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Martina McBride performing in Stockton

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POSTED July 21, 2012 1:18 a.m.

STOCKTON - An Evening with Martina McBride takes place Wednesday, Aug. 8, at Stockton’s Bob Hope Theatre.

Tickets are available at www.ticketmaster.com or www.stocktonlive.com.

After two decades in the music business, Martina McBride is starting over. Now signed to Republic Nashville, with new management (Clint Higham of Morris Artists Management), a new co-producer (Byron Gallimore), newly spotlighted songwriting skills (she penned over half the songs on Eleven, her new CD), and a brand new spirit of accomplishment, Martina is swinging into high gear. And she couldn’t be more thrilled.

“It really feels like starting over for me — but with a track record and with the success and experience I’ve had over the years,” she explains. “I feel more mature and more confident, which comes with knowing yourself better. And there are a lot of opportunities now that I haven’t had in a long time.”

When her longtime contract with RCA Records expired in 2010, Martina revved up for new challenges ahead. “There comes a time when you have to step back and say, I need something different,” she says. “It was a risk, but you have to do what feels right.” After weighing her options, Martina decided to join two year-old Republic Nashville, part of the Big Machine Records family of labels. “We had a couple of offers that were really great,” she notes, “but what really drew me in the end was Scott Borchetta and his reputation. When I met with him and his staff, their enthusiasm and passion for music were so evident — not only for the business but for the music. I really got the feeling that they get up every day and say, ‘Wow! We get to be in the music business!” They have an innovative approach and such positive energy. It’s contagious and something I wanted to be a part of.”

At the same time, the Big Machine/Republic team was very vocal about wanting to help Martina make a great career record, even if it meant straying from the safety net of her comfort zone. “It wasn’t about ‘OK, let’s sign her and we’ll continue doing what she’s done before’ or ‘let’s see what happens,’” she explains. “It was, ‘We want you, and we want this to be the biggest record of your career.’ To have that belief and confidence in me and to see a future that’s even bigger than what I’ve had at this stage of my career was really exciting.”

As for the superstar herself, she’s frankly exhilarated by the chance to experience what she calls first-time opportunities the second time around. In a career that’s already taken her to breathtaking heights (four CMA Female Vocalist of the Year trophies, three ACM Female Vocalist awards, a GRAMMY win, numerous national magazine covers and features, and appearances on such shows as VH1’s “Divas,” “TODAY Show,” “20/20,” “American Idol” and “Dancing with the Stars”), Martina is ready to take it up a notch with the help of her new label.

On her bucket list: being invited to sing the National Anthem on the Super Bowl and landing a song in a movie so she can perform on the Academy Awards’ annual Oscars telecast. But more than anything, she just wants to continue doing what she’s doing.

“My biggest desire is to keep making records and keep touring,” Martina says with heartfelt passion. “I hope I get to do this for as long as I can, because I love it so much.”

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