Following up on their first successful at-home concert last April, Garth Brooks and Trisha Yearwood once again are welcoming fans inside Studio G for Garth And Trisha Live! airing this Sunday, December 20th at 8:30PM. This time around Brooks and Yearwood will be performing a mix of their own songs as well as a host of holiday classics, as requested by you the fans.
CBS‘ Matt Weiss spoke to Brooks and Yearwood ahead of Sunday night’s special to discuss how to submit a song request, getting back out in front of their fans and the importance of washing your hands.
MW: Good morning! Such a pleasure to speak to the two of you today especially ahead of Garth And Trisha Live this Sunday, back by popular demand after the first show in April. How does it feel that the first one went so well the fans clamored for it and now you get to put on another one?
TY: It’s kind of mixed feelings because you were kind of hoping that at the holidays we wouldn’t all still be quarantined, basically asked to stay home. At the same time, it’s been a way to stay connected and to communicate. We’re excited about it. It’s a little bit scarier than the last show because we’re doing Christmas songs and so we’re maybe not as familiar with all of those songs as we are own music but we’re game. We’re willing to see what happens.
MW: Would be better in person for sure but you’re still bringing your fans into the process by taking requests. Do you have the full list already or are they going to come in live during the show?
GB: Yeah, the answer is both so we already have a lot of requests and I think we set it up a couple of days ago and when I looked this morning, we had thousands of them. We’re kind of going through them, but at the same time we’re all going down live together on Sunday night. We’ll be seeing that feed and the requests so hoping to be taking some live as well.
I think the big reason for requests that we’re taking ahead of time it’s just to get a good jump on what we think we might get requested for that night hopefully be ready to do it with some kind of professionalism and not just a shot in the dark that ends with everybody looking at each other going why are we doing this [laughs]. We’re going to do our best, there’s going to be a lot of flaws, but we’ve been lucky enough that people always kind of, for me personally, they’ll pick you up dust you off and encourage you to try again.
MW: I hope you’re not going through all the submissions yourselves, but from what you’ve seen have any jumped out to you that you’re really excited to do?
TY: There are lot of people that are saying, hey can you make a Christmas song out of “Friends In Low Places” or can you make a Christmas song out of “Shallow”? We’ve been thinking about ways to do that. We might throw in a little something that you might not expect.
GB: It’s something we will figure out how to do because I think a whole hour of Christmas songs, I’m not sure how great that will go over. You try and just find the balance and again if you keep your ears and heart open to this feed, these people are going to let you know what they want to hear.
MW: I know that there are a lot of precautions in place with everything for this special. Doing things very safely of course. Could you go over some of the precautions that you have in place that will be going on Sunday?
GB: Well, the great thing, remember this is in the studio where we’ve cut everything in my career and Miss Yearwood, the first time we were singing for a record together was in this studio. Studios are cut up into several different rooms, glass rooms, where you communicate and see each other.
You keep the camera operators in one room, the engineer in one room, other things, so it’s the perfect place I guess to do something that would be COVID prevention or take all the precautions that you possibly can. We feel very safe.
TY: Yeah, and cameras that are set up before anybody is there. People don’t have to be in the same room with each other. Masks of course. A skeleton crew, a lot less than you would normally have for something like this. Garth mentioned it’s in our own studio which we know how diligent we are with keeping everything sanitized, so we feel very, very safe about being in there and probably wouldn’t do it any other way.
MW: One day hopefully we will be able to get rid of these precautions, get rid of the masks and everything, hopefully soon, how much are both are you looking forward to getting back out on tour and meeting your fans in person again?
TY: You just don’t even know, I mean you probably do know. Everybody has a form of their life being upended from this pandemic. Everybody’s normal routines have completely changed. For us with music it’s like that’s what makes us live and breathe. We need that interaction. I can’t wait. This guy here, we need to get started because he needs to go out and tour. He needs to get out of the house. [laughs]
GB: Our whole life, our whole career has been bringing people together. You bring as many people as you can fit in a place and they’re all sweating and they’re all hanging over each other; total strangers singing together like they know each other for years. It’s the last thing you want right now in this pandemic, especially with this virus.
I think we’ll probably be the last ones to get the green flag. Trust me, it’s like it’s like pulling that arrow back, the further you pull it back, when they say go, oh it’s going to be time to fly.
MW: Everyone’s looking forward to getting sweaty, cramming into a small space and breathing on each other.
GB: Oh yeah, the good stuff!
TY: But still wash your hands. I think that’s a good thing we learned in the pandemic. [laughs]
MW: For 30 seconds at least. Last question before I let you go here and again even though we can’t be all together physically, you’re bringing fans together in a different way. People who live together they’ll be able to watch the special together and send the year out on a nice note. What does that feel like to give people that sense of unity?
GB: If you get to do this for a living, you’re very lucky. When people come up and go, I played your song in our wedding or I played your song at a funeral for my son or for my mom. These ways when you get to be part of that fabric of their lives and now it’s pretty cool because you have a nation that’s not had the best year. Hopefully, people are looking toward you to bring a little bit of hope, little bit of joy, but the truth is we’re all going to do it together. That’s cool.
If it turns out nice, we might get the credit for it, but the truth is that we’re family, always been a family either through digital world or virtual or real. That’s what Sunday night is going to be. It’s just a gathering, a safe one, that’s full of love.
MW: Awesome. Thank you so much to both of you I’m a big fan of both of you, big fan of country music and I can’t wait to see the show on Sunday.
GB: Thank you so much, hope you like it!
TY: Thank you so much, be safe!
MW: Thank you, you too, take care.
Tune in for Garth And Trisha Live! this Sunday night at 8:30PM, only on CBS and streaming on CBS All Access. Check your local listings for more information.