Clint Black’s New Live Album is a ‘Snapshot’ of ‘Killin’ Time,’ 30 Years Later
Clint Black is preparing to release a live album that looks back at his enduring debut project, Killin' Time, which came out 30 years ago, in May of 1989. Since releasing that record, the iconic performer has enjoyed an impressive tenure in country music, but the tracks on his first album remain some of his most memorable hits.
To celebrate the 30th anniversary of his debut record, Black's upcoming album, Still Killin' Time, revisits those well-loved songs, and offers fans something completely new: two new studio track, and Black's very first live project.
"I've never done a live album," Black points out. "And my fans have been asking for it. They've been asking for a live DVD, which I couldn't do, but I could do this."
Beyond delivering on a long-awaited fan request, the singer felt that his 30th anniversary in music was an auspicious time to reflect on the songs the way they are now. "I thought, 'This is a moment in time for me to release live music.' The fact that it's 30 years later and I can still play these songs and do 'em justice -- I mean, when you hear the live recording, there are no corrections, you know?" Black continues.
"I didn't re-sing it. It's all really the recordings from those performances. I had to replace the fiddle, because of technical problems, on two songs, and even that, my fiddle player did it one time through and that's it," he goes on to say. "So it really isn't a produced album. It's just a snapshot. Here I am, 30 years later, still 'killin' time.'"
Over the course of three decades, no song will stay exactly the same -- especially if it's performed live as often as Black has performed the songs on Killin' Time. Over time, the music has evolved -- and so has the artist performing them.
"You know, one song on there that was not a single is "Tuckered Out," and that song has evolved for me," Black muses. "Because sometime around 2005 or 2006, I decided, 'I'm not gonna settle for just strumming an acoustic guitar on the song. I wanna play solos.'"
At the time, Black says, he knew he'd grown as a lead guitarist, but he also knew that it had been a while since he'd tackled such intricate guitar work during a live set. "And so I set out to get good enough to play it at 220 beats per minute, or whatever crazy tempo it is. It took me about two years to get to the point where I had the chops to play guitar solos on that song onstage," he shares. "And so, for me, it really is a sort of evolution ... I could fingerpick, you know, James Taylor-style stuff, but really, I didn't have a role in the band in terms of playing lead guitar."
While Black knew from the beginning that he wanted to hone his craft as a songwriter and performer, he didn't necessarily expect to grow in this particular way. "That song really marks, I guess, the full growth and evolution I went through as an instrumentalist," he adds. "It's surprising, for me. I didn't set out to be an instrumentalist, so to accomplish that goal is a big deal."
Clint Black, Still Killin' Time Track List:
1. "This Old House"
2. "No One Here for Me"
3. "Killin’ Time (Live)"
4. "A Better Man (Live)"
5. "Walkin’ Away (Live)"
6. "Summer’s Comin’ (Live)"
7. "Tuckered Out (Live)"
8. "A Good Run of Bad Luck (Live)"
9. "Like the Rain (Live)"
10. "Nothin' But the Taillights (Live)"
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