~ Released June 28th, 2005

Produced by Tony Brown and George Strait for George Strait Productions

Tour and Album Reviews:

Big grin, bigger voice are all the fireworks Strait needs: 

By Amanda St. Amand

Even the biggest of George Strait fans (like me) know his concerts will never feature the fireworks or trapezes or confetti cannons that have become commonplace when country comes to town.

So the fans who packed the Savvis Center on Friday night got just what they came for, and more, from the man who's had more No. 1's than anyone else in music.

From the opening strains of "Honk if You Honky Tonk," Strait charmed the audience with a big grin and a bigger voice as he sang a song or two from one side of the stage before he moved to the next side, giving everyone a chance to feel as if they had floor seats.

Strait gets the best support in the business from his Ace in the Hole Band. They've been together going on three decades now, and you can hear the familiarity as Strait let fiddle player Gene Elders shine in "Amarillo By Morning" and pianist Ronnie Huckaby soar during Strait's "Milk Cow Blues." 

The "Somewhere Down in Texas" tour started just more than a month ago and gives Strait the problem of choosing which of his hits to keep and which new songs to feature. He mixed it well Friday night with hits from his early days such as "Does Fort Worth Ever Cross Your Mind," "Heartbroke" and "The Chair." But he featured plenty of material from his newest album, such as his most recent chart-topper "She Let Herself Go" and newer cuts such as "You'll Be There." For my money, the song features one of the best lyrics in country music with the line, "I ain't never seen a hearse with a luggage rack."

Strait wrapped up his main set of 26 songs with "Unwound" after 90 minutes but came back for a three-song encore. Anyone who left before he unleashed himself on the second song, a take of Johnny Cash's "Folsom Prison Blues," missed out on brilliance. Strait paid tribute to Cash while still putting his own mark on the song and again letting the band stand out.

No one else in country music packs so much music into a show, and if Strait does it by skipping fireworks and chit-chat, it's fine with his fans.

By Jeffrey Lee Puckett...Courier-Journal Critic
There are a couple of remarkable things about George Strait, who is rightly regarded as the king of modern country music. 

His consistent dedication to traditional, Texas-based honky tonk is unparalleled, especially given pop's overwhelming influence on the genre over the past 15 years. 

Even more remarkable is Strait's popularity given the above. He sold out Saturday's show at Freedom Hall in two days, faster than Kenny Chesney, arguably country-pop's biggest star. 

How does he do it? Simple and simply. 

Strait's music is no-frills but high quality, good enough for 25 No. 1 albums and 52 No. 1 singles (and counting). More often than not, he sings about true love with his clear, concise voice, but some of his most effective songs are about love deferred ('I Can Still Make Cheyenne' being the standout). 

In addition to a generous helping of hits, Strait and his 11-piece Ace in the Hole Band were careful to honor the past Saturday with a set of Bob Wills tunes and a swinging cover of Webb Pierce's classic 'There Stands the Glass.' 

Country star George Strait leaves 
The Mark with a smile
By David Burke ..Quad City Times
No performer in any musical genre can be a major part of its history, yet still be relevant enough to have current hits on the charts. No performer can draw at least three generations of fans, each of whom make no apologies in adoring that performer with unbridled adulation.

And no performer can mount a major arena tour without all sorts of visual and audio frills.

The exception to that rule took the stage Friday night at The Mark of the Quad-Cities.

George Strait played to a capacity crowd of 11,200 on an in-the-round stage in Moline, further galvanizing his throne as the king of country music.

Unlike his only other concert at The Mark in 2003, where he moved militarily from one side of the stage to the next, Strait was more at-ease surrounded by the audience. They responded by greeting him on each side as if he had just stepped on stage for the first time in the night.

While his opening acts ‹ Tracy Lawrence and Miranda Lambert ‹ entered through the crowd in a rush to greetings of high-fives, Strait took a slow mosey through the aisle as his Ace in the Hole Band played ³Deep in the Heart of Texas.²

Dressed in a black cowboy hat, long-sleeved, blue-checkered shirt, Wranglers and boots, Strait promised ³old ones, new ones and in-between ones² in his 90-minute set. He delivered that, from his early 1980s hits including ³Amarillo By Morning² to his 52nd and most recent No. 1, ³She Let Herself Go.² Each song was dead-on, showing the 53-year-old hasn¹t lost a bit of his game.

Fifty-two No. 1 hits might be enough to fill a concert, but Strait took a different path, with a two-song tribute to Bob Wills, and Webb Pierce¹s ³There Stands the Glass.²

The superb nine-piece Ace in the Hole Band backed Strait through the night, and their leader even encouraged deserved standing ovation for the group.


George Strait Presented With Record Breaking Plaque 
(L-R)Alltel Mgr Michael Marrion, Strait, Mkt. Dir. Betty Baxter, Laurie McGinnis, Varnel Ent. 

 NASHVILLE, TN (JANUARY 23, 2006) – George Strait’s 2006 Arena tour, has met with unparalleled success in the mere 2 weeks since its kick off on January 12th in Des Moines, IA. After playing only 1week Strait did what few artists have done by selling out the next three shows. 

The sellouts began on January 19th in Omaha at the Qwest Center in front of an audience of 15,200. The next sellout came on the 20th in Oklahoma City at the Ford Center with 18,500 in attendance. Strait’s next was in Little Rock, AR on the 21st where he hosted Alltell Arena’s largest crowd in the history of the venue. Strait, along with opening acts Miranda Lambert and Tracy Lawrence, played to a sell out crowd of 17,559 people beating the arena’s previous attendance record of 17,229 people, set by Strait on February 25, 2004.

“This was a great week to be George Strait,” says tour promoter Ben Farrell. “To be welcomed by a sold out arena three shows in a row isn't a bad way to start a tour.'

The tour will hit 25 cities in the U.S. and Canada culminating in June. Once again Strait will employ the center stage configuration allowing him to face all sides of the crowd. Tickets are on sale now.

Ross Rahala--Pioneer Press Pop Music Critic
George Strait proved why he's one of the most consistent country stars in the business Friday night at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul. The 53-year-old Texan turned in a classy, compelling and gimmick-free performance that kept the focus on his supple voice and smart songs.
Expertly backed by the 11-piece Ace in the Hole Band, Strait made few concessions to modern concert spectacle, beyond his large stage planted in the center of the arena, with floor seats surrounding it on all sides.
The four microphones stationed on each side of the stage — and four large video screens perched above — allowed Strait to give each section of the crowd ample face time. It gave the evening an intimate feeling — as intimate as it can get in front of 15,698 fans, that is.
Kicking things off with the boot-scooting 'Honk If You Honky Tonk,' Strait neatly surveyed his entire 25-year career, from the first song on his first album ('Unwound') to 'She Let Herself Go,' which just hit No. 1 on the charts.
While his upbeat numbers like 'Take Me Back to Tulsa' were fun, Strait really took flight on the ballads that showcased his voice, which is impressive for any genre. Early in the show, he turned in a particularly majestic take on 'Run' followed by the unapologetically romantic 'I Just Want to Dance with You.'
Strait displayed a whiff of rebellion by playing 'Murder on Music Row,' his infamous 1999 single that blasted Nashville for going Hollywood: 'Someone killed country music, cut out its heart and soul.' But he followed it up with the title cut from his latest disc 'Somewhere Down in Texas,' a song as lush and likable as anything in his estimable catalog.
Strait's well-chosen openers pleased the crowd and fit in with the overall keep-it-simple aesthetic. Dewy-eyed newcomer Miranda Lambert turned in a fiery, fun set focused on her gold-selling debut 'Kerosene,' while '90s star Tracy Lawrence trotted out his rousing hits.
Each made full use of the stage and screens, too, something nervous, aging headliners don't always allow, lest an energetic upstart steal the show. But that's not the way Strait plays it, not that anyone could upstage this guy anyway.

Nashville, TN (January6, 2006) Country music’s reigning King of Country, George Strait, has the Number 1 country music single in America with “She Let Herself Go” topping Billboard’s Hot Country Singles & Tracks. This marks Strait’s 52nd Number 1 single and continues his legendary record for the most Number One songs by any recording artist in history.

During his illustrious 25-year recording career, George Strait has sold more than 62 million records. He is the most certified country artist of all time with 26 different Platinum or Multi-Platinum albums and the #2 most certified male artist in all genres of music (just behind Elvis Presley). Strait holds the record for the most Number One songs by a single artist with 52.

Strait kicks off his 2006 Arena Tour on Thursday, January 12th in Des Moines, IA. The tour will hit 25 cities in the U.S. and Canada culminating in June. Known for sell-out shows, Strait will once again play to large arenas with a center stage configuration allowing him to face all sides of the crowd. Joining Strait for the entire run will be Epic recording artist and singer-songwriter Miranda Lambert and Tracy Lawrence, who has 6 Number 1 singles. Tickets are on sale now.

Gets Trophy For Vocal Event Of The Year With Lee Ann Womack
George Strait returned to the winners circle at the 39th Annual Country Music Awards Show held in New York City on November 15th. Strait received the 'Vocal Event of the Year' award for his recording of 'Good News, Bad News' with his stablemate Lee Ann Womack. Womack, who won two other awards, was also one of the writers on the song. 
The duet is included on George Straits latest album, 'Somewhere Down In Texas'

Nashville, TN ( October 24, 2005) – Country music superstar George Strait is gearing up for his upcoming tour beginning mid-January and hitting 25 cities in the U.S. and Canada through June. Known for sell-out shows, Strait will once again play to large arenas with a center stage configuration allowing him to face all sides of the crowd throughout his shows during the 2006 tour. Joining Strait for the entire run will be Mercury’s Tracy Lawrence, who has a respectable career 16 No. 1 singles and Epic recording artist, singer-songwriter and CMA Horizon Award nominee Miranda Lambert. Ticket sales information will be announced soon. 

With over 62 million records sold and a record 51 #1 hits, George Strait is one of the most popular recording artists in history. He consistently sells out arenas during each tour and holds more than 20 attendance records including a single day record of 68,266 at a sold-out house at the Houston Livestock Show. 

Throughout his unparalleled 24-year career, Strait has earned 12 Academy of Country Music Awards including 2003’s Gene Weed Special Achievement award, 15 Country Music Association Awards, four American Music Awards, and countless trade and industry achievements. Strait holds the career record for CMA nominations with 72, and he is nominated again this year for the CMA’s Male Vocalist of the Year honor. He has released 32 albums - all of which have hit gold or platinum status. His latest release Somewhere Down in Texas debuted at #1 on pop album charts and was certified Platinum by the RIAA in less than 30 days. 

Strait Earns His 20th Top Country Album Debut
Nashville, Tenn. (July 6, 2005) -- Country music king, George Strait earned his second consecutive Number One debut on the U.S. pop charts knocking out Coldplay who held the position for three weeks. Strait's 'Somewhere Down in Texas,' the 33rd album of his career, sold 245,000 copies according to Nielsen SoundScan. This is his biggest-selling first week for a studio album. Strait’s 50 Number Ones album (which actually contains 51 Number One Singles) topped the charts last year selling nearly 350,000 copies the first week with total sales of over 5,000,000 copies to date.

In addition to topping the Billboard Top 200 chart for all genres of music, the MCA/Universal CD is Strait’s 20th time to lead the Billboard Top Country Albums roundup. His first single from the CD, 'You'll Be There,' was his highest-debuting entry on Billboard's Hot Country Singles and Tracks chart, opening at Number 30 in April. It is currently at the Number Four spot.

“The most rewarding thing for those of us at UMG Nashville is to be a part of working with a superstar as he takes it to an even higher level,” said Co-Chairman UMG Nashville Luke Lewis.
During his illustrious 24-year recording career, George Strait has sold more than 62 million records. He is the most certified country artist of all time with 26 different Platinum or Multi-Platinum albums and the #2 most certified male artist in all genres of music (just behind Elvis Presley). Strait holds the record for the most Number One songs by a single artist with 51. 


Nashville, TN (April 14, 2005) – After 20 years of making timeless country music, earning armloads of awards, selling over 60 million albums, shattering attendance records in venues across the country and accruing more Number One singles than any other recording artist in history, it would seem there’s little left for the biggest name in country music to achieve. Nonetheless, he’s done it again. George Strait’s new single, “You’ll Be There,” is the highest charting debut of his career entering the Billboard Hot Country Singles chart at #30. 

The first week out, “You’ll Be There,” was the Number One most added on the R&R charts and the second week of release, it was the Number One most added on the Billboard Charts. This week the song sits at #22 on the R&R Charts and # 21 on Billboard. 

With the powerful ballad resonating with fans and radio personnel alike, it’s no wonder the album initially thought to be released in the fall, would be moved to June 28 to meet the demand. 

Steve Guitarri, Program Director of WYGY in Cincinnati, OH cheered, ““I think this is one of the greatest songs I’ve ever heard…..Period.”

“You’ll Be There,” can be found on Strait’s 33rd album (title TBD) in stores June 28. The album was produced by George Strait and Tony Brown. 

'You'll Be There' To Arrive On Week Of 4/21
George Strait's newest single, 'You'll Be There', is schedule to arrive at radio stations the week of April 21st. The powerful ballad is one of the most moving and emotional records of his long illustrious career. It was written by Corey Mayo and is the first release from a new George Strait Album that should arrive in record stores late this summer.
For more News & reviews on this album and others go to the official George Strait website.