It’s been more than 10 years since Trisha Yearwood released her last solo full-length album —2007’s Heaven, Heartache and the Power of Love —and 2019 had the powerhouse vocalist surprising fans with a new album of Frank Sinatra covers, Let’s Be Frank. The cover album is the first of two album’s Trisha plans to release this year, with her second coming this fall.
So why after waiting 12 years are we getting not one, but two albums from Trisha in one year? Not that we’re complaining. It’s a welcome surprise.
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“The three and a half year tour with Garth was all consuming and when I wasn’t touring, I was filming a cooking show,” Trisha tells One Country. “So when that ended in December of 17, I was like, I just need to make new music. I’ve missed it and so I started on two records. I started on this record [Lets’ Be Frank] and I started on a regular country record and didn’t really know what the plan would be, but [Let’s Be Frank] got done first.”
Let’s Be Frank, released Feb. 15, features 11 Sinatra hits including, “One For My Baby,” “Come Fly With Me,” “The Lady Is a Tramp” “Over the Rainbow” and “I’ll Be Seeing You.” But the album was not something that Trisha may have intended it to be.
“First of all, my love of this music, this era, is from my mom. She loved this music and I used to watch old movies with her so a lot of musicals and I loved everybody,” Trisha said. “I loved Judy Garland, I loved Rosemary Clooney, I loved Dean Martin, I loved Frank and so I had always intended to make a standard record but I didn’t ever really ever intend to make a Sinatra record. However, a couple years ago Garth and I were asked to sing on the 100th birthday celebration of Sinatra—the Grammys did a tribute thing. I did, ‘I’ll Be Seeing You’ and Don Was was the musical director and he said, ‘Have you ever thought about making a record of this stuff? And I’m like, ‘Yes I think about it all the time.’ That’s when the idea came of focusing it on Frank, because all these artists recorded all these songs.
“You may associate ‘Over the Rainbow’ with Judy Garland but there’s a great Frank recording of it, so it gave me license to say, ‘okay, cause they all recorded all these songs, so if Frank recorded it, it was fair game,’ Trisha added. “I wanted to do ‘Come Fly with Me,’ which is very Frank and ‘One For My Baby,” also so Frank, but for me that gave me the license to go, ‘Okay I’m gonna take this little side road here because he did do a version of it.’ So that was kind of my way to do it.”
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The Grammy award winning singer took the making of the album to another level. Trisha recorded the songs at the Capitol Records building in Hollywood where Sinatra recorded his originals with a 55 piece orchestra. She even went as far as using the same microphone and stool Frank used while recording his hits.
“I do believe in energy and I believe in the vibe. There’s very few studios in the world that have that kind of history,” says Trisha. “You really do feel it when you walk in and there’s a humbleness that comes across you when you walk in there and you walk down the hall and there’s Keely Smith on the left singing in the studio that you’re about to be in and there’s Judy Garland on the right and there’s Dean Martin and there’s Sinatra and these photographs and they don’t, they don’t put that stuff behind glass. You sing on his microphone, the bar stool he sat on is sitting there for you to sit on if you want to, the bandstand of the podium that the arranger used, there’s a lot of pictures of Frank sitting by that podium looking at lyrics and so you feel that energy.”
While the album focuses on Sinatra tunes, there is one lone original song, “For the Last Time,” that made it on the album. Trisha wrote the song with her husband Garth Brooks.
“First of all,” says Trisha. “I want to say this has been my disclaimer, that I’m not the person who went, ‘Oh I think I’ll write something alongside these numbers and I’m going to show Rodgers and Hammerstein how it’s done.’ I am not that girl. I never intended for that to even be on the record.”
Ok, disclaimer noted.
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“I came home with a song that’s titled ‘For The First Time I’m in Love For the Last Time’ which is us, [Garth] and I, and Garth started singing this melody just immediately and it was out of another era. This melody was so different,” recalls Trisha. “I wasn’t like, ‘Let’s write something for this project.’ It was just happening. So over the course of the next few weeks—when Garth writes, he’s constantly singing it, and humming it and messing with it, so you hear him in the house and he’s just constantly going back and forth. So I would insert something and so I had the title and I have a few lyrics and he has most of the rest of it. We were like, ‘Maybe this [song] goes into a Broadway show or I don’t know where it goes.’ It’s not a country song, so I don’t know where it goes. Melodically, it just felt different. [Garth] was the one who encouraged me to play it for Don [Was] who played it for Vince who said, ‘We’re doing it’ and so it ended up making the record. Oddly to me, it’s hard to say because I am a writer on it, it feels like it fits, it doesn’t feel like this left turn. It’s almost like it fits in with them, so I’m honored to have it on there and I’ve gotten to perform it a couple of times and it’s been really cool.”
With Let’s Be Frank in the books, Trisha is gearing up to release her brand new single, “Every Girl in This Town,” in June. The female anthem is the first release from her second project—the yet to be titled country album, set for release this fall.
“I’m excited. It’s been 13 years since I had a regular studio album out,” Trisha said about the project. “I worked on the country record starting about this time last year, finding songs. I really didn’t have an expectation. I just wanted to go in the studio and make music. I was so surprised by the great songs I was able to find. I’m really happy.”
As for the single, Trisha is taking girl power to another level.
“The song to me, is about whatever you are is okay. It is truly about every girl, that we’re all in this together,” Trisha reveals. “It’s about being whoever you are and don’t worry about it. You don’t have to be perfect and if you’re not, it’s fine. I just think that’s a message, especially these young girls, really need to hear.”
“Every Girl in This Town” is set to be released on June 6.