Trisha Yearwood Sings About Her Father, Her Husband + Herself on ‘Every Girl’
Trisha Yearwood's new album Every Girl is a dynamic return for a country icon who has been hiding in the shadows for more than a decade. That's "hiding" to the extent a woman with that voice who is married to one of the greatest of all time can "hide."
The new album (available now on Gwendolyn Records) is her first full-length project of original songs since Heaven, Heartache and the Power of Love was released in 2007, but she has kept busy since. Yearwood has a Christmas album with Garth Brooks, an album of Frank Sinatra covers, a half-new / half best-of solo album (PrizeFighter: Hit After Hit in 2014) and appears endlessly on Brooks' studio albums and tours. So this hasn't been a Shania Twain kind of break from the business, but it's been a long time since she got to make an album that's truly her. The 54-year-old has a lot to say, so whittling it all down to 14 cohesive songs was a challenge.
"I really just went into this project just wanting to find songs that moved me," Yearwood says. "The challenge is always to be able to pick songs that can be different from each other but able to live on the same record together."
Every Girl bounces from a woeful breakup song ("Workin' on Whiskey") to a Donna Summers-esque groove ("Find a Way") to a piano and vocal ballad ("Home") to her inspiring new single, "Every Girl in This Town," before she even gets to her first collaboration, a stirring duet with Kelly Clarkson. That's a lot to take in, but the personal nature of the vocals are never lost.
Taste of Country sat down with Yearwood to discuss three of the more intimate moments on Every Girl. These three songs have a face on them.
“I made the mistake of saying early on that this song reminds me of my husband,” Yearwood says, laughing. “It’s a dark song. As an artist you find something in there to latch onto that lets you go down the rabbit hole and go to this whole dramatic, cinematic song to me. It’s a movie."
"The Matador" is an acoustic ballad with Spanish influences beyond her lyrics. Horns and classical guitar fill up a moody soundscape. "Some man is lying in the dirt / Some woman is crying that he's hurt / But he's not alive without the thrill / Without the dance, without the kill," she sings at the chorus. "The lights go down, the people roar / They're cheering on the matador / And this is how the story goes / I knew it when I threw the rose."
“There is something very much about Garth that, for me, is the matador in the ring,” Yearwood says. “There’s though lines like ‘Not alive without the thrill’ … ‘I knew this was the life I was getting into when I threw the rose.’ There is something about that that I identify with. I told this to him and he was like, ‘I don’t get that,’ (Kaughs). So he may not see it the same way I do but I just like the drama of the whole idea.”
WATCH: Trisha Yearwood Talks More About Her Marriage With Garth Brooks
"Bible and a .44" (Feat. Patty Loveless)
Ashley McBryde is a co-writer on this song, and Yearwood shares that she wrote it about her own father, whom the "Girl Going Nowhere" singer previously told ToC was terminally ill.
“Everyone I play it for, especially my girlfriends, they all find their dad in it," Yearwood says. "I think the mark of a really great songwriter is to be able to write something that’s so personal but somehow we all find something in it that makes it personal for us. I’m daddy’s little girl.”
It was Jack Yearwood who inspired the performance for Trisha, and she got the songwriter's permission to tweak a lyric to tailor the song to her own experience. “Every song he sang ...” became “every word he said was my favorite sound.”
“My father had a very distinct, Southern kind of Foghorn Leghorn voice,” she shares, “And nobody in my family talks like him. It was like this great, awesome voice and that’s one of the things I remember most about him and loved most about him. So I asked if I could make it mine in that way.”
"I'll Carry You Home"
All three of these personal songs come on the second half of the record or Side B if you're listening on vinyl, as Yearwood hopes you will one day. The message of this song is also universal, but there was someone on her mind as she cut it.
“Some of who was on my mind was me," Yearwood says. "My husband and I talk a lot about being each other’s person. And we’re both pretty strong, independent people and I know he can do everything on his own but it’s my honor to somehow help him if I can. And the same for him.”
"Also I am a firm believer that everything happens the way it’s supposed to, and I honestly every morning and get up in my day and I turn everything over to God,” she adds. “I couldn’t go through my day if I didn’t believe someone else had me. Somebody else had a better plan than me.”
“That song for me is the, ‘I got you.’”
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