Garth Brooks Returns and Brings “Real” Country Back With Him

Garth Brooks' comeback in the works includes a new album to be released in November, 2014 (Photo: courtesy of wynnlasvegas.com)

Garth Brooks’ highly anticipated comeback includes a new album due for release in November, 2014 (Photo: courtesy of wynnlasvegas.com)

AC/DC’s Brian Johnson isn’t the only one making headlines with announcements of fresh new tunes. Rollingstone is reporting that country music superstar and double-Grammy Award winner Garth Brooks is ready to make his long-awaited comeback, including a brand new album and a world tour.

The laid-back ’90s icon made the energetic announcement at a lengthy press conference Thursday morning (7/10) in Nashville. Though specific details of his return were kept purposely vague, Brooks did offer a glimpse or two into his current mindset and the direction in which he plans to take this new journey. And what is that direction? One purposefully opposite from today’s “bro country” and “hick hop.”

While he did offer some praise for contemporary country music, Brooks made it clear that he has no plans to copy the pop-like feel that many of today’s biggest stars have attempted to generate. Instead, all indication are that his new album will pick right back up where he left off. “If you had to put it in a box for me, [it’d be] ‘Garth Music,'” he told reporters in an effort to describe his new work. He then punctuated his point by stating, “You’re damn straight we’ll do cowboy songs on this album.”

Garth apparently isn’t going to be satisfied, however, with simply giving fans more of the same old, same old. Based on statements made at the press conference, he plans to outdo himself, both in the studio and in his live performances. Brooks teased that at least one new song he’s working on may surpass one of his biggest hits. “This [album] holds a song on it that might take the place of ‘The Dance’ for me.” He went on to say that he also plans to wow audiences who attend the concerts. “For those who show up,” he said, “I hope we give you a show that makes you forget the ones that were in the Nineties.”

That’s a hell of a standard to live up to. In the 1990s, Brooks was famous for putting on raucous shows, always giving fans more than their money’s worth. Here’s hoping that this comeback is everything that Garth Brooks fans have been hoping for… and that he leaves Chris Gaines at home.

ACM Awards Royalty: George Strait and Miranda Lambert

ACM Awards, 49th Academy of Country Music Awards, George Strait, Miranda Lambert, country music

Photo courtesy of http://www.ktvu.com

Country fans everywhere tuned in to the 49th Academy of Country Music Awards. It was a night full of accolades and performances, hosted by country artists Luke Bryan and Blake Shelton. Two stars shined extremely bright at the MGM Grand Garden Arena: George Strait and Miranda Lambert.

King of Country George Strait was crowned Entertainer of the Year for the second time in his career. He received standing ovations for his win and his performance of his hit song “I Got a Car.” Miranda Lambert was the big winner of the night. She took home the award for Female Vocalist of the Year for the fifth time in a row. She now holds the record for most consecutive wins in that category surpassing Reba McEntire. “Mama’s Broken Heart” won her Single Record of the Year. She also shared the win for Vocal Event of the Year with Keith Urban who also won three awards, including Video of the Year for “Highway Don’t Care” with Tim McGraw and Taylor Swift.

Aside from their individual glory the two took the stage for a tribute performance to Merle Haggard who was honored with the Crystal Milestone Award. Merle celebrated his 77th birthday yesterday. Presenter Garth Brooks encouraged the audience to sing “Happy Birthday” as he went up to receive his award.

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Karaoke Thankfulness: True Friends

Joined Hands

This time of year we always talk about “friends and family” and there’s a reason that we put them together in the same category. I don’t know about you, but there have been times when I felt closer to my best friends than I did members of my own family. Sure, sometimes we drive each other crazy, but we’re always there for each other through thick and thin.

The fact of the matter is that we all need a little help now and then. When we’re down and out and feeling like we’re about to fall apart, who’s there to pick up the pieces? When your girlfriend breaks up with you, who forces your lazy depressed butt to get up and get dressed then takes you to the strip club? When your boyfriend says it’s over, who takes you shopping until you’re ready to collapse from exhaustion? True friends point us toward to light at the end of the tunnel even when we might not be able to see it for ourselves.

Variety is the spice of life and our friends definitely come in all shapes and sizes. There’s the “work buddy,” the only person at the office you can tell that one joke to without fear of a lawsuit. The “dependable one” who will bail you out of jail after a night of having just a little too much fun. The “best friend” who can’t bail you out because he/she is sitting right next to you in the slammer. Then there are “the ones we don’t talk about.” Most of us have at least one of these friends. They may not be the best in social situations and it probably wouldn’t be a great idea for them to spend too much time with your family telling stories (which you later vehemently deny), but they would do anything for you and the feeling is mutual.

Other than family there are no more important people in our lives than our friends. During this season of Thanksgiving make sure that they realize just how much you care about them. After all, as an old Sicilian saying puts it, “friends are the family you choose for yourself.”