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Trisha Yearwood: Blockbuster Tour, New Album and Duet With Garth (1995)

Originally published in the Feb. 21, 1995 issue of Country Weekly featuring Trisha on the cover. This story is presented here in its entirety.

February 14 is Trisha Yearwood’s heart-shaped, red-letter day. The newlywed chose Valentine’s Day to release her new album, Thinkin’ About You, and kick off her new tour, both key events in what promises to be a heart-pounding year for the velvet-voiced singer. She’ll tour the United States for the first time as a headliner, then share the stages in Europe with Emmylou Harris and Marty Stuart. She’s moving forward with the long-rumored duet album with Garth Brooks. In between, she’s finding time—correction, making time—to spend with Robert Reynolds of The Mavericks, her husband of nine months.

“I have a good feeling about this year,’’ said Trisha, a two-time Grammy nominee, “because of doing this tour on my own andthe new album. I’m ready to get out there on my own and test thewaters, either fall flat on my face or pull it through.’’

Trisha is especially proud of Thinkin’ About You, her fifth album for MCA Records. She gets a helping hand from some of country music’s finest, including Mary Chapin Carpenter, Lee Roy Parnell and Lari White. “I worked on this album really all year, so I got to live with the songs more than I usually do,’’ Trisha said. “I didn’t feel I was rushed at all. I’m beyond ready for it to be released! I’m ready to see what everyone else thinks of it. Usually I have a schizophrenic feeling about my albums—one day I love it, one day I’m saying ‘Why did I cut this?’ But I have a really positive feeling about this album.’’ Fans are already familiar with one song—the album contains her No. 1 single “XXX’s and OOO’s (An American Girl).’’ It was recorded as a theme for a TV pilot and not included on her last album, The Song Remembers When.

Trisha also clued Country Weekly readers in on another project: her duet album with superstar Garth Brooks. Trisha revealed that she and Garth have been in the studio experimenting with some songs on and off for the past year. It will be a reunion of sorts; Garth was one of Trisha’s earliest supporters and insisted she open his 1990 tour, when her career was still in its infancy. They also sang together on songs such as “Nearest Distant Shore’’ from her Hearts in Armor album and “Victim of theGame’’ from her debut, Trisha Yearwood.

But don’t go rushing out to buy a Garth/Trisha album any time soon. This is very much a labor of love, and both are taking their time. “It’s something Garth and I have been talking about for years. It started almost as a joke, and we had been talking about the idea on and off for a long time. Last year he said, ‘Let’s just go in the studio and cut some things and experiment. This may take us 10 years but let’s try it.’ So we’ve cut some songs, we’ve liked some things and not liked some things. The project got put on hold when Garth went to Europe. For me, I hope it happens, I hope we get it down. But we have to fit it in between all of the other things we’re doing.’’

Trisha recently added one more valentine-shaped task to her side of the ledger, signing on as a spokeswoman for the American Heart Association’s For Heart’s Sake campaign. Trisha lost her grandfather and several close family friends to heart attacks. The campaign, she said, gives her an opportunity to warn others about the nation’s No. 1 killer.

“No pun intended, but this really is something that’s close to my heart,’’ said Trisha. “The people I know who died of heart disease were all told that if you don’t start exercising and taking care of your body, you’re going to die by the time you’re 50. You know, people think they’re invincible, but 1 million people a year die from heart disease. People need to be aware that this can happen to them.’’ Trisha plans to donate a portion of the sales from Thinkin’About You to the American Heart Association.

While she’s confident in the material on the new album, Trisha confessed to a little bit of nervousness as she kicked off her new tour in San Antonio. The tour, sponsored by Discover Card, is her first as the main attraction. “It’s scary. It’s a lot more comfortable when you’re the opening act; you don’t have to worry if no one shows up,’’ she said, laughing. “But at the same time you’re not taking any risk. I’m excited about doing the tour on my own; it’s a lot of responsibility but, being the control freak that I am, I like that.’’

One thing not completely under control is time to spend with her husband, Robert, The Mavericks’ bass player. They expect separations as each independently pursues a red-hot country music career. Time they do spend together in their log home outside of Nashville is precious.

“It’s been great because we both had most of December and all of January off,’’ Trisha said. “Last week we were driving into town to go to a movie and we’re like, ‘Wow, this almost feels normal!’ We organized our pantry, that was our big thing for this time off.’’

Reynolds went back on the road at the end of January. “We’ve always worked our personal lives around our work schedule,’’ Trisha said.

“Fate has been on our side, too,’’ she added. “If I’ve got three or four days off, a lot of the time he’ll have those same days off. And we go the extra mile. If I’ve been on the road five days and I have three days off, the last thing I want to do is get on a plane to some place other than my home. But if he’s on the road, I’ll do that to be with him, and he does the same for me. “It’s certainly been an adventure!’’