And the cowboy saddles up, in preparation to ride away…

…or, I think I am going to go into a corner and sulk now:

Country music superstar George Strait announced his farewell tour on Wednesday.

“The Cowboy Rides Away” tour begins next year in Lubbock and runs through 2014.

Strait will play his hometown of San Antonio — perhaps for the last time — on June 1, 2013.

I knew this day would come, but it’s still a sad day nonetheless. God knows George has paid his dues, though, and given me and countless other fans a lot of great music and memories. He deserves this, no doubt about it.

Truth be told, I think we were all blessed that he burned up the road for this long. I’ve been very fortunate to be able to see Strait live 15 times between 1996 and now; most recently it was in 2009, at Reliant Stadium in Houston. Every single time he brought his A-game — and yeah, all he did, all he had to do, was just stand there and sing. With luck, we’ll be able to make the last date here in San Antonio.

I remember thinking the 1995 boxed set was going to be Strait’s swan song; I honestly had no idea that many of his best days were ahead of him, artistically, commercially and critically. I remember first hearing “Blue Clear Sky,” the first post-box set single from Strait, and called the radio station I heard it on (KYKX 105.7 in Longview, Texas) to ask about it. They told me the name of the album, and every day for about a month I called the local music store to find out when the album would come out. I was at the local Hastings in Texarkana’s Central Mall right after school on April 23, 1996 to get it. And ever since then I have picked up every GS album on release day (and acquired the back catalog in the process).

Speaking of that, though, the Strait man did say he’d still be making music, and for that I am quite grateful. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again — I think he has a lot of good music left in him.

And although I am pretty sure he’ll never come up on this, I’d still like to say…

Rest well, George. I still look forward to the new music. And I am sure I speak for many when I say we all love you dearly for what you’ve given us for the last 30 years.

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2 Responses to “And the cowboy saddles up, in preparation to ride away…”

  1. Sabra Morse Onstott Says:

    Well, sulking in the corner is better than curled up in the fetal position sucking your thumb and crying like I expected, so I’ll take it. 😉

    And really, he’s just quitting touring, not wholesale retiring. Good on him for stopping when he’s still young enough to enjoy what he’s earned.

  2. Albatross Says:

    At least he’s not fightin’ nekkid in a church parking lot.

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