Melissa Ruggieri is a music writer for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
It's no surprise that Garth Brooks announced that new music and a world tour are coming this year.
But for Brooks’ millions of fans, it’s still exciting to hear it confirmed.
At a live streamed press conference, Brooks also revealed that, despite his past reluctance to release his work digitally, that will change in the next couple of weeks when Brooks releases his inventory on his own website,www.garthbrooks.com.
“When you do it right, it can do wonders for the artist and for the songwriters,” he said. “Digital will be handled at GarthBrooks.com, the only place you can get Garth Brooks music.”
He added that a deal is in the works to work with Ticketmaster to link the release of his digital catalog with ticket sales for the upcoming tour.
A double album under Brooks’ new partnership with Sony Music/RCA Nashville will be out in the next couple of months and released to all retail outlets.
Stylistically, it sounds as if it will be classic Brooks.
“You’ve heard those new terms, bro country and hick-hop? I don’t think my stuff is either one of those. For me, it’s Garth music,” he said. “If you remember, I wasn’t the country guy in the ‘90s…all I can do is open this up and show you the time and you’ll make that decision what it is. If you had to put it in a box for me? (It’s) Garth music. It’s ever-evolving and it stands the test of time.”
Brooks, wearing his usual low-key attire of jeans, untucked blue shirt and a black "GB" baseball cap, also expressed admiration for the current crop of Nashville songwriters.
“I’m getting my ass kicked by these songwriters today. We’re cutting everything but Garth stuff right now,” he said.
As for that tour, well, let’s all get in touch with “Andy” from Atlanta.
Brooks told a story that at his most recent New Year’s Eve concert in Las Vegas, “A kid named Andy from Atlanta asked, ‘What’s the opening city of the tour?’ I told Andy if you want to, leave your information here and I’ll call you on July 14 and tell you the first city. What Andy chooses to do with that information (is up to him), and shortly after we’ll make our announcement.”
The country behemoth also vaguely assured that his notoriously low ticket prices will be, if not the $20 of old, at least reasonable.
“I know exactly what the ticket price will be,” he said, glancing at his handlers to see if he could unveil the tidbit. “But…you will know in the next 10 days! I’ve gotta tell you, I’m very proud of the ticket price.”