That Empty Nest: Garth Brooks Is Here For It

"Send ‘Em On Down the Road" Still Hits Him Hard Every Time He Listens

Coronavirus or no coronavirus, this time of year can be very bittersweet as parents are sending their kids off to college and/or beyond.

And Garth Brooks knows all about that emotional roller coaster, because his daughters Taylor, August and Allie are all grown and flown. During one of his recent Inside Studio G Facebook chats with his fans, Brooks opened up about the one song of his that gets right to the heart of that feeling.

“Here comes a song, and (Trisha Yearwood) goes, ‘Do not turn this off.’ She took my hand, held it, and it was a song called, ‘Send ‘Em On Down the Road,'" Brooks recalled of a recent moment with his wife. "Sorry about this. I haven’t listened to it since we cut it. I can’t. She made me listen to it. Just cryin’ like a baby.”

Brooks recorded the song -- written by prolific hitmakers Marc Beeson and Allen Shamblin -- for his 2014 Man Against Machine album.

“I just love how music can get to you like that. And the fact that you’re an artist and maybe it’s something you’ve done that gets to you like that? I think music is music," Brooks said, "no matter who the creator or singer is. And you cannot deny those things that just touch you.

“The song that makes you happy might not be the same song that gets you through the bad things. And there are songs that can take you deeper into depression because that’s where you want to go.”

Here's a playlist of empty-nest songs I curated in 2017 when my youngest left for college. I'd had two older kids head off to college by then, but it just hits different when it's the baby of the family.

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