Garth Brooks announced his long awaited return to the road today (July 10), as well as a new studio album to be promoted and marketed via a partnership between his own Pearl Records and Sony Music Nashville’s RCA Records Nashville. Brooks and his team gathered at Marathon Music Works in Nashville to share the news at a media event and luncheon. The entertainer called this the “second half” of his career.
With 134 million albums sold, Brooks is the best selling solo artist
of all time. He has long held out from making his music available to
digital outlets, and today revealed plans to release his music digitally
within the next two or three weeks. “When it is used right, [digital]
can do wonders for the artists and the songwriters,” said Brooks,
adding, “we play our own way.” Therefore, the music will be exclusively
at GarthBrooks.com. Currently the site features a four-day countdown
until his music is available. For a limited window it will be available
at what he said is a “stupid” low price. He also alluded to a possible
digital music deal with Ticketmaster.
Brooks hasn’t mounted a full-scale tour since 2001, though he has
performed various one-off concerts and a long-term gig in Las Vegas. He
didn’t reveal the location of the opening concert of the upcoming tour
today. Instead, he will fulfill a promise to a fan named Andy, who he
met at one of his concerts in Las Vegas, and call Andy on July 14 to
reveal the opening city. Brooks said he is proud of the low ticket price
for the upcoming run, but didn’t give details, which will be made
public in the next ten days. Ben Farrell of Lon Varnell
Enterprises is promoting the outing. “I hope we give you a show that
makes you forget the ones in the ’90′s,” Brooks said. The entertainer
also said that wife and singer Trisha Yearwood will be joining him on the tour.
The new album is being produced by Mark Miller, who engineered under Brooks’ longtime producer Allen Reynolds, who is now retired. Matt Allen
is engineering the new project which features Brooks’ longtime studio
musicians. “My job at this point is to create,” said Brooks, adding that
he is writing and searching for songs, though much of his own material
is being overshadowed by the quality of outside songs. No release date
has been set, but he expects the first track to be available within the
next two months. The singer also discussed how he feels a responsibility
to spread the message about his music after he creates it.
His music won’t sound like what is currently spinning on Country
radio. “My music is not bro-country, or hick-hop, it’s Garth Brooks,” he
said. “I was the guy who ‘wasn’t the Country guy’ in the ’90′s, so it
feels a bit weird to be the guy who is now the older Country guy. Garth
music is ever evolving and stands the test of time.”
Whereas his recent albums via Pearl Records—mostly repacked versions
of older hits—were sold exclusively at Walmart, the new music will be
available at all retailers.
Brooks released the box set Blame It All On My Roots in 2013, but has not put out an album of original material since 2001′s Scarecrow. However, he continued releasing singles to radio, including the hits “Good Ride Cowboy” and “More Than A Memory.”
Doug Morris, CEO Sony Music Entertainment, sought
out Brooks to make the deal. “When you have the opportunity to sign one
of the best selling artists of all time to your roster, you jump at it,”
he said today.
News of the upcoming tour follows this week’s cancellation of the
superstar’s five-night comeback run in Dublin, Ireland due to city
permit issues. Brooks addressed the situation saying, “[Today is] a day
of joy, but it is also under a cloud.” Earlier this week he stated in a letter that
his crew and equipment are still en route to Dublin in hopes of a last
minute revival of the shows. However, Ticketmaster has already outlined the
ticket refund process. Two of the first three questions asked by media
at today’s event were from members of the Irish press, but there was no
news of an agreement.
News personality Harry Chapman hosted the press conference and Sony Music Nashville Chairman and CEO Gary Overton also appeared.
Jessica Nicholson • July 8, 2014 •
“This is our first anniversary of the Songwriters Hall of Fame gallery and square at the Music City Center,” said Alger. “I can’t think of a better way to celebrate than to introduce our 2014 inductees. There are few songwriters who write songs that linger long after they are on the chart, and these writers fit that description.”
“I am going to cry in October,” said Peters, who is known for songs including “Independence Day” (Martina McBride), “Secret of Life” (Faith Hill), and “Chill of an Early Fall” (George Strait). “I couldn’t be happier to be in this company,” she added.
Douglas, known for the hits “The House That Built Me” (Miranda Lambert), “I Run To You” (Lady Antebellum) “Little Rock” (Collin Raye) and “Love’s The Only House” (Martina McBride), among others, said, “It is a joy to be with you in this amazing space. We are standing on the shoulders of all those giants who have come before us.”
Anderson penned many of his own signature hits, including “Wish I Could’ve Been There,” “Seminole Wind,” and “Swingin.’” “How flattered and humbled I am to be here,” said Anderson.
“This is very exciting to me,” said fellow inductee Craft. “I look forward to our induction.” Craft’s songs include “Keep Me From Blowing Away” (The Seldom Scene/Linda Ronstadt), “Brother Jukebox” (Mark Chesnutt), “It’s Me Again, Margaret” (Ray Stevens), “Dropkick Me, Jesus” (Bobby Bare), and many others.
The inductions will be made during a banquet at the Music City Center on Oct. 5.