Nashville, Tenn. (March 27, 2008) – George Strait, widely known as the “King of Country Music,” continues to raise the standard and follows up his CMA Album of the Year, It Just Comes Natural, with Troubadour, Strait’s 37th album which is now available in record stores and on-line.. From a numerical view, the album’s first single, “I Saw God Today,” already set a personal mark when it debuted at No. 19 on the country radio charts—higher than any other song he’s released in his career. Currently it sits at #4 on R&R/Billboard.
“It’s a great record to start it out with,” says Strait. “Anyone who has had a kid can relate to seeing them for the first time and know that it is really and truly is a gift from God.”
From a creative vantage point, the album as a whole is remarkable. Strait explores new musical turf with the calypso R&B in “River Of Love”; opens up to meaningful—and rare—guest appearances by Patty Loveless, Vince Gill and songwriter pal Dean Dillon; and delivers the 12-song set with a voice that continues an extremely graceful evolution.
“He’s always good,” co-producer Tony Brown says, “but he sang really good on this album.”
“His vocal tone has progressed very, very nicely in the last five or six years,” observes Dillon, who should know: He’s written 13 of Strait’s hits, dating back to the first, 1981’s “Unwound.”
Strait recorded for the second time, at Jimmy Buffett’s Shrimpboat Sound in Key West - A beat-up shack on the waterfront that used to be a shrimp storage cooler.
“We were all havin’ fun, which I think shows in the tracks,” Brown says of the sessions. “In the beginning, we went to Shrimpboat on a whim. This time we went back because the last album turned out so awesome. I have a funny feelin’ we’ll be goin’ back again.”
As always, Troubadour is a mix of the playful and the profound. The breezy energies get tapped in the restless, workin’-man tribute “Brothers Of The Highway”; the romantic vacation piece “When You’re In Love”; the slightly funky “River Of Love”; and the snappy honky-tonker “Make Her Fall In Love With Me Song.”
Strait also unleashes his deeper nature in the career-reflective title track, featuring backing vocals by label-mate Vince Gill; “House With No Doors,” a clever-but-wise reminder to the control freak in everyone; a pair of spiritually themed tracks, the eye-opening “I Saw God Today” and the subdued “Give Me More Time”; and “If Heartaches Were Horses,” a cinematic conclusion to the album.
“That West Texas Town” has a surprising twist by making the song a duet with Dillon, a nod to a songwriter who’s had a steady role in Strait’s career.
“I’ve always liked Dean as a singer,” says Strait. “And so I got to thinking ‘man you know it would be great to have him sing a song with me.’”
“House Of Cash,” featuring Patty Loveless’ powerful harmonic blend, puts a mountain-bred stamp on the passing of Johnny Cash and June Carter, and pays tribute to the Man In Black’s historic impact.
“When I heard it I immediately thought of Patty,” says Strait. “I’ve always thought she was one of the greatest female country singers that we have out there. It sounded just exactly like I thought it would - she nailed it.”
“George is real,” Loveless says, “and anything that’s real, it stays around. His music: It just comes out there effortlessly.”
Remarkable describes the continuing development of George Strait, who’s written a personal history so unique he’s creating new, record-breaking plateaus that have simply never been reached before. He is currently nominated for ACM Entertainer of the Year for the 10th time and has the distinct honor of XM Radio dedicating an entire channel to his music during the next two months. “Strait Country” will be available from April 1 through May 31 on XM channel 17 and also available on online (link
His last album, It Just Comes Natural, was so solid that it brought him the CMA honor for Album of the Year, an award he’s won four different times and in three different decades.
He already owns the all-time record for the most No. 1 singles in any genre. He has more career nominations than any other artist in both the Nashville-based Country Music Association awards and the California-bred Academy of Country Music honors. He has more gold and platinum albums than any other country artist.
And the “King of Country Music” joined the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2006, making him the only performer who’s earned a plaque in the hallowed halls while still consistently racking up hits.
With an enviable consistency, Strait continues to sell out arenas and to stretch himself creatively with an album, Troubadour, which stands among the best in a career already filled with highlights. And he does so while all the while holding a permanent place on the country radio dial.
“Troubadour…you know it does tell a pretty good story that fits my whole career from start to finish,” admits Strait. “cause that’s really what I’ll be when I grow to an age I can’t do this anymore. I’ve always wanted to be around as long as I could for sure. I’m still after longevity. I want to make records as long as I can cause I still enjoy it just as much as I always did.”