Album Review: The Trishas - High, Wide & Handsome
By: Stormy Lewis
Sometimes there is a benefit to paying proper respect to a father. For Savannah Welch it all happened when she joined a couple of friends paying tribute to her father, singer/songwriter Kevin Welch. Since they were covering a tune made famous by Trisha Yearwood, they coined themselves The Trishas. It was just supposed to be a one time thing, so the name didn’t really matter. However, the name stuck and the band began to make money. Thus, Jamie Wilson, Liz Foster, Kelley Mickwee and Savannah Welch have become, collectively, Trishas. The band has been touring for so long that it is almost hard to believe that High, Wide and Handsome is their first full length release. It is a straight forward country album, replete with the musicianship and harmonies that have made The Trishas an underground hit. They borrow talent from among the best in the industry to weave an impeccable musical story. High, Wide and Handsome is a lush and lovely album sure to satiate any country fan’s cravings.
The album opens with a kicky little number, “Mother of Invention” that celebrates the Do-It-Yourself mentality that is born out of having no money and needing to make do with only what you have at hand. “There’s nothing stranger than being strangers,” they mourn on the heartbreaking “Strangers.” “Little Sweet Cigars” is beautifully written ballad of love, young and foolhardy. “If I had to choose between a liar and a fool, then I’d choose the fool every time, cause liars they live in their own little world while the fools lay it all on the line,” they dance through “Liars and Fools.” Bruce Robison co-wrote the biting “Cheater’s Game,” which also gets an assist from Kenny Vaughan’s frazzled guitar. “Looking at me is a searing, smoldering love song. “Why” takes a lazy and laconic tone, as the band sings about the ups and downs of relationships over morning coffee. “Over Forgiving You” finds Savannah Welch teaming up with Red Dirt superstar Jason Eady on writing duties. “If there’s nothing left to lose, if there’s nothing left to use, if there’s nothing left to burn, set yourself on fire,” they growl in pretty, perfect harmonies as they contemplate shots of whiskey in Once Down. “Cold Blooded Love” takes a bluesy tone ala Po’ Girl, with the Trisha’s sounding like an edgy 1950’s girl group with a fiddle. “Raining Inside” finds the band keening their pain along with an old Billie Holiday album. “The Fool” is highlighted by a clever mandolin play on a carnival theme and soft, sweet, almost little girl harmones over lines like “she’s crazy as hell when she drinks too much gin.” “John Wayne Cowboy” is a teasing send up of the flaws and features of the titular character. The album closes with the powerful and georgous “Gold and Silver.”
The Trishas came about almost entire out of fan desire. Happenstance brought the four women together to sing a couple of songs one night. After that, they caught on like wildfire. They were booked for tours and there was a sudden demand for their music. This lead them to their first EP and, finally, their debut album. They have built their careers from the ground up, with the simple policy of giving people what they want. Their easy, straight forward and flawless brand of country music gives fans of artists like Reba, Trisha Yearwood, Emmylou Harris and Suzy Bogguss something to sink their teeth into. Its a style of country music that no longer fits the mainstream but is not quite either Alt-Country or Americana either. High, Wide and Handsome is one of the best albums of the year, and the perfect album for anyone who has been missing simple country music.