***UPDATE (7-7-14): Apparently, the 7’s have not aligned. Garth Brooks has announced that there will not be an announcement today. It will be postponed until Thursday, 7/10 when it will be made on his website in a live press conference and interview at noon Eastern, 11 AM Central. The postponement might be because of the uncertainty around Garth’s five Ireland shows that are up in the air after only three of them were approved by local officials. Garth has said it is all five, or none. The standoff is currently in “crisis negotiations.”
Well, we still don’t know the “what” exactly, but now we now know the “when.”
Just in the last 24 hours, the announcement “The Wait Is Over … 7/7” has appeared on Garth Brooks’ official website, hinting that the long-anticipated official end to his retirement, and potential announcements about a tour, and maybe even new music are eminent.
Garth retired in 2000 to spend more time with his children, but through the last fourteen years, he’s hinted that once his youngest daughter is done with high school (which she now is), his return was likely. Despite an extended residency at the Wynn Casino in Las Vegas, and releasing a box set last year right before Christmas that shot up the charts from big sales, Garth has mostly been sitting under the radar in recent memory. But in late October of 2013, the signs of Garth’s full-time return began to surface. “The sevens have aligned. It has begun”¦ Thank you for believing”¦ love, g.” was the first cryptic communique fans received. Garth’s fondness of “sevens” was first evidenced in 1997 when he named his seventh album Sevens.
In late November of 2013, Garth ratcheted up the rhetoric on his return when he told reporters, ““Me and Miss Yearwood are free to do whatever it is we want to do. And I’ve got to tell you: Anything I do with that woman, I’m fine with. Any place that I am with that woman is home to me. But if I have my wishes, it’s going to be filled with music, and it’s going to be filled with music at a level I’ve never seen before.“
From the best-selling country artist of all time, and the 3rd best-selling artist in all of music, these were weighty words, and by December, Garth was doubling down on just what kind of impact he wanted his return to have. Garth announced on the TV show The Talk that he was planning a world tour, and that “If I may say so, the whole goal in life is to make whatever you’ve done before look small.”
Garth later told Electric Barnyard, “Our job is to make sure that these people that came in the 90”²s come back and go, ‘Gah dang it, I didn’t know it could get any better.’ ”¦We’re on the blueprints right now. We’re going to build a stage and a lighting rig that will hopefully blow people away. And we’ve actually got a sound system that has never been used before that’s coming, a new technology. So everyone in the room can feel the thump. We’re going to bring it in, we’re going to be proud of it, and it’s going to be loud.”
No doubt, Garth is about to embark on a world tour, and he already has five warmup shows booked at Ireland’s Croke Park in late July, though the shows have been causing local controversy because of bylaws not allowing shows to be played on consecutive nights.
But will any new music be part of his return?
Windmills Country reports that Garth Brooks has been working on new, original material, including a song from songwriter Brice Long according to Janine Appleton, two by Caitlyn Smith, and one by Marc Beeson and Allen Shamblin called “Send ‘Em On Down The Road”. Whether these make it on to any new release is yet to be determined, but the fact he is working with writers means new music will likely be part of his return.
Garth has also been mentioned in connection with Scott Borchetta’s new joint venture with Cumulus Media called NASH Icons. In late March, Cumulus CEO Lew Dickey specifically mentioned Garth’s name as a potentially signee to the new Big Machine imprint. Garth has also been the centerpiece in a potential format split in country radio that could see artists from the past 25 years receive their own “classic” format.
Whatever the specifics of what Garth announces on 7/7, make no mistake, Garth Brooks wants to shake up the country music world like never before. Whether it will be for the good or the bad, we’ll just have to see.