Garth Brooks Is Back! World Tour, New Music In The Works

Garth Brooks addresses the press. Photo: Bev Moser/Moments by Moser

Garth Brooks addresses the press. Photo: Bev Moser/Moments by Moser

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.

Garth Brooks. Photo: Bev Moser, Moments By Moser

Garth Brooks. Photo: Bev Moser/Moments By Moser

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.”

Sony Music president and CEO Doug Morris.

Sony Music Entertainment chairman and CEO Doug Morris. Photo: Bev Moser/Moments by Moser

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.

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Sarah Skates has worked in the music business for more than a decade and is a longtime contributor to MusicRow.

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