Story by Tia Crabtree
When Aron, the PR strategist for Garth Brooks, called and invited me for a one-on-one with Garth, I about peed myself! I was over the moon, and immediately started reflecting on the serendipity of it all.
My introduction to Garth Brooks’ music was back in 1992 at a high school dance. A soiree of girls gathered in a circle singing the popular hit “Friends in Low Places.” Then the live verse came acapella from classmates ending in “kiss my ass.” Oh so liberating! A common memory that many have, yet the commonality of it switches when your high school friend, Justina, marries Garth’s guitarist and college roommate, Ty England, 25 plus years later, and they travel to Boise on tour. Pretty fantastic!
“Are you excited he’s going to be playing in your hometown,” I asked, Justina.
“I’m excited and the dynamic is definitely different. I have so many friends in Boise, and I want to give them all tickets, yet, that’s just not possible,” she explained. An understandable emotion.
“Hey, I can buy tickets, but I’ve got to get an interview with you and Ty,” I texted back.
“I’ll let you know what they say.” The article panned out, and went to print. https://tinyurl.com/yxbptnna
Now it’s Friday, the day of the concert and interview, and I’m starting to question my mental health after talking to myself a good portion of the morning. We arrive at the press location. I get my two minutes with Garth.
I introduced myself and he repeats my name three times, which seemed to be an endearing thing.
“Tia, did you say Tia. Nice to meet you Tia,” he says with a friendly smile.
“Nice to meet you. I recently published an article on Ty and his wife. How is our hometown girl, Justina, doing on tour?”
“She’s great. She is sweet. I think she is happy that Ty is back doing what he loves doing. You can tell, she is happy.”
The next question threw him a little.
“What’s your spirit animal?”
“Heck, I haven’t thought about that.”
I hinted, “Maybe the Bronco?”
“Yes! The bronco. Definitely the bronco,” as he fist-pounds me and laughs out loud. Overall, I think he liked the questions. The Bronco definitely fits!
At concert time: it was insane. A powerful energy flowed through the crowd as Garth raised his arms in gratitude for what he was receiving at that moment. He did it over and over. Song. Praise. Song. Praise. Michael Deeds with the Idaho Statesman eloquently explained almost every moment. https://tinyurl.com/y5692o38
Afterword, we meet Ty and Justina downtown for a quick drink. “Garth is a goal-setter. He wanted to play on the Blue, and was grateful it all came through,” Ty said with a grin. “Boise and Denver, you can explain as “insane concerts.” Boise’s energy was loud with fans singing along. In Denver everyone was signing in unison with us — like every word.” Justina and Ty visited with Blake Shelton before meeting me for drinks. They described him as a giant with size 20 shoes. He is a friendly giant and incredible singer.