Patricia Lynn Yearwood was born on September 19th, 1964 in Monticello, Georgia. Her mom was a school teacher and her dad was a farm agent. Trisha grew up listening to the likes of Kitty Wells and Hank Williams. She put out her self-titled debut album in 1991. The lead single from it, ‘She’s in love with the Boy’, became a #1 hit. Trisha’s tenth studio album was JASPER COUNTY (2005, MCA Nashville). It was produced by Garth Fundis, reaching #1 on the Billboard country albums chart, and peaking at #4 on the Billboard 200. Later pressings of the album included a duet with husband Garth Brooks, called ‘Love Will Always Win’.
The album opener ‘Who Invented the Wheel’ is a slow country song of heartache with Aubrey Haynie playing fiddle: “I wanna know who invented the wheel/Tell me who discovered steel/It was the wheel and the steel that caused this pain/And made the car that took him away/I wanna know who invented the wheel/I wanna know who found the rock/Tell me who laid the blacktop/It was the rock and the blacktop/That caused this pain/And made the road for the car/That took him away”. ‘Pistol’ is a peppy country tune with a great musical hook. Many women will be able to relate to these lyrics: “Well, you’d think by now I’d learned my lesson/But I keep makin’ them same mistakes/Must be some clue I keep missin’/How many times can a good heart break?/I keep fallin’ for all them bad boys/Poor or rich as dirt/Lots of fun, and I ain’t jokin’/But every time I think I won’t get hurt.../Well I wanted trouble, now I got a fist full/That’s what happens when you fall for a pistol”. Beth Nielsen Chapman and Bill Lloyd wrote ‘Trying to Love You’. The former is also a harmony vocalist on it. It makes use of the mandolin and The Nashville String Machine. It is a ballad of great honesty: “The secrets I have kept/The nights I haven’t slept/I’ve laughed until I’ve wept/Trying to love you.../Trying to love you/I’ve screamed your name/I’ve slammed a thousand doors/Trying to love you/And I’ve worn a million miles across the floor/Trying to love you/Still I could not ignore/Trying to love you”.
‘River of You’ serves as a reminder to be careful who you fall for: “I told myself I’d stay away/I got no business ‘round here today/You are so not good for me/And everybody knows/The way you break my heart again and again/But before I know I’m too close/One sweet look and then/You pull me under with a touch that’s like no other/I’m driftin’, drownin’, there’s nothing I can do/But fall into the river of you”. Jessi Alexander, Austin Cunningham, and Sonya Isaacs wrote ‘Baby Don’t You Let Go’. It is a groovy, optimistic country tune that uses lap steel, harmonica, and leg slaps: “Baby, you make me feel safe enough to fly/Hold me forever and ever, never say goodbye/Gonna plant our dreams in the sacred ground/Gonna watch love grow when the rain comes down/Gonna say a prayer for the strength we need/Put your hand to the plow/Baby, don’t you let go now (2X)”.
‘Standing out in a Crowd’ is a pretty song that reflects on struggles with self-esteem: “Too short, too tall/The flower against the wall, the last one chosen to play/Too smart, too dumb/Too strange a place to be from, same shoes everyday/With all these ways to be different then/Maybe that’s how you fit in/Standing out in a crowd where the spotlight finds you and singles you out.../It’s funny how now it’s not such a bad place to be”. ‘Georgia Rain’ is a terrific ballad penned by Ed Hill and Karyn Rochelle. Fiddle, steel guitar, piano, and The Nashville String Machine are used. Garth Brooks contributes harmony vocals on this terrific ballad that will make some blush: “And I don’t remember what was poundin’ more/The heart in my chest or the hood of that Ford/As the sky fell in and the storm clouds poured worlds away outside/The Georgia rain on the Jasper County clay/Couldn’t wash away all the love we made/Just you and me down that old dirt road/No one saw a thing/Except for the Georgian rain”.
Steve Cox plays the organ on ‘Sweet Love’. It is a sultry country rock number: “Summer breeze/Easin’ back the curtains in my bedroom/Ceilin’ fan/Stirrin’ up the heat of the afternoon/I’m putting on my lipstick/My ruby red lipstick/Nice and thick, baby/It ain’t the gettin’, it’s the wishin’/It ain’t the catchin’, it’s the fishin’/Anticipation got me waitin’ for your/Sweet love, baby/Sweet love”. Liz Rose and Stephanie Chapman wrote ‘Try Me’. Ronnie Dunn is on harmony vocal. This one finds Trisha urging a guy to open up his heart and give her a chance: “When you go to sleep and you can’t find a dream/Won’t you try me?/A place you can whisper the secrets you keep/That’s what I’ll be/And when you’ve given up and there’s no one to trust/Come and find me/Then maybe you could leave lonely for good/Try me (6X)”.
Hillary Lindsey is on harmony vocals on ‘Gimme the Good Stuff’. It is the melodic country song of one wanting to experience joy, love, and happiness: “Maybe it’s time to put it in drive/Pull the top down and feel alive/Let the sun take over my sky/How ‘bout it?/Hey, gimme the good stuff/Hey, I’m tired of this hard luck/Hey, gimme the good stuff/More than a taste/It ain’t so tough/I’m not askin’ for much/I don’t wanna wait”. ‘It’s Alright’ is an infectious, cheerful honky tonk song: “Well, I’m thinkin’ everything’s alright/It might be alright for the very first time/Walkin’ with a made up mind/Everybody comin’ up wants to know why/I tell ‘em ‘bout the love, I tell ‘em bout you/And me skinny-dippin’ in the fountain of youth/Yeah, I’m thinkin’ everything’s alright/It’s alright, it’s alright”.
Though Trisha did not write any of the eleven songs presented here, based on the passion and feeling she sings them with, you would think she had. Trisha is one of my all-time favourite female vocalists! What I like about this album is that it is ‘earthy’. That is to say, it deals with down to earth, real-life experiences, mainly the bliss of being in love and the pain of break-ups. The photos of Trisha in the CD booklet are gorgeous and tasteful. I’m rating JASPER COUNTY 95%. For more info visit: www.trishayearwood.com and www.umgnashville.com.