Another capacity crowd estimated over 1,300 saw Clint paint southwest Arkansas his own style of “Black” during a weekend concert at Hempstead Hall in Hope. The country superstar, who emerged in the 1990s, not only entertained with his songs, but an unexpected dapper and deadpan brand of showmanship that entranced the crowd for 90 minutes of a robust show.

Another capacity crowd estimated over 1,300 saw Clint paint southwest Arkansas his own style of “Black” during a weekend concert at Hempstead Hall in Hope. The country superstar, who emerged in the 1990s, not only entertained with his songs, but an unexpected dapper and deadpan brand of showmanship that entranced the crowd for 90 minutes of a robust show.
As expected, there were the parade of hits: opening with “The Shoes You’re Wearing,” and then cascading right on through to “Summer’s Coming,” “Walking Away,” “A Better Man,” and “When My Ship Comes In.”
“Like the Rain,” arguably his biggest and best known hit brought the house down with understated energy, while other familiar Black standards like “Killing Time” and “Beer” were as popular as ever.
But, Black proved to be a bit of a showman, too, not with the louder, rock-style Country music of a Trace Adkins, who appeared in Hope earlier this year, but more a deadpan mix of storytelling and humor.
One of his first comments to the crowd was “not to expected many wardrobe changes” as he come out in his traditional big black Cowboy hat. As a concert goer whistled and implored Black to “take it all off,” Black rather slyly answered “Oh no, you wouldn’t want to see that..” in an almost monotone voice to the laughter of the crowd.
And then, there was his dead-on impersonation of fellow County icon Willie Nelson, in which Black not only covered Nelson’s “Time of the Preacher” but did it almost sounding like Nelson himself.
But, there was also a Nelson story that Black shared, which also brought the house down. Black recalled a Los Angeles encounter with Nelson in a dressing room what was covered in an unidentified smoke.
“They were burning Toast,” Black cleverly mused, before saying, “And, when I left there, I was… toast,” which brought another outburst from the crowd.
Black then offered his opinion that the “Doobie Brothers” were actually all of Nelson’s off-spring.
In homage again to wardrobe, Black rolled up the sleeves on his black Western-style shirt, looked at the crowd and said, “That’s about as much skin as you’re gonna get…”
But, if Black didn’t entertain with his jokes and stories, which also included another County legend Waylon Jennings, he did amaze concert goers with his numerous guitar changes; there were at least seven Black played and a harmonica performance.
Black classics like “Beer” brought a Hempstead-wide clap-along, while the crowd literally sang along with Black on “Killing Time.”
In a brisk 90-minute show, Black got through 20 selections including the encore with “In My Shoes” and “Tuckered Out”  Other classics performed were “Good Run of Bad Luck,” “State of Mind,” “Better or Worse,” “One More Payment,” “Tell Ourselves,” “Nothing But Taillights,” and “Are You Sure Waylon Done It This Way?”
Black was backed on the strength of a five-man band, who provided plenty of sound power for Hempstead Hall.  Arkansas native Jason Helms opened for Black in a spirited acoustic performance, which perfectly accomplished the task of warming up the crowd.