In many ways, Garth Brooks did Time Traveler – or at least one of his 14 songsth a studio album — for one audience.
The gentle ballad “St Paul/Minneapolis (True Story)” — a rare Brooks-penned solo song that shares the angsty, no-nonsense feel of Brooks’ hits “Always” and “What She’s Doing Now” — is about a chance encounter she had with in the Twin Cities with a woman he felt an immediate connection with. “I don’t know who you are. It’s a strange thing. It was the easiest thing I’ve ever done. When he started talking, something in me opened up. In my dream, I would like to meet him again and see if that simple feeling was really true or if I am just imagining things,” he said. Billboard.
Brooks says he never told anyone, including his wife Trisha Yearwood, specifics about the chance meeting “because if this person comes forward, he’ll know details no one else does and I’ll know I’m talking to him.” the right person.” He’s not sure if he knows her, but he insists in the song that he’s not trying to interfere with her life: “Now I don’t want a relationship anymore/ And I don’t want to change your life,” he sings.
One of the few people who heard the song before it was released was Brooks’ musical hero James Taylor. “I texted him and said, ‘Hey man, would you ever consider doing a song and he said, ‘I’d love to!’ and I was on Cloud 9.” But when Taylor heard the record, he declared that it was perfect the way it was. “To get that kind of confidence boost, it was great to hear from your music god,” Brooks said, then chuckled at the obvious celebrity invocation, adding, “I’m telling you, the older you get, the more words you get.”
That’s not the only big name appearing on the Brooks-produced, 10-track Time Travelerwhich is a part Limited Series, a seven-disc set available exclusively through Bass Pro Shops starting Tuesday (Nov. 7). The $29.99 set includes Brooks’ three albums since he came out of retirement in 2014. Man Against Machinein 2016 Gunslinger and the 2020s Which is fun – and three previously released discs Triple Live concert set.
“Rodeo Man,” the album’s first single out today, is a Brooks & Dunn song featuring Ronnie Dunn trading in his regular singing partner Kix Brooks for a different Brooks. “He’s one of the biggest voices in country music,” Brooks said of Dunn.
The two icons traded songs back and forth when Dunn sent Brooks “Rodeo Man,” which he co-wrote with Phil O’Donnell. “I texted him that it was a building,” Brooks says of the song that echoes the country music resurgence of the ’90s. Brooks had several suggestions for adding fiddles and pedal steel and then recorded them to show Dunn the changes he would make after promising him “I won’t steal your song.”
Dunn was so happy with Brooks’ version, he suggested they play it. “He was very nice to let me in the door. What we did was combine his song with ours,” said Brooks. Big Machine Label Group will promote the song to radio, as they did Brooks’ 2007 Country Airplay No. 1, “More Than A Memory.” Unlike the entire album, it will also be available for streaming on Amazon, Brooks’ exclusive streaming site.
Brooks is joined by Kelly Clarkson, who sings backing vocals on the loping “The Ship and the Bottle,” a beautiful song written by Nicolle Galyon, Chase McGill and Jon Nite that Brett Young featured on his 2018 album. A ticket to LA., but it was never released as a single. The song imagines one member of a loving couple as a bottle and the other as a closed vessel. The bottle may have to be broken for the ship to be free and pursue her dreams. “The text was simple: ‘Hey, I have a song. It’s not a duet. “I’d like to hear your voice on it, but I know you’re broken,” Brooks said of his connection with Clarkson. “And three seconds later it came back in all caps: ‘YES.’ With exclamation points. It made the older singer feel very happy that this young singer would want to sing once on one of these records.”
Another cover is open Time Traveler is “The Ride,” David Allan Coe’s 1982 thriller about a hitchhiker who is possessed by the ghost of Hank Williams. “(Williams’) story has haunted me for the rest of my life,” said Brooks, who added a verse to express what the characters are talking about on their journey from Montgomery to Nashville, though he doesn’t take credit for writing the lyrics to the song. by Gary Gentry and JB Detterline Jr. “I’m an a-hole in many different ways, but I can’t be that guy,” he said.
The song also features Brooks’ first attempt at spoken word. He admits that he was afraid of how it would turn out. “I was like ‘Is this going to sound corny or bad? But when I heard it, I thought, ‘That’s terrible.’ I liked it.”
On the frenetic “Neon Neighborhood,” longtime Brooks’ fans will no doubt recognize a tip of the hat to his hit “Friends in the Lowlands,” with a raucous chorus built by his band and his band singing like they were 1990s classics. Brooks first brought the audience into the show during a two-year residency in Las Vegas at Caesars Palace to perform and then brought a small group into the studio to work out the lyrics.
As Brooks, the best-selling solo artist in the US, according to the RIAA, prepares to open his bar – naturally called Friends in Low Places – on Nashville’s Lower Broadway, he hopes the song will find its own audience. “I won’t push you,” he adds. “We will see what kind of life it will have on its own. But I can tell you that I just love the whole essence of it and it feels so good especially when the band just starts playing.”
Brooks composed the album Time Traveler because of the different eras of country music he respects and the styles he’s been rediscovering as he hosts Big 615, one of the seven stations that make up Brooks’ Sevens Network for global streaming platform TuneIn. “What I like about the Big 615 and choosing it is that it forces you to listen to things you didn’t have time to listen to before and I think that’s really good,” he said.
The album includes “Only Country Music,” the song that debuted The Big 615 when it launched in June and marks the first time Brooks and Nashville recording powerhouse Ashley Gorley have written together. The two were joined by fellow songwriter Matt Rossi. “When we were writing, I told (Ashley), ‘Man, before this session, I don’t know if it was envy or jealousy, but I’m like ’60 No. 1s! How is that possible?’ But when you write with this child, he is far away from you all the time. It’s like, ‘Holy cow. How do you do that?’ Then he goes and maybe goes and does two more times that day. But he handled that system perfectly. No offense to Matt Rossi. There is no guilt in me.”
Brooks will talk about the album again tonight, as he and Bass Pro Shops CEO Johnny Morris appear on live online shopping forum TalkShopLive in association with Bass Pro Shops for a special album release event at 7 pm ET (visible from the link above). In addition to being available at 177 Bass Pro stores across the US (including 82 Cabela’s), fans can pre-order Limited Series by using a sporting goods retailer’s Internet site.
Brooks played 50 Bass Pro gamesth birthday party last fall, which led to the collaboration. “He talked to me about water conservation,” Brooks said of Morris, a dedicated conservationist. “I said it’s like songwriters, how they go out and out” with lower streaming prices and a focus on singles instead of albums. “And he said ‘Well, what can we do about that?’ and I said, ‘I want a partner for my last limited box (and) he was nice enough to climb.”
First of all Limited Series came out 25 years ago in 1998, followed by the second Limited Series with different content in 2005. The second edition was only available through Walmart. Both series were limited to one million box sets each with one-way purchases by retailers.
Limited Series it comes two weeks before Brooks plays a free gig at the grand opening of Friends in Low Places on Nov. 24. Tickets were available exclusively through Brooks’ The Big 615 channel with over 3 million entries received. The concert will also be streamed live at 7 pm ET on Amazon Prime and Twitch as the latest in the Amazon Music Live series, which has previously featured Ed Sheeran and Feid.