Garth Brooks Says Songwriter Mitch Rossell Reminds Him of Everything Good About Country Music

Garth Brooks scored chart gold when his second single, "If Tomorrow Never Comes," from his self-titled freshman album, landed at the top of the charts in 1989. The song, which followed the Top 10 "Much Too Young to Feel This Damn Old" hit, was written by Brooks and Kent Blazy, although Brooks freely admits it was Blazy who did most of the work.

"I think we all have an idea of what we think [life's] going to be, when you're 19 or 20. And so you write this beautiful and flowery song that it should be. But you're also writing with a guy who's lived it. So here comes Kent Blazy, who is writing it, and what you find out years later is how much weight he must have pulled in that, because the things that are true about that song are the things that he's written. And so, I was 25 or 26 when we wrote the song. As a 35-year-old guy, you hear that song again, you go, 'I couldn't have written that.' So that's Kent.That's one of the gifts of collaboration in this town, songwriting. There's probably, in 99% of the songs, there's one guy pulling the weight, and the other guy's just kind of hanging on, and I was the guy hanging on."

Now that Brooks has has 30 years of massive success in country music, he reminisces fondly about his early years, when he was just starting out -- much like songwriter Mitch Rossell is today. Rossell, who wrote Brooks' recent No. 1 hit, "Ask Me How I Know," and has opened for Brooks on the latter part of his World Tour, has reminded Brooks of everything he loved about the business when he was just getting started.

"Mitch came to this town with nothing but a dream and a guitar. So it's kind of rekindled that for us," Brooks shares. "The thing is, the business can sometimes bury the music. And you need somebody to come in and go, 'Hey guys. Why can't everybody just love one another? Why can't the music be first and foremost?' And you go, 'Rookie.' And then you watch it happen. And you learn again. As smart as you think you are, it's still the music. That's everything. So that's kind of been the rekindling of everything here, which I have enjoyed probably the most. Because, let's face it --we've talked about this a hundred times. The business drowns out the music. And it's neat when the music gets to drown out the business."

Brooks, along with his wife, Trisha Yearwood, will wrap up his three-year World Tour with two shows on Friday and Saturday (Dec. 22 and 23) at Nashville's Bridgestone Arena.