HOME TOWN GIRL DOES GOOD
Since the release of her self-titled debut over two years ago , Monticello , Georgia native Trisha Yearwood experienced a No.1 hit with her first single "She's in love with the boy" , two platinum records , and touring success. These things are beginning to set in for the talented singer , who remarks , "Some days are better than others. It hits home when I'm not in a musical situation , when I'm not doing a concert , signing autographs. When those people are in line to see me , I'm used to it. They know Trisha Yearwood is there , and it feels normal. But when I'm at home in my sweats , with no makeup and my hair pulled up under a hat and someone walks up to me and says "Aren't you Trisha Yearwood?" , that's when it hits me. The first time I got off a plane in Los Angeles and was recognized , I thought "Wow! People all over the country know who I am!"
Home , she says , was a "small town of 2000 people. Everybody knows everybody , and five years ago , I couldn't walk down the street when I was home from college without having to stop for fifteen minutes at the grocery store to answer questions about my grades! Now they ask me for autographs and take pictures , and it's strange to get that from the people I grew up with. It's a little different , but mostly they're proud that the home town girl did good. I don't get to spend much time here anymore. I'm not in Georgis much , so my parents have to come to me. I live in Nashville and that's the only sacrifice I had to make. I was told upfront that the first couple of years of my career , I would not be home. But if you work hard , it pays off , and you can have some time for yourself. Maybe in another year , I can even take a vacation!"
She says she was very lucky to have supportive parents who encouraged her musical ambitions. "They trusted (my sister and me). We were good students with goals of getting educations. They didn't have to force us to go to college. If I had wanted to drop out , they would have been less than excited , but they knew I'd get a degree for myself and they encouraged both of us to do what made us happy and never think we had limitations. That was something they instilled in us , and when I told them what I wanted to do , they were behind me. My sister has a Master's in Animal Science , and I have a degree in Music Business. She just recently had her first baby , and that's ten times harder than what I do for a living! I would not trade for a second!"
When she moved to Nashville in 1985 to attend Belmont College , she was quickly exposed to the music industry. Yearwood interned at MTM Records for a year , and established a healthy career cutting demos and doing background vocals for the likes of Kathy Mattea and Garth Brooks. Still , it took six years from the time of her relocation until the signing of her own recording contract.
"A lot of it was me ," she recalls. "I wasn't very agressive ; I didn't knock on doors. I've become agressive about my career , but not about talking about myself , so it took longer than it could have. My main goal was to do this , but the first couple of years I was finishing college , then I got a job and didn't pound the pavement for a deal until Fall , 1988 or early 1989. It basically took two and a half years of real concentrated effort to make it happen. The rest of the time was spent waiting because I didn't know how to go about it. There were no books , they don't offer a course You just have to jump in , and there is always that fear of failing.I kept putting it off because I was araid it might not happen. Finally , I decided it was time to just get off my behind and jump in by doing demos to get my foot in the door. It worked."
"I did hundreds , maybe close to a thousand demos. They're all over the place. The main thing was , if I was recording a song that was going to be pitched to Reba McEntire or Wynonna Judd , I didn't try to sing it llike they would. I didn't want to be pigeonholed. I sang it as if I were recording my own album. Eventhough there were a lot of different styles , everything I did , I put my own twist into and that helped me develop my own sound. It taught me what I wanted to do - record songs with a lot of power , emotion , and lyrics that I could sink my teeth into."
Out of those sessions came songs that would eventually end up on her debut. "I did the original demo for 'Victim of the game' and wanted to record that before Garth Brooks did , but he had a deal first! 'When goodbye was a word' - I demo'd that and it was real special to me because Gene and Paul Nelson wrote the song for themselves and had no idea who would ever record it. I took the rough copy out to the studio and played it for my producer , Garth Fundis. We try to cut things we are both excited about , and luckily , our tastes are extremely similar. The rest of the songs got pitched to me along the way."
With the success of her first album under her belt , Trisha Yearwood came back with "HEARTS IN ARMOR". Ten new songs of love and heartbreak from a country girl's perspective. Each song on HEARTS IN ARMOR contains its own style , from the country blues sound of "Wrong side of Memphis" to the slow , soft ballad , "Nearest distant shore". Also included on Trisha's album are guest appearances by Garth Brooks , Vince Gill , Emmylou Harris , Raul Malo of the Mavericks , and Don Henley.
Through the rise of country music comes this new style and sound exemplified by Trisha Yearwood. With a strong singing voice , she tackles the problems that are inherent in a male dominated scene.
Trisha's singing is not the only thing that stands out on her albums. Her lyrics also deliver a cutting edge , especially with songs like "Walkaway Joe" , which is the story of a young woman's unfortunate infatuation with a reckless , worthless man. "My lyrics are geared to the independant woman" , she says , "I make a reecord that was me."
That is exactly how Trisha presents it on HEARTS IN ARMOR. Trisha proves herself to be a contemporary woman who takes no slack and avoids falling into sexist stereotypes. "There have been certain subjects in the past that women haven't been able to speak about. But I have not had to compromise what I sing about at all."
Another track that stands out on this record is "You don't have to move that mountain" featuring Vince Gill. It's an enlightening , spiritual song that's refreshing and new. It's not often that we hear such ongs in today's country music.
Trisha's unique style of country is a result of her growing up on Elvis , Linda Rnstadt and the Eagles , as opposed to Merle Haggard and George Jones. "Anything I sing sounds country , but I wanted it to have a little bit of edge from back then , so that's what we went for" , she says , speaking of her early influences.
Trisha Yearwood is not just a pretty woman with a beautiful voice. She is very involved in her career and her own business. She has a degree in business administration and she states that , "Country music is a business. I'm the head of a corporation and my name is the bottom line. Even now I spend one and a half to two hours a day singing and the rest of the time is business. Gone are the days of artists totally neglecting the business side and getting taken for a ride."
With Trisha Yearwood , you have a "country girl" who is also a modern day independant woman with a good head on her shoulders , and an excellent singer. She stands out as one of the most promising female vocalists in country music today. With both of her albums gone platinum , Trisha is guaranteed to be at the top of country music for years to come.
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