Susie McEntire brings her talent to Faribault County
She is definitely a small town girl who just happens to be able to sing like crazy.
And, last Wednesday night Susie McEntire was in the small town of Blue Earth doing what she likes to do best sing country songs of hope and inspiration.
She and her husband, Mark Eaton, are pretty much a two-person operation. She sings, he does all the prep work, runs the sound and then joins her on stage to accompany her on the acoustic guitar for a few numbers.
“We do have one woman back home we hired to answer the phone,” Susie McEntire says. “But other wise it is just the two of us.”
Back home is a house just north of Atoka, Okla., near Chochie Mountain and Muddy Bottom Creek.
“I love small towns,” McEntire says. “And this one here (Blue Earth) is a dandy, a town of integrity. We could tell there is a spirit here just from how nice the town looks, the wonderful buildings like that Presbyterian Church and the county courthouse.”
Plus she says, the well kept homes, yards and lawns say a lot about the community too.”
“We went out for a walk this morning (Wednesday) and we could see a lot of pride here,” McEntire says. “You don’t see that in a lot of other small towns.”
The couple says they flew into the Twin Cities on Tuesday night and after a tour of the Mall of America (“doesn’t everyone have to do that?” McEntire asked) they headed south to Blue Earth.
“We had supper at the wonderful China Restaurant,” she said. “And breakfast at the Country Kitchen. And, everyone we have met has been so informative and friendly.”
After walking around the fairgrounds, giving a couple of interviews to local media reps Norm Hall of KBEW radio and Chuck Hunt of the Faribault County Register, McEntire and Eaton were off to check out the stage, the sound setup and the dressing room area.
“Then I am going to head off for a shower and do my hair and makeup and try and look like something,” she said. “That takes a little bit.”
Sound check was set for 5:30 p.m. Wednesday and then the show started at 8 p.m.
“I woke up this morning in the Blue Earth motel and realized I would be on stage in 12 hours,” she recalls. “So the first thing we checked out was which songs we should do for the show.”
She has a lot to choose from. McEntire has been performing since 1984, recorded her first album in 1985 and has made 20 more since then and is working on yet another. She does about 88 to 90 shows a year, which takes at least three days each to accomplish, so she and husband Mark are on the road a lot of the year.
It is her third time in Minnesota. Once she performed before a Vikings/Packers game and another time she was at Canterbury in Shakopee.
McEntire has won numerous awards over her career and is up for two more; Living Legend Award and Duet of the Year Award from the Inspirational Country Music Association.
Fans who were at her concert at the Faribault County Fairgrounds were able to learn about this country music star.
“I am as much a storyteller as I am a singer,” she says. “I just love to tell stories and sing songs that will give a message of hope to everyone, no matter what is going on in their life right now.”
And as for that obligatory Blue Earth photo?
“Yes, we plan on taking a picture in front of the Green Giant statue,” she says. “But after I get my hair and makeup done!”