Trisha Yearwood knows that when she looks into the crowd on Sunday, it will feel like home because, well, it is.
The Monticello native is officially launching her “Every Girl on Tour” at Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre – she played a trio of special shows with the Nashville Symphony last week in her current state of residence – and the guest list is stacked.
“I’ll probably know everyone in the crowd!,” she said with a laugh last week from Nashville, a few hours before taking the stage. “My hometown has always been my biggest supporter. It’s always been such a family. Even though my folks are gone, that community raised us.”
Yearwood pledged her allegiance to her roots in late August when she combined the release of her “Every Girl” album with a three-day road trip that retraced the drive she made many times early in her career from Monticello to Nashville.
Since those neophyte-singer days, Yearwood has released 14 studio albums, snagged a trio of Grammy and Country Music Association awards as well as a Daytime Emmy for “Trisha’s Southern Kitchen,” her popular Food Network series that recently launched its 15th season.
While this is her first solo tour in five years, she’s been entrenched on the road with husband Garth Brooks, popping in mid-set of his stadium spectacles to deliver a joyful set of hits.
But now the spotlight returns to Yearwood, 55, who is back on the charts with “Every Girl in This Town” and primed to deliver a show that will highlight her nearly 30-year career that includes familiar titles “She’s In Love With the Boy,” “XXX’s and OOO’s (An American Girl),” “I Would’ve Loved You Anyway” and selections from her well-received album of Frank Sinatra covers, “Let’s Be Frank,” released earlier this year.
In conversation, the relatable Yearwood talked about her admiration of President Jimmy Carter, her preference for casual concerts and why making new music was so important to her.
Q: What’s the ratio of excitement to nervousness for your first solo tour in five years?
A: Last night with the symphony I performed these Sinatra songs I had only done live one other time. There’s a lot of songs and a lot of words and if you start on the wrong verse, then you’re screwed. My nervousness usually comes if I go out there and I stumble and don’t know the words and look unprepared. I’m not gonna use a TelePrompTer. I’m not that girl. But I think that a little nerves are good. I have this ... trust that everything is going to work out the way it’s supposed to. Even if you make a mistake, it’s always still OK. Our show is very real. I think that’s why the cooking show has done well, it’s just a real conversation. My goal is, I want people to think I can hang out with her and it will be cool.
Q: What will the production be like?
A: We talked a lot about the big country shows that are big productions and you push play and everything is very regimented. I said, let’s just bring a curtain and some lights and have a conversation with a crowd. That’s what I like about theaters, that the show has the leeway to go where it wants to go. Of course I’m going to play “She’s in Love with the Boy” and “Walk Away Joe” and I probably will do a couple of songs from “Let’s Be Frank” and some songs from the new album. If you’re up there for 90 minutes, you can dive a little deeper. There are people who have been coming to see me a long time and they want to hear songs that weren’t hits. Being on tour with Garth, it’s like Entertaining 101. To see a show that big with a lot of production turn on a dime and change completely when someone holds up a sign in the crowd, you should be able to have that control in a show. I like thinking on my feet and it makes it more fun.
Q: When you were here with Garth (in 2017), President Jimmy Carter surprised you on stage with a proclamation. Do you think he’ll show up again to surprise you?
A: I don’t know! I’ll see him all week because the Habitat Carter Project is in Nashville and we’ll spend a week building houses with him. It’s something Garth and I have done the past nine or 10 years. (President Carter is) 95 and still swinging a hammer. It’s ridiculous! I think the key to long, healthy life is just keep doing it. We have built several houses with them. He is a carpenter and he knows how to build and so does Miss Rosalynn (Carter). They’ve both spent so much time being real servants. He’s such a humanitarian.
Q: I assume Garth will be with you on the road?
A: He’s never been a band wife so I don’t know if he can do it! When I did the 2014 tour, I was careful to tell people not to buy a ticket thinking he’s going to come out and sing. If he’s there, you probably won’t see him. Maybe he’ll be back there steaming my clothes! We have made a conscious effort to make sure we don’t spend much time apart. When you go on tour and you get to do the thing you love the most but without the person you love the most, it’s bittersweet. (On tour with him) I got a chance to watch these audiences from a different perspective and see the joy and the fellowship of different people loving one another.
Q: The new album (“Every Girl”) is your first new country release in more than a decade. Obviously, you’ve been busy…
A: (Laughs) It wasn’t an intent to wait this long. When you make an album, it’s not just about the studio time, but the head space clear enough to listen to songs and find those 10 or12 that feel like yours. We did more than 400 shows in those 3 ½ years and when not on tour I was doing cooking shows and didn’t have a minute to do anything else. I don’t think I understood how important making music was for my well-being. The joy it gives me to do it, no matter what happens after the release, I feel so lucky to do that. It really is necessary for my happiness.
7:30 p.m. Sunday. $46.50-$124.50. Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre, 2800 Cobb Galleria Parkway, Atlanta. 1-800-745-3000, ticketmaster.com.
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