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Is George Strait retiring?

The answer finally came from the King himself. "No".

Well, not really in every sense of the word. 

George Strait took the podium today at the Country Music Hall of Fame in Nashville to announce 'The Cowboy Rides Away Tour' which will encompass 2013-2014 and will feature Martina McBride as the opening act.

This will mark the end of 'structured touring' for Strait, although he was quick to announce that he will continue to make music and records for many years to come.  He also left the door open to take the stage for one of a kind events.

Still, one of the certainties of the past couple of decades has been the yearly George Strait tour and that will be sorely missed.

At the press conference, Strait mentioned that he had envisioned that when he hit 60, he would probably stop the touring.  He went on to say that he didn't want to push touring to the point that he would be in concert and that no one would show. (I don't see that ever happening)

The first 21 dates of the tour have been announced and are listed below:

The Cowboy Rides Away – 2013 Tour Dates

JAN 18 | Lubbock, Texas | United Spirit Arena

JAN 19 | Oklahoma City, Okla. | Chesapeake Energy Arena

JAN 25 | Salt Lake City, Utah | Energy Solutions Arena

JAN 26 | Nampa, Idaho | Idaho Center

JAN 31 | Sacramento, Calif. | Power Balance Pavilion

FEB 1 | Fresno, Calif. | Save Mart Center

FEB 2 | Las Vegas, Nev. | MGM Grand Garden Arena

FEB 15 | St. Paul, Minn. | Xcel Energy Center

FEB 16 | Grand Forks, N.D. | The Alerus Center

FEB 22 | Buffalo, N.Y. | First Niagara Center

FEB 23 | Hartford, Conn. | XL Center

MAR 1 | Knoxville, Tenn. | Thompson-Boling Arena

MAR 2 | Lexington, Ky. | Rupp Arena

MAR 17 | Houston, Texas | Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo*

MAR 22 | Greenville, S.C. | Bi-Lo Center

MAR 23 | Greensboro, N.C. | Greensboro Coliseum Complex

APR 5 | Albuquerque, N.M. | The Pit

APR 6 | Las Cruces, N.M. | Pan American Center

APR 12 | N. Little Rock, Ark. | Verizon Arena

APR 13 | New Orleans, La. | New Orleans Arena

JUN 1 | San Antonio, Texas | Alamodome**