News Round Up: Welcome Back Garth

  • Terry Clark follows Gretchen Wilson and Tim McGraw with frustration with the management and distribution practices of the Nashville big label system. I keep hoping this new found independence will result in these undeniably talented performers taking some risk with their material. Bit after hearing Wilson’s bland ‘Work Hard, Play Harder (produced on her own label Redneck Records) I don’t hold out much hope.
  • Billboard.com has six questions for Son Volt’s Jay Farrar about his collaberation with Death Cab for Cutie’s Ben Gibbard album based on the Jack Kerouac’s 1962 novel “Big Sur” due Oct. 20.
  • I used to hate Garth Brooks. As far as I was concerned his glossy sound and circus-spectacle  concerts was in direct conflict with everything I loved about country music. In the years since his 2001 retirement to tend to family responsibilities a revisit to Garth’s material is almost, dare I say, Waylonesque (well, perhaps more Conway Twitty-esque)  Steve Wynn has made a deal with Brooks that addresses a promise he made to his daughter’s to be there with them until they head off to college and a jet plane to make sure he’s there Monday morning and Friday  afternoons. In Vegas this is a deal that only somebody with Brook’s appeal can fetch. I respect Brooks for sticking to his principles. Wynn has also given Garth a format for return that I have to respect, just him on stage with a guitar.  I repct anyone that can step onstage without the net of a backing band. I want to say something snarky, but all I can say is welcome back Garth.

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