to be back on tour? Clint Black: I say it every night on stage, \u201cWhat is this strange thing of people all together like this?\u201d It's fantastic! You tend to count your blessings when you regain them. It\u2019s been great\u2014we were a little rusty at first, but we got back to our norm pretty quickly. JM: Are you noticing anything different with the audiences as in a different kind of energy or vibe now that we\u2019re allowed to gather again? Black: The first couple of months , it was really striking. I\u2019d say we\u2019re all kind of settling in now. There were a couple of places recently where we were their first show back, and it was noticeable how happy people are. I\u2019ve had friends come out for shows, and they\u2019ve commented on how great it is to be out hearing live music again. JM: Almost immediately after this tour, you will be going on tour with your wife of 30 years, Lisa Hartman Black, for the Mostly Hits and The Mrs. Tour. Is this the first time you will have toured together? Black: Yes, it is, and we\u2019re really excited. We have a special show planned, and our daughter is joining us. She\u2019s pursuing a music career, so this is going to be a great experience for her and the three of us traveling together. We\u2019ll finish this tour at the end of October and I\u2019ll take about four days off, then we\u2019ll go into rehearsals to get their parts of the show worked out, and then we\u2019ll head out right before Thanksgiving. JM: Let\u2019s talk about your latest album, \u201cOut of Sane.\u201d This is an independent project that you worked on last year. Share with me a little bit about that process and the irony of the album title coming out of 2020. Black: \u201cOut of Sane\u201d is my attempt to do a better job of making a record, and I think I did that. It\u2019s a collection of songs, so there isn\u2019t anything behind what\u2019s on other than I tried to put the best material that I have written on there and make it a dynamic album. I play a lot more electric guitar on that album\u2014more than I\u2019m used to playing\u2014on purpose. I\u2019ve been pushing myself that way to be more expressive in the making of an album. I produced it myself and did some of the engineering, but I got the last song on there, literally closed the mix, the day before everything shut down in Nashville. The album was accidentally named \u201cOut of Sane\u201d appropriately for 2020, but that was always my title, and the cover was always going to be the cover, but how perfect was the timing? We also put the album on vinyl, which is the first vinyl record I\u2019ve done in decades. JM: I\u2019m curious, which do you prefer\u2014acoustic or electric when writing and performing? Black: Typically, when writing, it\u2019s an acoustic guitar and a legal pad unless I\u2019m doing something that\u2019s driven by the groove, in which case I\u2019ll pick out a good drum groove that I will then play to on an electric guitar. I enjoy both equally, but I\u2019m newer to the electric guitar and anything newer is a little more exciting. I like to push myself on the electric guitar and have created things to do in the show that are very challenging and just within my reach. I have to really be on my toes to pull it off every night! JM: I\u2019ve seen some of your Willie Nelson impressions, and they\u2019re incredibly uncanny and on point. Is it true that you\u2019ve been doing that since you were 13? Black: I started doing it out of a love for his music and his voice. I used to do other impressions of Gordon Lightfoot, Neil Young and Mark Knoplfer. I\u2019ve always been kind of a mimic, so I would learn a song that I really loved, and I could be disciplined and do it as me, but the temptation is always there to put a mask on and be them. JM: I saw the interview where you were talking about the results of your DNA test, and you had found out you had 1% sub-Saharan African in your DNA. You were talking about the melting pot that is our nation. As we progress into the future, post 2020, do you see country music being impacted further by the melting pot phenomenon that is the American people? Black: I'm not a great student of country music history, but I pay close attention, and the one thing that you can see throughout its history is that it's always evolving, so we never know where it's going. But I think the idea that the might not have been inclusive before\u2014which I've heard that criticism\u2014I think that is long gone. JM: How difficult is it for anyone to break into country music today? Black: I know one thing to be true about the entertainment industry in general\u2014there are very few slots and there are way too many people for those slots trying to break in. It\u2019s hard to get into this business no matter who you are and what you look like. I\u2019ve seen very talented people who just could not get a break, and that can be discouraging. I think it\u2019s easy for someone to look at why they\u2019re not making it and personalize it. A friend once said to me, \u201cSometimes when things don\u2019t go our way or when something bad happens to us, most times people aren\u2019t doing something to you, they\u2019re doing something for them. When you have managers, executives and agents all trying to do something for them and their companies, it has absolutely nothing to do with you who are.\u201d Perseverance is a must in this industry, but it\u2019s not always enough. JM: As someone who absolutely functions on coffee, I am interested in the fact that you have started a coffee company\u2014Clint Black Cowboy Coffee\u2014during your hiatus from touring AND you\u2019re producing and hosting a TV show, \u201cTalking in Circles with Clint Black.\u201d Tell me more! Black: You can find my coffee at clintblackcoffee.com and my show, \u201cTalking in Circles with Clint Black,\u201d is on Circle Network. We\u2019ve already aired season one, which you can still stream, and we\u2019ve gotten halfway through taping season two. It\u2019s really fun! It\u2019s me interviewing one guest artist per episode, and we talk about things that interest us and have the kind of conversations that we typically have when the cameras are off. It\u2019s a little bit of silliness and great guests in front of a small audience. JM: What would you like for your fans to experience when we come to see you at the Palladium in October? Black: We\u2019re trying to play these songs the best that we\u2019ve ever played and to make a connection with the audience. We\u2019re there to entertain you and to have fun with it. We\u2019ve got stage screens, and I did the video myself to make more of a personal expression to share with the audience. We will have a good time and hope the audience will sing along when we ask you and even when we don\u2019t. We want everyone to relax and have fun. It\u2019s an intimate show, and I\u2019ll be a bit more talkative than I would be at a festival show so we can all have a few laughs.