Strait Announces Final Tour

George Strait announced his plans today for a final two-year tour: “The Cowboy Rides Away Tour.”  The press conference was hosted by Country Countdown USA’s Lon Helton in the Country Music Hall of Fame & Museum in Nashville.  George said, “It’s been a hard decision for me to make, but as far as the touring goes, I’ve decided I’m not going to tour any more after these next two years.  Don’t think I’m retiring, because I’m not.  I’m still gonna make records, I’m gonna write, and after two years if a special event comes up I wanna do, I’ll do it.  So I’m not saying after the tour is over this is gonna be the last time I’ll be on stage with my band.  I hope I still have a lot of those left in me.  But as far as a structured tour goes, after the last date in 2014, that’s gonna be it for the touring.”

The first part of the tour begins January 18 in Lubbock, and runs through June 1st in San Antonio.  Lon asked George, why did you choose those cities? “Well Lon, we’ve been to just about every city, these are cities we’ve gone to a lot, and we tried to pick the ones were somewhat special to us, and to go and say thanks.  We’re doing a lot of great cities, so I’ve gotta go there one last time.”

How did you break it to the band?  “I just called Tom Foote.  No, I think they had it in the back of their mind, and it’s not like it’s tomorrow.  Two years is a long time, we’ve got 40 dates, so we’ll have a lot of time to visit after that.

How did you come up with the Cowboy Rides Away Tour idea? “I think it’s an obvious play on words I think.  I can’t think of another song title that would be better.  No other meaning other than that.  It’s a song we’ve closed our show with for years.”

Why now?  I always had it in the back of my mind that when I turned 60, that might be the time to start thinking about it.  I also didn’t want to book a tour and nobody came.  It was important to pick that time, rather than go that long to when it started to happen.  I believe I made the right decision.  I hope I did.  In 2016, I might say ‘what a dummy.’  And if that’s the case, maybe I’ll reconsider, but at this point, I don’t think I will.”

New records? “I haven’t started any studio yet, but I’m coming back to town in October to get this next project kicked off, so I’m in the process of getting a record toether now.”

What will you do with all your free time?  I have a new grandson, so we’ll certainly be spending a lot of time with him.  I’ll try to steal him away from his parents.  I don’t know what I’ll do.  Probably play golf a lot, fish, and like I say I may take a year off or I may not.  I may find some thing to do where the band & I can go out an do some special event.

How about perfoming in Las Vegas or the Hall of Fame? The Country Music Hall of Fame idea is good, but Vegas, no.  I’m not going to make that kind of commitment to a casino.

Tickets for the 2013 Cowboy Rides Away Tour go on sale on October 12:

The Cowboy Rides Away Tour Dates

1/18 – Lubbock, Texas
1/19 – Oklahoma City, Okla.
1/25 – Salt Lake City, Utah
1/26 – Nampa, Idaho
1/31 – Sacramento, Calif.
2/1 – Fresno, Calif.
2/2 – Las Vegas, Nev.
2/15 – St. Paul, Minn.
2/16 – Grand Forks, N.D.
2/22 – Buffalo, N.Y.
2/23 – Hartford, Conn.
3/1 – Knoxville, Tenn.
3/2 – Lexington, Ky.
3/17 – Houston, Texas
3/22 – Greenville, S.C.
3/23 – Greensboro, N.C.
4/5 – Albuquerque, N.M.
4/6 – Las Cruces, N.M.
4/12 – N. Little Rock, Ark.
4/13 – New Orleans, La.
6/1 – San Antonia, Texas

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