Patricia Lynn ‘Trisha’ Yearwood was born on September 19, 1964. She is a member of the Grand Ole Opry and was inducted into the Georgia Music Hall of Fame in 2000. She put out her self-titled debut album in 1991, which spawned her first No 1 song ‘She’s in Love with the Boy’. REAL LIVE WOMAN (2000, MCA Nashville) was her eighth album. It reached No 4 on the Billboard Country Albums chart. It followed her second divorce, in 1999. Trisha: “This is the album I have always wanted to make”. It was produced by Trisha and Garth Fundis. In the CD booklet she includes Zephaniah 3:17, which if you look it up, reads: “The Lord your God in your midst/The Mighty One, will save/He will rejoice over you with gladness/He will quiet you with His love/He will rejoice over you with singing”.
‘Where are you Now’ written by Kim Richey and Mary Chapin Carpenter starts things off. It uses bouzouki, lap steel, and B-3 organ. It is about lost love: “You used to soothe me/You used to swear with/Heart crossed conviction/That you’d be there/Where are you now?/Well, I’m good, one of a kind/But I would rather be two.../Weren’t we something back then/Thick as thieves/Who would have ever thought that/You and me/Would let forever come to/Used to be?” Musically, ‘One Love’ sounds like it could be a Bonnie Raitt song. It uses religious language to describe a human love relationship: “You came to me like a revelation/In your arms I found salvation/One love took me to the mountaintop/Showed me a world I’d never seen/One love took me down to the riverside/Opened my heart and washed me clean/Nothin’ less than a miracle/Sent from Heaven above/One love”.
Next up is Bruce Springsteen’s 1998 composition ‘Sad Eyes’. It is a soft ballad with Jackson Browne on harmony vocals. It finds Trisha patiently waiting for her lover to return to her: “Every day here you come walkin’/I hold my tongue/I don’t do much talkin’/You say you’re happy and you’re doin’ fine/Well, go on baby/I got plenty of time/Cause sad eyes never lie/Sad eyes never lie../You show up and then you shy away/But I know pretty soon you’ll be/Walkin’ this way/Cause sad eyes never lie/Sad eyes never lie”. ‘Some Days’ is a quiet country tune that finds Trisha fighting depression: “And even tomorrow is tinged with sorrow/When one fool longs for another/This can’t last forever, just like the weather/Some days are better than others/If you see dark skies in my sad eyes/It just means that I can’t find no cover/These ghosts that haunt me/Take me when they want me/And some days are better than others/Some days are better than others”.
‘I Did’ includes harmony vocals by Stephanie Bentley. This song speaks of the ups and downs of love: “I took my chances/Laid my heart open wide/I felt the rush/I lost my head/I learned to laugh/Oh, but then I learned to cry, I did”. ‘Try me Again’ was penned by Linda Ronstadt and Andrew Gold in 1976. Trisha’s version includes great electric guitar work by Kenny Vaughan. This is the song of one desiring a second chance in love: “Well, I drove past your house last night/And I looked in your window/Lately I ain’t been feelin’ right/And I don’t know the cure, no/Still I can’t keep from wonderin’/If I still figure in your life/Could you take me back and try me, try me again?/Could you try me again?”
‘Too Bad You’re No Good’ finds Emmylou Harris on harmony vocals and uses acoustic slide guitar, piano, fiddle, and mandolin. It is the only upbeat song musically on the album and is a catchy country one about a woman hopelessly drawn to a bad boy: “Call the preacher, call the police/With a man like you, it’s famine or feast/You made me love you so bad (3X)/Too bad you’re no good/Well, I talked to your mother/She knows I tried/I talked to your brother/He was on my side/But the hardest thing to comprehend/If I had it to do over/I’d do it again”. The title track, ‘Real Live Woman’, was written by Bobbie Cryner and is a terrific country ballad. It hit No 16 on the Billboard Country Music charts, and takes a shot at the media’s idea of beauty: “I don’t need to be nineteen years old/Or starve myself for some weight I’m told/Will turn men’s heads, been down that road/And I thank God I finally know just who I am.../I’m a real live woman/In love with this man I see lying here next to me/Lost in the way that he’s holdin’/This real live woman/In the arms of a man where I’ll fall asleep knowing/There’s nothing on earth he loves/More than this real live woman”.
‘I’m Still Alive’ makes the point that there is life after love: “Since I let you go/Well, what do ya know/Guess I fooled everybody/Said I’d love you till the day that I die/Even if you didn’t love me/Sorry baby, I guess I lied/You’re gone and I’m still alive/Oh yeah”. ‘Wild For You Baby’ uses strings arranged and conducted by David Campbell. It finds Trisha love sick: “Nights I can’t sleep, my tears are cheap/I’m losin’ hold of my senses/And I can’t contain all of this pain/And it’s makin’ me wild for you baby/I’m down on my knees/Hear me cry for you baby/Cold misery/I would die for you baby/I pray you will see/These tears I cry”.
‘Come Back when it ain’t Rainin’’ is a mid-tempo country song that finds Trisha being frank with a man who pops in and out of her life: “Can’t believe the way I let you use me/Can’t believe all the wasted time/For a while baby you confused me/When you said I was your sunshine/But I’m just someone to call/When you need a place to fall/Baby, come back when it ain’t raining/Come back when your skies are blue”. The album ends with the Matraca Berg/Ronnie Samoset song ‘When a love song Sings the Blues’. Gordon Kennedy and Wayne Kirkpatrick, both familiar names to Contemporary Christian music fans, are on harmony vocals. This is an intimate, sad song: “I see my reflection on the black keys/Where the tears fell from my eyes/I wanna play out every memory/Every last goodbye/Till the whole world cries/So make it sad, so sad/Like ‘Faded Love’ or ‘Born to Lose’/Cause it’s sad when a love song sings the blues/And I don’t want to cry alone”.
Trisha Yearwood has one of those voices you could listen to sing the phone book. REAL LIVE WOMAN is a very mellow, contemplative, introspective, album of country music. It is a mature album with true emotions born out of her life experiences. Greg Morrow of DeGarmo and Key plays drums on ten of the twelve songs. The best way to enjoy this record is to turn your lights down, sit in a rocker, and sip on a cold one. I’m rating it 90%. For more info visit: www.trishayearwood.com.