Trisha Yearwood knows that lightning doesn't strike twice. So after she released the MCA Nashville album "Real Live Woman" in March 2000, Yearwood says, she "didn't know what to do" as a follow-up. Af
Trisha Yearwood knows that lightning doesn't strike twice. So after she released the MCA Nashville album "Real Live Woman" in March 2000, Yearwood says, she "didn't know what to do" as a follow-up.
"I felt like [producer] Garth Fundis and I made the best album of our careers," Yearwood says. "It's such a powerful album, I thought I couldn't repeat or top that. So if I tried to go in a different direction, what would that be?"
Seeking that new direction, Yearwood made a short-list of people she would like to work with, including MCA Nashville senior VP of A&R Mark Wright. The two of them went into the studio last December to "experiment," and before she knew it, Yearwood had completed her new MCA Nashville album, "Inside Out," due June 5.
"I ended up really liking the energy in the songs I cut with Mark," says Yearwood, who usually takes a longer pause between records. "I didn't have a plan. It just came together."
Yearwood says she and Wright are so different that she was initially hesitant to collaborate. "I like the music that I have heard him produce, but I had really thought we probably would be so much like oil and water in the studio that it just wouldn't work," she says, noting that Wright is more "over the top, loud, and very excitable," while she's "low-key, very kind of subdued."
Instead, their personalities complemented each other's, providing a light mood during the creation of the album. "What I tried to do on this album more than anything was not over-think it," says Yearwood. "I tried to have fun. I hope that comes through on this record. It does for me."
The result of those freewheeling sessions hits the streets as the artist celebrates her 10th anniversary in the music industry. "Inside Out" finds Yearwood teaming with Don Henley (who previously sang on her hit "Walk Away Joe") on the title cut and enlisting Rosanne Cash for a new version of Cash's classic "Seven Year Ache."
Yearwood credits Wright with idea of covering the tune. "I was a big Rosanne Cash fan in high school, and that was one of my favorite songs. I'm not a fan of remakes, because usually the person who had a big hit with it the first time [has] the best version. A lot of artists either try to copy it exactly or go as far away from it as possible. When I hear a remake of a song, it makes me want to hear the original, so we didn't really stray from the original. I thought if we could get Rosanne Cash to sing on it, that would put the stamp of approval on it, and she was kind enough to come in."
Yearwood says she and Henley had been wanting to work together again, and "Inside Out," a Bryan Adams/Gretchen Peters-penned tune, provided the perfect vehicle. "The song just sounded like him. So he came to town and sang on it. He's so amazing because he has such a legendary voice. The best thing about him is his classic phrasing. There's some really cool stuff in there that you can really go, 'Oh, that's Don Henley.' If you are going to use those kinds of backup singers, you ought to let them stand out so people can hear them."
Wright and Yearwood culled the best songs they could find from a veritable who's who of American songwriters. She covers Jude Johnstone's "When We Were Still in Love" and breathes life into Hugh Prestwood's "Love Let Go" and the mournful Tom Douglas/Harlan Howard ballad "Melancholy Blue." One of the album's high points is Yearwood's take on the Trey Bruce/Rebecca Lynn Howard-penned "I Don't Paint Myself Into Corners," previously a single for Howard.
"Harmless Heart," written by Kim Patton Johnston and Liz Rose, is among Yearwood's favorites. "It reminds me, in some ways, of 'The Woman Before Me.' When I heard that song, I thought, 'What a great statement to make about how everybody comes to a relationship with a past that affects how they treat their relationship.' It was said in a way it hadn't been said before. 'Harmless Heart' is saying that you wouldn't allow yourself to really be in love because of whatever happened to you in your past, but I wasn't the enemy. I think it's a great, great statement and a beautiful song."
The album's first single, "I Would've Loved You Anyway," is currently No. 30 on Billboard's Hot Country Singles & Tracks chart, buoyed by a cinematic video that was shot on location in Spain. "It's such a big song, and it needed a big video," Yearwood says. "Nobody will think we made this video in Nashville, that's for sure."
The artist's ever-widening fanbase will certainly get bigger as consumers will be exposed to her through a promotion with Procter & Gamble in the fall. Yearwood will be the spokeswoman for a campaign called "Bring Out the Beautiful You," which will emphasize women's health and well-being. There's also a charity tie-in with the Society for Women's Health.
Consumers purchasing such Procter & Gamble products as Pantene Pro-V shampoo and Secret deodorant can send in proofs of purchase for two items and receive a four-song sampler of Yearwood's music featuring three previous hits and one new tune. Yearwood's new album will be also be mentioned in Procter & Gamble advertising, as well as in store displays.
To promote the new album on her own, Yearwood will make a June 8 appearance as part of the weekly concert series hosted by NBC's "Today Show" in New York, and she'll perform June 16 during as part of the Fan Fair nightly concerts in Nashville. Yearwood has a handful of tour dates scheduled each month through the summer, beginning with a June 21-22 stand at the Horseshoe Casino in Robinsonville, Miss.