“It’s hard to believe it has been 28 years since my first album came out and my first single came out,” Yearwood marveled. “This whole night is a pinch me moment. This continues to be a dream come true and I don’t take it for granted. I can’t imagine doing anything else with my life, I feel so grateful.”
Here are five takeaways from Yearwood’s tour kickoff.
“The Lady is a Tramp” is really an empowering song
Yearwood put her distinct spin on Sinatra’s “The Lady is a Tramp” while backed by the symphony, which included Sinatra’s former piano player Steve Cox and drummer Mike Fleenor. The Sinatra standard featured Yearwood’s standout smoky vocals while she sang from the perspective of a strong woman alongside a driving beat and memorable strings.
“We had a conversation about, with the current times, can we say that a lady is a tramp in today’s society?” she prefaced the track. “I went back and found a really cool version of this song by Lena Horne who recorded the song in first person. When you really listen to the lyrics, you will hear that this is a woman who’s a champion right now because she does what she wants, she does it how she wants and then she goes to bed by herself. I love her. This is a very empowering song.”
Garth Brooks forced Yearwood to finish writing “For the Last Time”
Yearwood had the title “For the first time, I’m in love for the last time,” but she didn’t know what to do with it. She approached her husband, Garth Brooks, who immediately started singing a melody that sounded like it was from another time. “We worked on the song back and forth over a few weeks,” Yearwood recalled. “He kept pushing and pushing to have the song finished. He had me play it for [producer] Don Was and he loved it and said, ‘I think it fits on this record,’ so we recorded it. This song is about us, this is how I feel about [Garth].”
Yearwood’s vocals transcend genres
Whether she was singing American standards or her own hits, Yearwood’s vocal power was undeniable. Songs like Sinatra’s sentimental “I’ll Be Seeing You” had the singer going from a whisper to a belt effortlessly, all while showcasing her mesmerizing falsetto. Meanwhile, “Walkaway Joe” took on new meaning while backed by the symphony with a haunting string introduction, light piano accompaniment and Yearwood’s emotive vocals.
She's in love with female singer-songwriters Ashley McBryde and Lucie Silvas
“Bible and a .44” is featured on Yearwood's latest release Every Girl, and was written by McBryde. Yearwood says while it was written for McBryde’s dad, she instantly related to the poignant song herself. “It’s very personal and I think for all of the great songwriters … [sometimes] something that is so personal to them becomes so personal to you when you hear it,” she said.
Yearwood later prefaced the feel-good “Find a Way” as one of her favorite songs off Every Girl. “It’s just really fun to sing and is co-written by Lucie Silvas, who I am obsessed with. If you don’t know Lucie Silvas’ music, I want you to go home tonight and listen to her. She’s an incredibly talented singer-songwriter who is a great artist in her own right.”
Yearwood’s grace and humor shine through
Despite telling the audience how terrified she was for her first solo tour in five years, Yearwood handled the evening like the professional that she is. While her nerves may have had her switch up the set list at the last minute, her jokes had the entire venue laughing along. At one point, after asking the symphony to play a different song then the one they had scheduled next in the set list, she mentioned that the Enquirer was running a story that she and Brooks were splitting up. “The story is that he’s had enough because I’m really controlling and bossy,” she laughed, before she turned to the band and admitted, “Oh, God. I am!”
Yearwood’s Every Girl On Tour runs through December.