Brooks opens up to cameras like never before
A&E takes fans inside the life of Garth Brooks that’s never been seen before. The two-part four hour documentary, Garth Brooks: The Road I’m On, is part of the network’s Biography franchise and tells the story of America’s favorite country superstar that’s never been told before. The seven-time CMA Entertainer of the Year winner takes fans into his personal life and behind the scenes of his career where cameras have never gone before. You get to see Brooks on his Goodlettsville, TN farm, unearth photos, unreleased music, inside the studio and much more.
The doc opens as Brooks and his band rehearse in Nashville ahead of the St Louis opening show on Brooks’ three year stadium tour that kicked off in March. Brooks asks the entire band to gather at the front of the stage so he can coach them on what he expects on the trek.
“If you think the hardest times in your life to challenge yourself in music is behind you, think again,” he says passionately. “I love having the history that we have, but history is in the past. Do not ever think that what we’ve done is good enough. This is going to be the toughest tour you’ve ever been on. We wanna be big. We wanna be loud. You only got one shot at it. Let’s get to work.”
During the four hour event, Brooks shares anecdotes and other stories that have helped shape who he is. He goes back home to Yukon, Oklahoma through newly recorded interviews with the man himself; wife and fellow country superstar Trisha Yearwood; former wife Sandy Mahl and their three daughters Taylor, August and Allie; band members; longtime manager Bob Doyle; retired producer Allen Reynolds — in which his studio was named after — and others. The bio also pulls from archival interviews featuring his mom Colleen and photos from Brooks’ childhood and early career.
Some of the more intimate parts in the bio involve Mahl and their kids. They share recollections of their time together and their marriage from 1986-2000. They discuss their early relationship to their move to Nashville — which almost didn’t happen following a one day solo trip Brooks took that was discouraging — to their divorce and custody arrangement that had both parents seeing their kids every day.
For the first time ever, Brooks allowed cameras into a recording session as he cut the track “Live Again,” a ballad that appears on his upcoming Fun album, set for release in 2020. The poignant ballad is seen and heard in its entirety with his longtime studio musicians accompanying him in studio. The bio also features snippets of unreleased live recordings of Brooks performing at Willie’s Saloon in Stillwater, Oklahoma in 1985 where he covered a variety of cover tunes from Billy Joel, The Doors, Bob Seger and Don McLean.
Brooks rose to country super stardom following his 1989 self-titled debut and has been an unstoppable force ever since. His fame become more widespread following his first NBC television special This is Garth Brooks that spawned many other TV specials, sold out concerts around the world and countless No 1 albums.
“Whatever it is, he has it. It’s an ability to communicate on a level that very few people can communicate,” Yearwood says of Brooks’ personal connection with fans through his music. “He’s just witnessing and preaching on a different level. It’s not a church, but it’s the Church of Garth.”
Garth Brooks: The Road I’m On is the most definitive project he’s ever released. There’s really nothing left unsaid as Brooks is an open book about his personal and professional life that’s full of highs and lows. From his childhood to his relationship with his family to his marriage and divorce to his retirement for raising his kids to his comeback and more, Brooks lets A&E tell the Garth Brooks Story that many have wondered for years would ever be told. It’s emotional, entertaining and informative, and by far, the best documentary I’ve ever seen.
Garth Brooks: The Road I’m On wraps A&E’s Garth Week with the two-part premiere on December 2nd and 3rd. Check local listings.
Author: Buddy Iahn
Buddy Iahn founded The Music Universe when he decided to juxtapose his love of web design and music. As a lifelong drummer, he decided to take a hiatus from playing music to report it. The website began as a fun project in 2013 to one of the top independent news sites.