Successful artists can often feel like they are on a fast-moving treadmill that never stops. Trisha Yearwood took the risk of stepping off and has no regrets. After a self-imposed hiatus, she will return this week with "Jasper County," her first new album since "Inside Out" debuted at the summit of the Billboard Top Country Albums chart in 2001.
Her latest offering mixes frisky, uptempo numbers like "Pistol" and "It's Alright" with potent ballads like "Trying To Love You" and "Georgia Rain." While some artists who take a long hiatus come back to find themselves displaced because the market has shifted in their absence, Yearwood has no such concerns.
"I still think there is a market for artists like myself," she says. "It would be a mistake to try to cut a record for the market, because it wouldn't sound like me and it wouldn't be sincere. So my only choice is to do what I do and hope that the market, for me, is still there."
Also back this week is the veteran Bonnie Raitt, who eschews the 12-bar blues of her past on the new Capitol album "Souls Alike." For the first time, the artist also took the production reigns in tandem with Tchad Blake (Pearl Jam, Crowded House). "Some of the songs are clearly terrain that people have come to know and appreciate from me, but the rest are about finding some new direction and something new to say," Raitt says.