Country Star Trisha Yearwood On Music, Marriage And Being 'Every Girl'

Dec 2, 2019
Originally published on December 2, 2019 3:22 pm

Trisha Yearwood’s new album “Every Girl” is the Grammy-winning singer’s first solo country album in 12 years.

Yearwood rose to fame with her 1991 debut hit Billboard No. 1 hit single “She’s in Love with the Boy.”

Almost two decades and 14 albums later, Yearwood hosts the Food Network show “Trisha’s Southern Kitchen” and will be hosting the CMA Country Christmas show on Tuesday night.

When she’s not on stage belting a heartbreaking country ballad or in the kitchen cooking up a southern comfort storm, Yearwood is married to record-breaking country singer Garth Brooks.

Some of the tracks on “Every Girl” are about their marriage and how their shared passion for making and performing country music brings them together.

“You’ve got to give each other the freedom to be that,” she says, “because that’s who makes him who he is and that’s who makes me who I am.”

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Interview Highlights

On what makes people connect with Yearwood

“You know what? I don’t know, really. But I think what it is — not to quote my own album — but I really am sort of every girl. I feel like I kind of represent most of us. Most of us who cook are not chefs. We learned how to cook from a mom or dad. And I came from a very small town and wanted to be a singer since I was five years old, but didn’t know anybody who was doing this. So I kind of feel like I’m the one who gets to do it all for all of us. And I’m as surprised and excited about it still, 28 years after getting started, that I get to do it. And I really am. And I think that’s probably what people relate because they feel like I could be in the kitchen with her. It wouldn’t be weird. And if I dropped an egg on the floor, she wouldn’t think it was a bad thing because she does that, too. It’s just real.”

On the song “Bible and a .44”

“That Southern drawl line really got me. I actually asked Ashley [McBryde] if I could change that. Her lyrics said, ‘Every song he sang was my favorite sound.’ And I asked if I could say ‘every word he said’ because my dad had this southern accent that was almost like Foghorn Leghorn … He’s gone now but his voice is what I remember so much about him. It’s still in my head. And I think the power of a great songwriter is to be able to write something that is so personal to them. I mean, the song is about Ashley’s dad. And for it to feel so personal to me. And this is one of those songs that when I sing it live, it really does connect with especially girls in their daddies.”

 

On whether her husband Garth Brooks is like her late father

“Absolutely. I mean, I do think that. I think that’s one of the things about him that I love so much. My dad was my biggest fan. He was a huge fan of country music. He loved and got to see a lot of my career. But I always felt like at the end of the day, I was daddy’s little girl and I felt like he had my back and he was there to take care of me. And Garth has always said, ‘I don’t want to take care of you because you need to be taken care of. You’re independent. You do your own thing. But I want you to know that I’m here if you need me.’ And he is. One of the last things that my dad got to see was Garth and I get engaged and my dad was like, ‘Okay, I feel good now.’ I honestly feel like my dad thought, ‘Okay, Garth’s got this.’”

 

On her song “The Matador” about her and Brooks’ relationship

“I don’t know that he agrees with me on this. I’ve always been very dramatic. Even as a little girl, before I even had any heartbreak, I would sing these songs that were so about heartbreak. ‘The Matador’ was written by Gretchen Peters, who is an incredibly talented singer-songwriter. And for me, what I felt was there is something about I mean, he loves me more than anything in the world. He loves his children more than anything in the world. But there’s something about being in the musical arena and getting to do what you do that is unmatched and is something that no one can really share with you in that moment. I think he and I, being the same industry, come as close as two people can to sharing that feeling. But there is something about watching him in the ring doing what he does. And sparks do fly from his fingertips. I mean, it is something to behold.”

 

On being married to a fellow country singer

“Everybody talks about two celebrities being married, how hard that is. And the only thing hard about it is because we both are really busy. But I think that the advantage to being married to someone who does what you do is to be able to talk about what you do for a living and also to have kind of an unspoken understanding of the drive and the need and the desire that feeds your soul of why you really feel not even like you made a choice to do this, but that you’re called to do it.”

On Brooks’ cooking skills and famous breakfast bowl

“I’ve been working on the cooking show and I’ve been releasing this album and I have been just really busy this fall. And I haven’t cooked at home very much. And I told him yesterday or a couple days ago at home, I said, ‘The last couple of times that I’ve walked into the kitchen and it has smelled amazing, you have been cooking, not me.’ And he is really good. And he’s just that guy. And he the breakfast bowl is everything you would want to ever eat for breakfast that you could imagine in a bowl plus tortellini. And you really need to eat that and then you don’t have to eat for a week because it’s a lot. It’s a lot.”

On “Let’s Be Frank,” her album of Frank Sinatra covers

“It’s like getting out of your comfort zone a little bit is scary. But also usually the most rewarding thing and I had always loved this music. My mom was a third-grade school teacher. And we would get home in the afternoons and sometimes she’d have that little amount of time before she’d have to start dinner. We would watch some of these old movies and musicals and listen to these songs. And I always felt like, man, I love this music. I feel like I wish I would’ve been born during that time in the ‘30s and ‘40s to do this music. And so I did the record and I went to Capitol Records where Frank recorded. I used his microphone, some of the guys in the band had played with Frank, and I was terrified. I walked in the first day and I thought they’re gonna go, ‘Oh, this little country girl is here. This is gonna be so terrible.’ And then when I sang the first song and they’re like, ‘Oh, okay.’ Then we had the best time. I’m so glad I got a chance to do it.”


Emiko Tamagawa produced and edited this interview for broadcast with Todd MundtAllison Hagan adapted it for the web.

This article was originally published on WBUR.org.

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