Live from Studio G, two of the biggest stars in Country music joined RADIO.COM’s Katie Neal today, checking in as they spend their days socially distanced but still quite connected with their fans.
After requests that they cover the Lady Gaga / Bradley Cooper smash during a Facebook livestream performance, Garth and Trisha are now treating fans to an official recording of the emotional track on Brooks' upcoming 12th album to be released on November 20.
But before we get to that, we needed to check in on his strummin’ fingers – a slight accident occurred recently that everyone is quite concerned about.
“Everything’s great, I got lucky,” Garth says. “They’re gonna be sore for a while,” although he thinks he will lose the fingernail on his left ring-finger. “But everything’s great. We got to play guitar for the first time last night.”
Trisha explained that her husband was not actually wrestling a bear or anything wild like that. “He was building a deck,” she says. “He was putting his tools away and something went awry and he was very lucky. He’s pretty safe on the farm, but every now and then you know, stuff happens.”
In the works for almost two years, Brooks briefly postponed the new release, which he calls the “happiest album” he’s ever gotten to record, specifically so the new duet could be included.
Garth explains saying, “one, I think we came off the comeback tour to record it. So, just getting to be let back into this world after retiring and thinking you’re never gonna get to do it again and then to have people show up on tour like they showed up – and then to go in the studio after that – I think a lot of that joy and force kind of came in with us.”
“I gotta tell you,” he continues, “as much fun as it is, it’s loud and some of the crazy songs – it also has some very, very poignant stuff that reflects all the way back to the first album. So, it’s kind of like a cool circle for me.”
Aside from "Shallow", FUN features 14 new songs, including his hit collab with Blake Shelton on "Dive Bar," and the heartwarming tribute to his wife, "Stronger Than Me." There are also some unreleased songs to look forward to, like "It's a Hard Way to Make an Easy Living," "Sometimes You've Got to Die to Live Again," and "Amen."
As for favorites on the record, both Trisha and Garth have several of their own. Without letting too much out of the bag before the release, Garth revealed that besides the duets already known about with Trisha and Blake, “there is a third one on there that will blow your mind.”
“We’ll just say ‘legend,’” Trisha jumped in.
“Oh, legend doesn’t even start to cover this one,” Garth laughed.
“It’s really fun to get to be in the studio with the guys you love, and then also get to sing with people that are your heroes. I mean, Blake Shelton, he’s gonna play himself down all day long,” Garth says about his contemporary, “but the kid’s a great singer. It’s fun to stand, well, not side-by-side because he’s a foot and a half taller than me, but just to get to be in the studio with him was great.”
Holding back some happy tears, Garth then said of the ‘legend’ that Trisha was speaking of, “it was my honor every second… if you’re a Country music fan, you love this artist.”
Coming along with the new album is a the Triple Live Deluxe release which will give fans a chance to hear the singer in a (sort of) live setting while under lockdown – something Katie has certainly done with his live tracks during her loneliest days indoors wishing for a concert.
“I think the thing from ‘Triple Live’ that I love to death, that helps me as a fan is just hearing all the voices, hearing them in there,” he admits. “Now the new version, the deluxe version is coming out with four new songs that are all from the stadium, so to hear 80,000 people singing ‘Dive Bar’ is a blast. But to hear 80,000 people singing ‘Much Too Young’ is amazing too. So again, the circle just keeps happening between the old stuff and the new stuff.”
Trisha agrees with Katie’s take, saying she feels music “gives us a place for someone to commiserate with us when we hear a song that we really relate to, or to kind of help us escape from the reality of what’s happening in the world. That’s what live concerts have always been. I know as a fan, you leave everything at the door and you go and become a part of something else and we’re missing that.”
“I think we’re the first two in line excited about the possibility of when we can do that again – selfishly for us, but also for everybody to get a chance to just kind of escape for a minute, because you need that in your life.”
Jumping back to the couple’s new duet, “Shallow,” which was requested multiple times by fans during their livestream sessions, Trisha admits she unsure if there was ever this much fan reaction about a song. Although she and Garth both knew they didn’t really want to postpone the album for its inclusion, Garth says “you can’t ignore that many voices. So you say, ‘yes, we’ll record it for the album. I’m gonna tell you right now, it ain’t gonna make the album, but we will do it’”
“Fifteen seconds in, Bobby Terry’s guitar work is amazing on the front of it, but here comes four lines from, it can be any guy on the planet, but I think when Ms Yearwood steps in… this thing becomes a beast and she kind of made it her own. There’s Gaga’s version, and there’s Yearwood’s version and neither one is better than the other but they’re two totally separate places and it’s a beautiful place to go.”
Although Garth and Trisha have met both Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper in the past, they have not heard from them as of yet about their version of the song. “We were thinking no news is good news,” says Trisha with a laugh.
“The trick on this was not to try and compete with their record at all,” says Garth. “It was ‘how do you make a great song your own?’ And the answer to that is, a song that is written great becomes who’s ever singing it.”
“I love our version, it’s like us. And the difference between Bradley Cooper and Gaga’s version and ours is they were acting like they were in love… THIS was really simple to do,” Garth says smiling over at Trisha.
Looking ahead, we wondered if there were any other covers in the couple’s future – maybe a version of Lizzo’s “Truth Hurts” being that Trisha is such a fan. She’s not so sure Garth would be up for that but he said, “if I could just do two lines and get out of the way,” it could be a possibility.
Watch the full interview above and look for Garth and Trisha’s “Shallow” which will be available on November 2. Brooks’ new album FUN arrives November 20.