I will forever love Trisha Yearwood as I have for more than 25 years. It’s been about that long since the first time I saw her perform at Chastain Park in Atlanta with my friend Debbie, and five years since I last saw her in Austin on her Just Because tour. After a fairly long hiatus from recording new music, she’s back with two new albums this year, Let’s Be Frank, a standards cover album of ‘Ole Blue Eyes classics, and #EveryGirl, a return to her country roots at Town Hall in the Theater District of New York City — where yes indeed there are country music fans — it all started on Long Island she joked.
A few words about Ms. Yearwood — not only is her voice a powerful thing, she’s a funny, ambitious, fiercely competitive force that I’ve always admired and related to. Her #EveryGirl to my #EveryBoy. Above all, she lives the values instilled by her late parents through the good work on causes she cares about, and Trisha’s Southern Kitchen on Food Network. As the band got into position, I recognized almost everyone because they’ve been on her cooking show.
She opened with two of the three happy songs she’s ever recorded, ‘Perfect Love,’ one of my favorites, and ‘XXXs and OOOs (An American Girl)’ before moving into Trisha’s personal happy place of sad songs with ‘Georgia Rain.’ Trisha isn’t a prolific songwriter (though she says she dabbles); She considers herself an interpreter of music in keeping company with her heroines: Linda Ronstadt, Emmylou Harris and Patsy Cline. ‘Georgia Rain’ was co-written by Karyn Rochelle, singer, songwriter and solo artist in her own right whose side hustle is being one of Trisha’s back-up singers. In reverence to Karyn, Trisha invited her to perform the last verse of the song.
The concert showcased 28 years of the Trisha Yearwood songbook, from her 1991 breakout hit ‘She’s in Love with the Boy,’ the Grammy award-winning, Diane Warren-penned ‘How Do I Live’ from the 1997 film Con-Air, and the mysteriously missing from streaming services ‘Heaven, Heartache and the Power of Love.’
Despite her many hits, favorite highlights for me include her covers of ‘Fly Me to the Moon’ and ‘One For My Baby (And One More for the Road)’ from the Frank Sinatra album, and ‘Bible and a .44’ and ‘Every Girl in This Town’ from her latest. The latter got the biggest applause of the night and a reminder that we’re all pretty much dealing with the same issues and trials in life. A poignant message in the times we’re living in. She closed with the Ronstadt classic ‘You’re No Good,’ for which she claims she’s too insecure to ever record, and ‘Somewhere Over the Rainbow.’ I’m not sure if she closes with the is song in #EveryShow she’s ever performed, but she does as long as I can remember.
The next day, I saw on her Instagram that the afterparty moved to The Django, a relatively new subterranean jazz club in the basement of the new Roxy Hotel in TriBeCa. I was just spittin’ nails that I wasn’t invited. TBH and almost 50, I was happy to get into my bed.
Until next time, Ms. Yearwood.
Note: given my seat on the balcony, I wasn’t able to take more flattering photos, so this one was nabbed off the Internet (excuse me, Trisha)! Also, set list below does not include ‘Heaven, Heartache and the Power of Love’ or ‘You’re No Good.’