Garth Needs Country Music, and it Needs Him

Garth Brooks kicked off his 2014-2015 World Tour with Trisha Yearwood, marking the first time in 17 years he has been on the road. He admirably took a break from touring to be with his family, however now that the youngest of his four daughters has graduated high school, he is ready to take the stage by storm once again. He needs this tour as much as country music needs him.

Garth Brooks During his 2014 Tour

Garth Brooks During his 2014 Tour

While this will be his first time touring in almost two decades, he has not been idle. Brooks came out of his official retirement in 2009 when he worked a deal with Steve Wynn of Wynn Las Vegas, scheduling performances in Las Vegas for several years leading up to this world tour announcement. Garth Brooks’ comeback announcement has created a huge buzz in the country music industry, bringing forth many questions while doing so. What will the new Garth sound like? Will he be able to step back in the swing of things after taking such a long leave? And finally, what does this mean for country music?

The open-ended nature of these questions creates excitement along with some anxiety. I am incredibly excited for the comeback of Garth Brooks, as he is one of my favorite country artists. At the same time, I have some nervousness because I want the Garth Brooks I know and love from the 1990s to bring that uniqueness to 2015. The last thing I want to hear is his music becoming too modern, and sounding like the stereotypical pop country of Keith Urban or Jason Aldean. Personally, I believe country music has started to move too far away from its roots, and I feel that today’s country music needs to move closer to its roots. A shift closer to Brooks’ early music is essential to the longevity of the country music industry.

Basically, I hope Garth’s comeback is defined by him continuing to be the same man that everyone loved in the 1990’s, making music that is authentic to him and not what is popular in the country music industry today. I genuinely believe, and I know I am making an incredibly bold statement, that Garth Brooks can change the way the country music industry is moving. If Garth Brooks can come back making music like what he did in his earlier years, he may change what is considered “popular” country music today. His recent album “Man against the Machine” had songs similar to his old music, as well as songs with a more modern sound. Unfortunately, the album did not have any real hits. This may lead some to believe that he is done, however I do not think this the case. He needs to stay committed and only produce HIS music.

As much as I believe country music can benefit from Garth Brooks, the industry can help him, maybe more than he can help the industry. Recently in an interview, he admitted that he felt “lost” sometimes without touring. He said he missed the people, that industry, and mostly, his self-worth, saying he has a lot to say and share with people. He acknowledged that his new music may not set records but he also communicated that if a few folks receive his message, this new tour is worth it.

It will be exciting to see whether Garth Brooks can make a historic comeback after taking such a long break from the music industry. Hopefully, he can get back to making music similar to “Friends in Low Places” and “Unanswered Prayers”. Only time will tell if his comeback can actually change the direction country music is headed, and while it is an uphill battle, I have faith in Garth Brooks. A few things are certain… there will be significance to Garth’s music and it will be an interesting storyline to follow.

Garth Brooks at the 1992 CMA’s


Filed under New Country, News, Reflection

2 Responses to Garth Needs Country Music, and it Needs Him

  1. Daniella

    I really admire Garth Brooks for taking time away from his career in country music to spend time with his family and watch his daughters grow up. Now that he is set to return to the country music scene, I am both excited and nervous just as you are. I definitely agree with you in the sense that I’m a bit apprehensive about Garth’s return to country music because of the fact that I’m a fan of how he sounded in the past and I would really hate it if he decided to go the country pop route. Fingers crossed, he’ll stick to his authentic sound from the 90’s.

  2. James Pruitt

    I’m right there with you in hoping that Garth Brooks’ return shakes up the current country music industry. Country music on the radio is sounding really repetitive so I’ve been sticking with listening to older country music, which is fine with me. But it would still be nice to see some newer music from singers like Brooks to put some good old fashioned country back on the radio. I think it will take someone with an established name like Brooks if anything is going to get changed. Maybe his resurgence will spark other artists to do the same and bring back some of the music I grew up listening to.

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