We've been all about the twang this week -- or so it seems.

Yesterday, we re-launched the Live! entertainment section, and the cover story was a roundup of area country bars by yours truly. Remember back when I asked you for suggestions about cool country bars? Well, this is the result.

In the piece, I profiled three bars: Cancun Cantina, the Friendly Inn and Pop's Tavern.

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But wait, there's more. I also had a Q&A with country star Martina McBride, who performs at the 1st Mariner Arena tonight. (Unfortunately, I'm not able to make it to the show. We're stretched a little thin here this week.) ...

Typically when I interview a semi-famous musician, their publicist calls me (15 minutes late, more often than not) and conferences me through to the star. Country singers don't do this.

Country singers like to call me direct, sometimes a few minutes before our scheduled interview time. In the past few months, both Brad Paisley and Martina McBride have done this. Each time, it's caught me off guard.

They're like, "Hey Sam, it's Martina!," and I have a minor freak-out while I scramble to find my notes.

Anyway, I hope you enjoy the new Live! We don't cover country music enough in the Baltimore Sun, so I'm glad we got a bunch of it in the first edition. Yeeeeeeeeee HA!

(Baltimore Sun photo by Kenneth K. Lam)

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