2019 is the year of Trisha Yearwood! After releasing her Frank Sinatra cover album, Let’s Be Frank, in February, the Georgia native is treating us to even more new music with her first full-length country album, Every Girl, in 12 years.
“I’m just having the best time and I’m so pleasantly surprised by everything,” Trisha shared with One Country. “I knew I was going to release new music, but I didn’t necessarily expect all this really cool stuff. I’m having a good time.”
To kick off the release of her new album, Trisha released the lead single, “Ever Girl in This Town,” and embarked on a three-day Every Girl Road Trip, which had her tracing the trek she made to follow her dreams, beginning in Monticello, Georgia and ending in Music City. That trek began in 1991 with the release of her debut No. 1 hit, “She’s in Love with the Boy,” featured on her self-titled debut album.
Trisha followed that up with 10 subsequent studio albums, with her last, Heaven, Heartache and the Power of Love, releasing in 2007.
“I hadn’t made any music in a long time so there’s maybe a mistaken thought that I was more interested in doing the other things I do,” Trisha revealed. “But music is what feeds my soul. So as much as I enjoy the cooking show and all the other things that I get to do, this is really what I need to do. I’ve had the best time making these records and this country record. I was just so pleasantly surprised by the songs that I found. I’m so excited for the whole album to get out there. ‘Every Girl in This Town’ has been so well received and it’s awesome, but there’s a whole story to tell on this album, so I’m really excited for it to get out there.”
[RELATED: Trisha Yearwood Announces First Solo Tour in Five Years With Every Girl in This Town Tour]
Trisha sat down with One Country to talk about her newest album, Ever Girl, her first solo tour in five years and being happy. “I’m happy in my life. I’m enjoying myself.” Trisha shared.
Tell me about your new album, Every Girl. What are we getting from Trisha Yearwood?
“It’s just kind of maybe the grown-up version of me. I’m 54 and it’s a wonderful thing to get to a place in your life where you’re comfortable in your own skin. It feels like there’s a real honesty and a vulnerability on this record that I’m not sure that I’ve really ever given before. Maybe it’s because my filter’s gone, so it’s just like ‘This is me, here you go.” I like the way the record sounds. I think it’s all determined by finding those songs. I just feel like it was magic—those songs just showed up.”
How different is Every Girl from past Trisha albums, or is it?
“I think people who know me and my music and who’ve been following me and supporting me all these years will hear it and hopefully feel like it’s familiar to them. It sounds like hopefully the Trisha they were wanting to hear, but you’re not going to go ‘Oh that sounds just like something that she did in the past.’ It’s definitely not a throwback. It’s current. Garth Fundis and I have made a lot of records together, but we had an engineer named Chad Carlson who really brought kind of that contemporary, current sound to the record and it just feels good. I didn’t feel like I had to compromise one iota of who I am to make a record that I could be really proud of. Maybe that’s another thing too, of not really having any expectation other than making a record that I love. I wasn’t trying to please anybody else except for myself, and I was not pressured for any reason. Maybe that’s when you get a chance to do your best work, when you’re not having to worry about all those things.”
You gathered Kelly Clarkson, Don Henley and Garth Brooks to sing on the album. Walk me through working with each of them on their particular songs.
Kelly Clarkson: “Kelly is amazing. She’s a freak of nature. She has another gear than the rest of us. [‘Tell Me Something I Don’t Know’] is a pretty powerful song and it has a big lead vocal, and I wanted that strong harmony above it. I could sing those notes, but I don’t have that kind of power up there and she does. It just blew me away, I mean she’s amazing. I’ve gotten the chance to sing with her several times and it’s such a delight to sing with somebody that’s that good.”
Garth Brooks: “I think people just assume that Garth would sing on the record, but we don’t do it unless it makes sense. This song that he’s on is a song called ‘What Gave Me Away’ and it’s a song that’s so intimate and personal. It really is about him for me, and that song about whoever it is that has your number, and he’s definitely got my number. I just couldn’t imagine singing it with anybody but him, and he loved the song, which I was happy about.”
Don Henley: “Henley, of course, I’ve worked with several times. He’s always been that friend that you don’t want to call unless you’re sure because I don’t want to just abuse that friendship. The last song on the album is called ‘Love You Anyway’ and it’s just this beautiful counter vocal and I kept hearing his voice on it, and he was kind enough to do me a solid and sing on it.”
Patty Loveless: “I also want to mention Patty Loveless, who sings on ‘Bible and a .44,” Ashley McBryde’s song. Patty and I were label mates at MCA and I just look up to her. Never got a chance to sing with her, so I’m so honored that she agreed to sing on this record, and I hope that I get a chance to sing that with her live somewhere.”
Another song on the album, “The Matador,” kind of different for you. What drew you to that one?
“Gretchen Peters, one of my favorite writers—she wrote ‘Bus to St. Cloud’ that I recorded. This song was just so dark and such a cinematic song to me, I could see the movie. I just thought it was awesome. The thread that drew me down that rabbit hole was this whole idea of the matador in the ring and putting on a show. I kind of live with a matador. The song is not about Garth, but for me it is a little bit. It kind of was the thread that allowed me to kind of go and dig deep into that song.”
Does Garth see himself in that song?
“No. I’m like, ‘Who is this about, is it about you?’ And he’s like ‘I don’t get that,’ and I’m like ‘Well you don’t have to because I get it.'”‘
Do you have a favorite song on the album?
“I don’t. I usually tell the band to learn the single and just not to worry about the rest of the album right now, but I told them to learn all 14 songs. I’m not going to play all 14 every night because people want to hear songs they know, but I do want to have the opportunity to pull any one of these songs out and play it if I want to, because I feel that strongly about every one of them.”
You’re kicking off your first solo tour in five years, any nerves before you head out?
“No, I mean, I’m always a little nervous until I get into it and start to do it. My theater shows are very much like a conversation, and I’m very comfortable being me. Some of that comes with maybe being comfortable in your skin as you get older. I’m excited. I don’t have a show that I put together as far as like a scripted show. I just kind of go out and talk to the crowd and sing songs, and we just visit for 90 minutes to two hours or whatever it is, so it’ll evolve as the tour goes on, but I’m excited to get back out there.”
Is there a possibility of Don, Garth, or Kelly showing up to join you on tour?
“Well, there’s an open invitation. There’s no plan for that, but I’m not going to say no if they want to come. If they want to come over, they’re welcome to.”
You’ve been doing this for a long time, yet at this point, you seem to be enjoying your journey more now than ever. Is there truth to that?
“Yeah, I think so. I keep going back to getting older. I’m an immature person so that works out for me but I do think that there is a joy that comes with, you know, you really appreciate the life you have, and I don’t take for granted that I’ve been able to do this for 28 years and counting, and that I’m still able to do it on this level. So, I’m just having a great time. I’m enjoying myself. I probably am busier than I’ve ever been, but I’m happy in my life, and I’m happy in my career and just taking it day by day.”
Every Girl Track List:
1. “Workin’ on Whiskey”
2. “Find A Way
4. “Every Girl in This Town”
5. “Tell Me Something I Don’t Know” (featuring Kelly Clarkson)
6. “What Gave Me Away” (featuring Garth Brooks)
7. “Something Kinda Like It”
8. “When Lonely Calls”
10. “I’ll Carry You Home”
11. “Drink Up”
12. “Bible and a .44” (featuring Patty Loveless)
13. “Can’t Take Back Goodbye”
14. “Love You Anyway” (featuring Don Henley)