Garth Brooks appeared as the first guest on Season 4 of The Kelly Clarkson Show. While on set, he and Clarkson took a trip down memory lane for the Music & Memories Road Trip series.
“We asked Garth to be our first guest, one because I love him, and because nobody has brought more Americans together on the road with music than he has. Trust me, I’ve been there,” Clarkson said announcing the country music star.
Before hitting their virtual road map, Brooks gave a look inside what fans can expect from his new project, The Anthology, Part II: The Next Five Years, which includes two unreleased tracks. This new volume chronicles his life and career from 1996 through 2001, but as he explained, it’s not just his story, it’s about “everyone that was ever involved” in the making of the music.
He said that when it comes to sharing the truth about the behind-the-scenes moments, the best people to learn from are those who were “standing right there when it happened.” He said, “ask the guys playing the records, the producers. All their voices are in here and I think that’s the fun part.”
The first stop on their “road trip” through songs and stories, was in Cheyanne, WY, where they chat about how the storyline of Brooks’ hit song “Beaches Of Cheyanne” shifted from one perspective to another.
“It’s just a cowboy story and it originally was an accountant who wanted to be a cowboy. So he’d walk on the beaches of LA, dreaming he’s a cowboy and so every night he’d walk the beaches of Cheyanne.”
He continued, “one time when we were all singing it around the campfire, I made the mistake of going, ‘every night she walks the beaches of Cheyanne,’ and all of a sudden it clicked. It turned into a ghost story. It turned into a woman that lost her cowboy.”
Just like fashion trends come and go in waves, the same thing happened with this song that gained popularity once again, long after it was written.
“It’s one of those songs that time is a friend to it and time is a friend to all things good,” he said.
Their next stop was Oklahoma City, in honor of Brooks’ recording of “The Change,” which Clarkson described as “remarkable.” He released this song in 1996 as the fourth single off his album, Fresh Horses. Written by Tony Arata and Wayne Tester, this track pays tribute to the Oklahoma City bombings of 1995.
The singer recalled touching base with his mom to check on her after the tragic event. Once he learned she was safe, she explained that she thought her porch had fallen.
“That’s how big it was, and she lived a pretty good distance away from downtown. So that song really got to me, that whole thing of, ‘they keep telling you that no matter what you do, nothings gonna change,’” he said in reference to the chorus of the powerful song.
To explain further, Brooks broke into singing the track acoustically and Clarkson quickly joined in. He grabbed her hand and together, they sang, “I hear them saying / You’ll never change things / And no matter what you do / It’s still the same thing / But it’s not the world that I am changing / I do this so, this world will know / That it will not change me.”
They then moved across the map to Baton Rouge, LA, which is where Brooks experienced a life-changing moment. Not only did he sell out his show of about 103K people in about 40 minutes, but because of the crowd’s excitement both inside and outside of Tiger Stadium, they caused a small earthquake.
Brooks said the audience treated every song that night like they did his single, “Callin’ Baton Rouge.”
He explained that when he started singing the opening verse of this song, the smartwatches in the crowd began to light up with a notification. “Somebody took a picture of it, it said, ‘if you keep this volume up, you will have hearing impairment within minutes.’” Then all of a sudden, the Richter scale started to move as well meaning they were experiencing what he called a “garth-quake.”
New York City was their final stop. According to Clarkson, it was this city where Brooks drew in an audience of about one million people to Central Park 25 years ago. That night, he performed “New York State of Mind” with Billy Joel.
Clarkson dubbed it, “the most soulful, most amazing live performance ever.”
Brooks recalled the moment Joel walked out on stage unannounced and then the excitement he felt getting to stand “10 feet” from him at the piano. “I’m the biggest Billy Joel fan on the planet,” he revealed. “It was amazing, and you got to be a fan and an artist at the same time.”
To conclude their reminiscent journey, Brooks and Clarkson joined forces to sing a bit of “New York State Of Mind,” earning a roar of applause from the live audience on set.”
Garth Brooks’ appearance on The Kelly Clarkson Show comes ahead of the final sold-out dates of his Stadium tour, which will take place this weekend in Dublin, Ireland. In addition, fans can look forward to The Anthology, Part II: The Next Five Years. This project will be available on Nov. 15.