She's a little bit country. And she's a little bit pop, rock, country or whatever will stick against the wall, it seems.

Friday's Target Center concert with country veteran Reba McEntire and Kelly Clarkson -- part of their "2 Voices, 2 Worlds" tour -- came off as a little bit hokey and way too forced.

The two unquestionably talented singers showed off a personal chemistry, and their voices matched up beautifully at times. But their musical bond was a bit shaky throughout the two-hour performance, during which they shared a backing band and -- for nearly the entire show -- the stage as well.

Friends since McEntire dueted with Clarkson on the first "American Idol" season in 2002 -- which Clarkson won, in case you lived under a rock at the time -- the two have since recorded a hit together ("Because of You") as well as an episode of CMT's "Crossroads." Their relationship was cemented when McEntire's husband recently became Clarkson's manager, after Idol No. 1 was dropped by Clive Davis while trying to be taken seriously as a rock star instead of a pop singer.

It appeared that Clarkson, 26, was on tour with McEntire simply trying to pick up a country audience, a ploy with which Jewel, Sheryl Crow, Bon Jovi, Darius (Hootie) Rucker and other pop/rock singers have enjoyed a surprising amount of success. A native Texan, Clarkson showed she could indeed make that same leap as she sang with a convincing twang in songs such as "Beautiful Disaster" and "Why Haven't I Heard From You."

McEntire, on the other hand, was clearly, desperately after Clarkson's youthful fans. The 53-year-old singer donned an outfit that looked straight out of Hot Topic and other mall stores. She seemed to be fending off calls from Branson, Mo., with her flaming-red hairdo and tangle of hip jewelry as she strutted out with Clarkson for the concert-opening spin through the Eurythmics' "Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)."

Like your mom's younger sister trying to hang out and be your pal instead of your aunt, McEntire simply tried too hard in many of Clarkson's more rocking numbers such as "Miss Independent" and "Breakaway." The two-for-one backing band seemed to be out of its element, too. Clarkson is hardly an edgy rocker, but the music behind her on Friday sounded as wimpy as a theme-park band playing Smash Mouth covers.

Probably the best part of the concert came midway through, when the music was stripped down and the duet partners sat together for sweetly harmonized versions of "The Greatest Man I Never Knew" and "How Blue." They encored with "Because of You" plus their two respective mega-hits, "Since U Been Gone" and "Fancy."

Minnesota-raised comedian/actress Melissa Peterman -- a Brave New Workshop and Hey City Theater alum who played Barbra Jean on McEntire's CW sitcom "Reba" -- was a big hit with the rather meager hometown crowd of just over 5,000 in her opening standup set. Some of her biggest laughs came when she donned a Reba-red wig (thrown from the crowd) and lovingly imitated her boss/co-star. Too bad that wasn't the only role-playing of the night.

Chris Riemenschneider • 612-673-4658