Garth Brooks Talks New Projects At CMA Fest
June 9, 2018
They came from all over the world. Australia. Ireland. New York. California. Thousands of fans politely packed into the Music City Center in Nashville for the chance to spend an hour with country superstar Garth Brooks. The event was only announced a few days in advance during Brooks’ weekly “Studio G” Facebook Live, but it was instantly THE event of CMA Fest in 2018.
The crowd started gathering early on Saturday morning and spread far beyond the initial footprint for the event. Rows of people were 50-60 deep on the sides and at the back of the hall. They patiently and politely stood through the prior event featuring country up-and-comer Dustin Lynch. But it was obvious Brooks was the main draw.
Sirius XM radio personality Storme Warren hosted the event. Warren has covered and been a friend of Garth’s since he began in Nashville in the early 1990’s. They traveled to Ireland together back in 1998 and since then have crisscrossed the globe and the country together. Watching them onstage together felt more like two friends catching up than a typical Q&A. Though Warren did note that Brooks never reveals anything he doesn’t want to.
The conversation touched on several big projects Brooks has in the works - all on the heels of a three-year world tour.
“You took about a 10-minutes break and then you started planning the next step of.. is it safe to say, the Garth/Trisha World tour?” Warren asked.
“It’s safe to say, the biggest thing we’ve ever got to be a part of,” Brooks said as he paced the stage and hinted at what’s to come. “We were approached probably about a year ago, by some guys that had an idea and what that idea is, has become a reality -- which we couldn’t believe. So now the carpet is kind of laid out in front and what I think I promised on Studio G is we will reveal the single next Monday – a week from Monday - and our big announcement will be July 9.”
Fans anxious for the new single will only get the title next Monday, but Brooks teased why it will be worth the wait.
“We played a little honkytonk down on Broadway called Layla’s. And we were playing all the stuff we used to play in the honkytonks. And listening to that stuff bounce off the brick walls and hearing those people sing along, I said, you know what? What we need is a good, damn honkytonk song.”
That element of the live crowd experience was a recurring theme throughout the interview on the CMA Stage. Brooks announced a Triple Live album coming out this fall- with a new feature.
“It’s called a ‘fan mix,’” explained Brooks, using his free hand to gesture to the crowd. “Where if you sit in front of your speaker, the left side will be mostly what the concert is. The right side… will be mostly your voices. The voices came unbelievably through this. So we’re working on a thing called a ‘fan mix’ and if we pull that off, you’ll get to hear what I heard every night.”
When asked about the goal of live album, Brooks stressed his commitment to his fans. “To take people that were there, back there. To take people that never got to be there, there. But mostly it’s just a thank you, for now you’re finally getting to hear it the way I heard it every night.”
Looking past the fall, the singer talked about his charity Teammates For Kids. The charity will celebrate its 20th anniversary in 2019 and in typical Brooks fashion, fans can expect something big to mark the event. “It’s gonna be fun... see if the old man can’t break it out one more time,” he said with a slow smile.
“Are we going to see you back at spring training?” asked Warren, referring to when Brooks took part in the spring training camp of the San Diego Padres.
“I did not say that... but yes,” Brooks conceded. “Different team. These are my boys, these are who I grew up on. They’re why we started the foundation,” he added before admitting he had said too much.
Later, the microphones were handed over to fans who gushed about the importance of his music. Some referenced long ago shows and Brooks, in his uncanny way, was able to recall specific details. When he asked where they were from, his geographical knowledge was on full display - naming arenas and landmarks that solidified the remarkable bond he has with his fans. A bond that was virtually unaffected during his time away from the spotlight in the 2000’s.
“If I hand’t been raising my babies, I would have gone crazy on the time off, " Brooks admitted about his almost manic work ethic. “And the fact that you guys gave me a home to come back to? After my babies were off and on their own, was the greatest gift - other than being their father and being the husband of Trisha – that I’ve ever received.”
Check out photos of Garth Brooks on the CMA Close-Up Stage.