In a press conference streamed live today on his website, Country Music Hall of Famer George Strait announced that, starting early next year, he’ll kick off what he’s calling The Cowboy Rides Away Tour.
Taking place over two years (2013-14), it’s a farewell tour of sorts–his last grand sweep across the U.S. with his band. However, George made it clear during the press conference that he is not retiring from the business. He will still continue to record and to play some live dates.
“As far as a structured tour goes, after the last day in 2014, that’s gonna be it for the touring,” George said during the press conference, which took place at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum. However, “I’m still going to make records, I’m going to write.” And then, once the tour is complete, “if a special event comes up that I want to do, by all means I’m going to do it.”
#cowboyridesaway Is George parking the bus for good? NO! But last official tour. Tix on sale 10/12!
— George Strait (@GeorgeStrait) September 26, 2012
Wearing a yellow long-sleeve Oxford shirt tucked into blue jeans and a big black cowboy hat, George was easygoing and quick with a smile, but kept the talk to a minimum.
Martina McBride will accompany him on the tour, and she appeared on stage with George as well to personally tell him “thank you for including me in this.”
The Cowboy Rides Away Tour begins in January, 2013 in Lubbock, Texas. George mentioned that Miranda Lambert and the Randy Rogers Band are scheduled for at least one appearance as well (in Houston), and that fans should expect some “surprises.”
“There’s just no telling who might show up,” George said.
This fall, he’ll also begin work on a new record, finally ending what he described as the longest time he’s ever taken between records, since his debut in 1981 (“I’m pretty anxious to get something out”).
The roster of George Strait’s 2013 Cowboy Rides Away tour dates are listed below. According to a press release about the tour, George Strait fan club members will be able to purchase tickets beginning at 10am in the venue’s respective time zone on Oct. 9, 2012. Tickets for the general public will tghen be available for purchase beginning Oct. 12.
THE COWBOY RIDES AWAY – 2013 TOUR DATES
JAN 18 | Lubbock, Texas | United Spirit Arena
JAN 19 | Oklahoma City, Okla. | Chesapeake Energy Arena
JAN 25 | Salt Lake City, Utah | Energy Solutions Arena
JAN 26 | Nampa, Idaho | Idaho Center
JAN 31 | Sacramento, Calif. | Power Balance Pavilion
FEB 1 | Fresno, Calif. | Save Mart Center
FEB 2 | Las Vegas, Nev. | MGM Grand Garden Arena
FEB 15 | St. Paul, Minn. | Xcel Energy Center
FEB 16 | Grand Forks, N.D. | The Alerus Center
FEB 22 | Buffalo, N.Y. | First Niagara Center
FEB 23 | Hartford, Conn. | XL Center
MAR 1 | Knoxville, Tenn. | Thompson-Boling Arena
MAR 2 | Lexington, Ky. | Rupp Arena
MAR 17 | Houston, Texas | Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo*
MAR 22 | Greenville, S.C. | Bi-Lo Center
MAR 23 | Greensboro, N.C. | Greensboro Coliseum Complex
APR 5 | Albuquerque, N.M. | The Pit
APR 6 | Las Cruces, N.M. | Pan American Center
APR 12 | N. Little Rock, Ark. | Verizon Arena
APR 13 | New Orleans, La. | New Orleans Arena
– Kurt Wolff, CBS Local