Brooks re­vis­its roots at rare club gig in Calif.

The Fresno Bee (Sunday) - - Stay Connected -

Garth Brooks went back to his roots Thurs­day night in the midst of his sum­mer sta­dium tour – not by turn­ing to songs from the artists who in­flu­enced him, or even lean­ing heav­ily into his own early ma­te­rial, but by re­turn­ing to the type of per­for­mance venue where he and gen­er­a­tions of coun­try mu­si­cians be­fore him honed their chops.

“This all started with the honky-tonks,” Brooks, 57, told about 600 fans packed into Buck Owens’ Crys­tal Palace in Bakersfiel­d, Calif., the sec­ond stop on his tour-within-atour, which he’s call­ing the Dive Bar Tour.

The first stop came last month at Joe’s Bar in Chicago, but Bakersfiel­d – and the Crys­tal Palace in par­tic­u­lar – hold spe­cial mean­ing for Brooks.

“I’m stand­ing here think­ing about all the things that Bakersfiel­d has done for us,” he said near the end of the 70-minute set he played with the back­ing of his full six-piece tour­ing band. “There was the phone call from Buck Owens that changed my life,” a ref­er­ence to ad­vice he re­ceived from the busi­ness-savvy coun­try vet­eran urg­ing Brooks to ne­go­ti­ate for own­er­ship of his master record­ings dur­ing a con­tract bat­tle in the ‘90s with Capi­tol Records. “I came to his funeral here to pay my re­spects. I pro­posed to the love of my life right here, “al­lud­ing to the night in 2005 when he asked Tr­isha Year­wood to marry him in the mid­dle of her show at the Crys­tal Palace.

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