It’s been a very good year for Texas musicians, starting with King George Strait.
This iconic Texan has more number one songs (61) and more number one albums (27) than any other act in the history of recorded music.
His closest competition is Willie Nelson with 17 Number One albums under his belt. The Okie Garth Brooks is tied with Willie. Strait has more hits than any act in any genre and since he’s still releasing great music, it’s a safe bet that no one will ever catch him.
His 2019 album, Honky Tonk Time Machine has sold 113,000 copies, which compared to the old days of a million albums sold seems small, but it’s more than anyone else sold so far this year.
Coming in a close second is another Texan, Kacey Musgraves with 97,000 units sold.
Maren Morris, also from Texas, came in seventh for album sales of 60,000.
Willie and son Lukas released new albums in June and they are expected to rack up some healthy sales figures before the year is done.
When it comes to country music, you just don’t mess with Texas.
Garth Brooks Tours Dive Bars
Speaking of Garth Brooks, he’s just released a new single called Dive Bar with fellow Okie Blake Shelton.
The song will be on Garth’s next album and set some records when it was released to radio on June 24, it debuted on the Billboard charts at Number 16.
His new album is titled Fun and at press time, no release date was posted. Garth is in the middle of a summer stadium tour and will be joined by Shelton on July 19 at Boise, Idaho so they can perform the song live for the first time.
Brooks is also planning a semi-secret Dive Bar tour this summer when he and his band will perform in tiny bars around America.
The shows are being sponsored by Seagram’s 7 and they will select a bar in each city for Garth to play at. Most shows will be on Monday nights and tickets will be given away just a few hours prior to each show.
The only date announced so far is Monday July 15 in Chicago.
No other shows have been announced and probably won’t be until the day of each performance. Keep up with the Dive Bar tour as well as the stadium tour on GarthBrooks.com.
Robert Earl Keen Plays Whitewater
Texas Americana godfather Robert Earl Keen will headline a show on Saturday night at Whitewater Amphitheater with American Aquarium opening the show.
This is basically the rescheduled show that first was to feature Turnpike Troubadours as the headliner. Turnpike lead singer Evan Felker was going through some tough personal issues that forced the band to postpone, then cancel the remaining dates on their summer tour. After fans witnessed several shows where Felker was too drunk to perform, the band posted a message on their website and Facebook pages apologizing to fans.
Tales of Felker’s problems date back to 2016 and after his brief time dating Miranda Lambert, things seemed to get worse. The original concert had Keen opening two nights of shows for Turnpike.
After they canceled, Keen moved to headliner on Saturday night and American Aquarium was hired to open. The Friday night July 12 show was canceled completely.
The music business is very tough and it’s easy to get caught in a destructive lifestyle. The pressure of touring, recording and being away from your family for days at a time can take a heavy toll on anyone. Hopefully Evan will get the help he needs and the band will be back better than ever.
Gruene Hall Has
Gruene Hall has a double shot of Texas music on tap this weekend starting with Radney Foster on Friday and Gary P. Nunn on Saturday.
Foster got his start as part of the dynamic duo Foster & Lloyd in the mid-’80s. He and Bill Lloyd were staff writers for the MTM Publishing in Nashville. It was a sister company to the Hollywood branch founded by actress Mary Tyler Moore, who named the company using her initials MTM. The duo wrote a song titled Since I Found You that became a hit for Sweethearts of the Rodeo. Foster and Lloyd attracted the attention of a Nashville label and they recorded their debut album in 1987.
By 1990 they had decided to go their separate ways and pursue solo careers. Foster’s first album, Del Rio Texas 1959, is still considered one of the best debut records ever recorded. If you don’t own this album, buy it today.
Foster plays all over his home state and his Gruene Hall shows are legendary so don’t miss this one.
Gary P. Nunn may have been born in Oklahoma but he’s as Texan as the armadillo. In fact, he wrote a song about them called London Homesick Blues that contains the famous line of I want to go home to the armadillo.
Austin City Limits uses the song to kick off every one of their shows. Nunn is retiring this year to spend more time with his wife Ruth and their family. This may be his last full band show at Gruene Hall so be sure to get your tickets now before they sell out. See GrueneHall.com for ticket information and a full band schedule.
Josh Ward Releases Live Album
While it’s true that Aaron Watson and Cody Johnson are getting a lot of attention as the future of traditional Texas country music, Josh Ward is holding his own and gaining ground.
His last studio album, More Than I Deserve, produced three hit singles and added to his already long list of chart topping songs. On June 21 he released his new album, “Live at Billy Bob’s Texas,” a two-CD set that contains 21 live tracks. It contains nearly all his hit singles plus a healthy dose of fan favorites from his studio albums. Order the CD now and see all his upcoming tour dates at JoshWard.com.