During a press conference that streamed live on his website today, Garth Brooks finally confirmed that fans can expect new music as soon as the end of July as well as a new tour later this year.
As previously reported, he has signed with Sony Music and RCA Nashville. He noted that this partnership is thanks in large part to Doug Morris, CEO of the Sony Music Group, who visited Garth not once but twice to discuss Garth’s return to music. Allen Reynolds, the producer for all of Garth’s previous albums, has retired from the industry, so this time around Mark Miller, the engineer for the previous albums, will step up to produce. The same musicians that played with Brooks previously will also be returning. He was told to be vague about when the new music can be expected, but Garth let slip that it could be as soon as the end of this month.
It was announced that the music will go digital for the first time, although in an effort to control the music — and presumably the profits — it will only be available at GarthBrooks.com to start. The website is also new ground for the Brooks camp, as he has stayed away from social media of any kind (Brooks does not currently have a Facebook or Twitter account). According to the website, it is scheduled to launch on July 15.
Garth continued by recounting a story from one of his Vegas shows from earlier this year when an audience member named “Andy” from Atlanta asked what city would be the first stop on the next tour. Well, being in Las Vegas, Garth thought that “Vegas” was a good answer to give the crowd. Apparently Andy didn’t look too thrilled about the answer however, and Garth made a promise to himself that once a new tour came to fruition that he would contact Andy first. So, on July 14, Andy will be getting a call and will be told where the first stop on the tour will be. What he does with that information, according to Brooks, is up to him, but at least one person will know at least one stop on the upcoming tour as soon as next week.
As for the new album, Black Friday may be release date, but of course that is subject to change, and Garth alludes that it may be a double album since he has been away for so long. Hopefully it will not be an exclusive release, such as when he released his boxed set “Blame It All On My Roots” through Walmart last year. He didn’t mention anything about an exclusive release, but what he did mention was that there is a song that may replace “The Dance” as his favorite song of his.
The recent news regarding the cancellation of all five shows at Croke Park in Ireland were also addressed. He seemed deeply saddened by the whole situation and was adamant that if all five shows could not happen then none of them could happen, as it would not be fair to perform what is supposed to be his comeback show for 240,000 ticket holders when 160,000 are left in the dust. He claimed that at no time during the press nor during the testing process was he given any indication that there would be a problem with licensing for all five shows.
Over and over he reiterated his love and respect for the people of Ireland, even noting that the Irish people are so lovely and welcoming to him that he knew if he was ever going to make a comeback it would be in Ireland. What he also kept reiterating was that to him it seemed that all it would take to make the fans happy is “a simple yes,” a yes from the powers that be to make these shows happen, then they can figure out afterwards what corrections they can make to their inefficient system.
When asked whether matinee shows would be an option in order to fit in all five shows, he seemed skeptical, suggesting that the show he has planned would be hindered if he performed during the day. However, he also stated that to get the five shows to go on as planned, he would be willing to “crawl, swim or fly” to Ireland and get on his knees in front of the Taoiseach (what Ireland calls their Prime Minister, Edna Kenny) and beg for the shows to go on.
Whether approval is given or not needs to be decided by this weekend, as ticket refunds are set to be issued this Monday. It’s been a long press push for this comeback, one that began back in January when these shows were first announced, and there are no signs of slowing. At least now some answers have been given to his fans, with new music and tour information coming in the next few weeks.