My Kind of Country

Country music from a fan's point of view since 2008

Spotlight Artist: Trisha Yearwood

In an era of same-sounding artists where every record label tries to clone the latest big thing, Trisha Yearwood stands out not only because of her perfect pitch and incredible vocal control, but also for her unmatchable knack for matching that voice with just the right material. Born Patricia Lynn Yearwood September 19, 1964 in Monticello, GA, the young Yearwood idolized Elvis Presley and like many of her generation began emulating The King when she sang and danced in local talent competitions. Soon she was also soaking up the sounds of Linda Ronstadt, Dolly Parton, Loretta Lynn, Ronnie Milsap, and many others. A move to Nashville to study at Belmont University began paying off right away when Trisha was hired by songwriting friends to sing on demo tapes of their songs. It wasn’t long before Trisha had more demo work than she could handle since she was known for learning songs quickly and nailing them on the first take.
Budget-tight songwriters certainly appreciated this quality.

More of Music Row began catching on to her talent and Trisha Yearwood found work singing backup for some of the biggest names in the business. Her earliest vocals can be heard on albums by Emmylou Harris, Reba McEntire, Vince Gill, and Garth Brooks. Brooks would figure largely in Yearwood’s career after she was signed to MCA, offering her the coveted opening slot on his own mega-tours. The two also continued to sing harmony on each other’s albums.

In 1990 Yearwood signed a deal with Bruce Hinton at MCA Records. Her first single, the plucky ‘She’s In Love With The Boy’, shot to #1, signifying to the public at large that Trisha Yearwood was on her way. With ‘Boy’ Trisha also became the first female to have her debut single hit the top since Connie Smith in 1964. With her second album, the powerful and introspective Hearts In Armor, Trisha Yearwood became the source of great affection for many critics. From there, she became a dominant force on country radio throughout the 1990s and 2000s and she racked up 7 #1 hits and has sold more than 13 million albums in the U.S. In 1997 the industry rewarded her contributions to the genre’s sound when she was given Female Vocalist trophies from both the ACM and CMA. The CMA would go on to vote Yearwood their Female Vocalist again in 1998. In addition she is a three-time Grammy winner and has collected accolades from the American Music Awards and Billboard.

In front of an audience of more than 7,000 enthusiastic and screaming fans, Garth proposed to Trisha at the Crystal Palace in Bakersfield, CA. She accepted and the pair were married in 2005. In 2007 Yearwood left MCA and signed with Scott Borchetta’s newly-founded Big Machine label. Her first album for the indie label was a masterpiece of contemporary country, but failed to re-establish Trisha as a consistent hit-maker. Still it has been lauded one of the best collections of her career. Now 46, Trisha enters the second stage of her illustrious career armed with what is likely the most consistent and quality catalogs of any of her peers, past or present. She’s proven herself a class act time and again. Her technical skills and masterful chops are still in top form and she continues to wow fans with each new release. Her legion of fans are eagerly awaiting the release of her latest album. No word yet on a release date but Trisha has confirmed she’s been in the studio. Until we are given the pleasure of new music from this incredibly talented lady, we hope you enjoy our trip down memory lane as we revisit and highlight the music of one of the best and brightest modern Nashville has to offer, all throughout October.

11 responses to “Spotlight Artist: Trisha Yearwood

  1. pwdennis October 2, 2010 at 8:17 am

    Trisha is the best female vocalist since Connie Smith. She doesn’t have Smith’s vocal power, but she possesses superb tone control and has a terrific sense of drama, nuance and inflection. She also has the ability to pick good material that is suitable to her abilities and range. Her tone control is what really sets her apart from many of today’s female vocalists

    • Razor X October 2, 2010 at 9:21 am

      Loretta Lynn has said that Trisha is the only female vocalist who even comes close to being as good as Patsy Cline.

  2. bll October 2, 2010 at 12:00 pm

    I would disagree about being powerful; listen to the live version of ‘Wild is the Wind’. She can clearly be heard over 28,000 screaming fans and blows Garth out of the water.

    A slight correction: Garth proposed during the unveiling of his stature at the Crystal Palace’s ‘Legions in Bronze’ ceremony. Garth stopped touring in 1999 at his ex-wife’s insistence.

  3. Sean October 2, 2010 at 12:35 pm

    Aaahh!!! I am so excited right now. This will definitely be an amazing month! I can’t wait to see the reviews of her albums!!! 😀

  4. Ben Foster October 2, 2010 at 1:54 pm

    I echo Sean’s sentiments. I am so, so excited! I love Trisha so much, for all of the reasons mentioned in this article. I can think of hardly any other artist who has such an amazing voice combined with a knack for always finding consistently excellent material. Throughout her career, Trisha has never once disappointed her fans with substandard material, which is so impressive.

    I have a decent collection of her hits on my iPod, but I would like to grab a few of her studio albums as well, so I’m looking forward to reading your reviews of all of her albums.

  5. Michael A. October 2, 2010 at 8:41 pm

    A great selection! Reminds me of some of the earliest artists chosen when this series was started a year or two ago. I only wish it was because she had a new album coming out this month. Sigh.

    Let me know if you need an album review covered!

    • Razor X October 2, 2010 at 8:44 pm

      We’ve been wanting to spotlight Trisha for a while now; we were holding off in the hopes that a new album release would be announced, but we finally got tired of waiting. 😦

  6. Leeann October 3, 2010 at 7:34 am

    I’ll be happy when the cookbook era is over and she gets back to the more healthy music.:) I’d love to try the cookbooks to support her, but I’m afraid all that southern style food would kill me.

    Anyway, great spotlight choice. Not all of her albums have been good, but she certainly is great at choosing songs and she hits much, much more than she misses. She definitely has one of the best female voices in decades. I do have to say that some of her prhasing reminds me of Rosanne Cash.

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