George Strait Talks to CMT Hot 20 Countdown

Texan Elaborates on New Music and Plans for Las Vegas Residency

Big news came for George Strait fans this week as he announced plans for a new album and an upcoming concert series in Las Vegas.

The album, Cold Beer Conversation, was a surprise, especially the Friday (Sept. 25) release date. The project’s title track — its second single – also made its debut also making its radio debut this week. The 13-track album also includes “Let It Go,” single from earlier this year.

Although Strait officially ended his Cowboy Rides Away tour last year at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, he emphasized that he would continue to record and also hinted that he and his Ace in the Hole Band might perform select dates in the future. And Strait has kept busy.

“We got done with the show at AT&T in June, over a year ago,” he told CMT Hot 20 Countdown. “And so we immediately started working on the live album, did that, got the CMT special ready, got that done, got all these things done, and then a month or two later, I was in the studio working on this record. So that took another couple of months — three months, whatever it took — of just spending time in the studio.

“That’s not all that time consuming, but … getting things right how you want it, it just it takes time. So then I finally got done with that, and I’m ready for it to be out.”

The Strait to Vegas residency will kick off at the new 20,000-seat seat Las Vegas Arena which opens in April 2016. Strait admits he’s missed performing.

“I haven’t missed the tours,” he said. “There’s a lot of people that are road warriors. I mean, they just tour hard all the time. And I did that for 30 years. I know Willie Nelson’s done it (longer). He puts me to shame. I mean, he’s still doing it today — and more power to him.”

Strait said he was hit with the reality in January that he wasn’t going to be touring this year.

“I realized that I don’t have to go back out this year, so it’s been good,” he said. “But I’m ready to do some shows.”

The first show of the Strait to Vegas residency is slated for April 22.

Get more of CMT Hot 20 Countdown’s interview with George Strait on an-all new episode airing Saturday and Sunday (Sept. 26-27) at 9 a.m. ET/PT.