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Garth Brooks on Touring, New Music & the Digital Age

Garth Brooks on Touring, New Music & the Digital Age

Garth Brooks photo courtesy of Nancy Seltzer & Associates.

Much to the delight of his fans, Garth Brooks broke the news that he will embark on a world tour in 2014 during an appearance on Good Morning America last week. He then spent three days talking with more than 70 radio stations as well as Country Aircheck about touring, new music and his issues with selling music digitally. Having been largely off the music scene since 2001, Garth is enjoying meeting the “youngsters” at country radio.

“A lot of ‘I’m a fan and never got to meet you,’” he said of his radio interviews. “And I’m like, ‘Wait a minute, how can I never have met you if you’re in Country radio?’ And they say, ‘I was a kid – or I wasn’t born – when you were touring.’ But what kills me is they all seem to be very sincere and genuine when they talk about the music; they know it too well to be faking.”

Garth has held true to his word not to tour until his daughters are out of high school. Daughter Allie will graduate this spring and once she’s off to college in the fall, Garth will hit the road. With the tour nearly a year away, Garth hinted that there might be something else up his sleeve between now and then.

“Well, there is something that could be happening between now and the tour that might be the biggest thing I’ve ever tried to take on,” he said. “I’m excited. If it comes to fruition, and it looks like it’s going to, it will be the biggest thing I’ve ever tried to attempt. I’m really excited about it. It’ll be done right, it’ll be done quality. I’m in love with the idea and we just have to see if it’s going to happen. We’ll know within the next four weeks or so.”

Garth delivered his duet “The Call” with wife Trisha Yearwood to radio last week, a song found on his new Blame It All On My Roots boxed set. The song is a recording of their performance at The Wynn Las Vegas during one of Garth’s live shows.

“It’s about that point in a relationship when you make the decision whether what you have is worth fighting for, or is it just easier to call it ‘friends’ and live life from there,” he said. “Everybody goes through this; Miss Yearwood and I were in the middle of it in 2002-03. We tried cutting this song with a full band, but kept going back to the Wynn performance where it’s just like two people talking to each other. The echo-type piece in this is something I haven’t seen since ‘Mockingbird’ with James Taylor and Carly Simon. I love how unique this song sounds and when you bring it down to just two voices and a guitar, the conversation happens.”

While Garth revealed his touring plans, he’s not as forthcoming about the potential of brand new music. A new album in 2014 isn’t out of the question, but there are some obstacles Garth needs to overcome first, a major one being digital music sales. He continues to be outspoken about his dislike of iTunes.

“We don’t have a digital partner right now,” he said. “I’ll never have a digital partner in iTunes as long as they keep the same rules they have now. I respect them; they’re friends of mine. They show me respect. They make me believe they’re friends of mine. But if they’re not going to change their ways, I’m not going to change mine. We have to figure out how we get new music to the people.”


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