The Trishas Album Review: High, Wide & Handsome

The new album from The Trishas, High, Wide & Handsome, drops today. Following an EP, They Call Us The Trishas, and a lovely version of “She Ain’t Going Nowhere” on This Ones For Him: A Tribute To Guy Clark (Icehouse Music), The Trishas official debut album has arrived.

High, Wide & Handsome is a melting pot of songs written by the four Trishas members based out of Austin, Texas: Savannah Welch, Kelley Mickwee, Liz Foster and Jamie Wilson. Throw in some songwriting collaborations with Bruce Robison (who’s had a slew of hits recorded by other country music artists), Savannah’s brother Dustin Welch and their father, artist/songwriter Kevin Welch (who’s had his songs recorded from the likes of Waylon Jennings to Patty Loveless), Jason Eady, Owen Temple and even Jim Lauderdale. Needless to say, all of the songs on this album are worth a listen. Especially when delivered by such vocal finesse (and stellar musicianship) held by The Trishas.

This album should have been called Liars, Cheaters and Fools, with many of the tracks covering the themed staples of country music. And in very, very fine fashion. These four women are great artists in their own right, so it’s no surprise that together they create beautiful music. Throughout the album, the lead interchanges with all of the ladies taking part and when they do so midsong, the transitions flow effortlessly without interrupting the potency of the lyrics.

Kicking it off is “Mother of Invention,”  a strong song and perfect lead track to showcase the impact of those beautiful four-part harmonies and original song content.  Those sweet harmonies kick in on the line “…high, wide and handsome..”  and the magic of The Trishas is introduced properly. (Ok, so now I get why they didn’t name it Liars, Cheaters and Fools.)

All of the women are strong singers with their own unique style and yet all seem comfortable with sharing the limelight. The women seem to be a mixture of old souls in young bodies. The energy of  “Strangers” feels young and vulnerable despite the jaded lyrics. “…we’ve been lovers, we’ve been old friends, framed pictures on the tv set. Tied to each other since I don’t know when, how come it seems like we just met? There’s nothing stranger…than being strangers…”

Then comes the Jamie Wilson/ Evan Felker tune “Little Sweet Cigars,” a bitter rush of pulsating intensity in a tale of an innocent girl who falls for an older man and his “silver lying tongue.”  I’ll be shocked if you don’t hit the replay button right away on this one.

Next is a great acoustic waltz, “Liars and Fools, ” written by Mickwee & Jason Eady. The mandolin and fiddle lightly move the song along, cradling the strong vocals….”If I had to choose between liars and fools, I’d choose the fools every time, ‘Cuz liars live in their own little world, while the fools lay it all on the line.”  Can you say, great country song? Yep.

The mood of “Cheater’s Game”  is a little darker, the music a little fuller, and famed Texas songwriter Bruce Robison shares songwriting credit with Foster and Welch.  “Looking at Me” (Jamie Wilson) brings us back into the acoustic feel with a sweet mandolin dancing with the lyrics, “…sometimes your touch is so soft I can feel it, sometimes is your voice is all that I could need, sometimes your eyes your eyes they can pierce through the darkness when you think I don’t see you looking at me…”

“Why” (Foster/Mickwee) is a great Judd-like bluesy country number and “Over Forgiving You” (Welch/Eady)  has more of an edge musically with a strong rhythm track and as well a catchy hook ( …”I don’t have to wonder how I’ll get out from under you, I know I can’t stay, that I’m through missing you, over forgiving you today…” ) that will have you humming along.  “One Down” is a sultry and mystical track and is one of my favorites. “Cold Blooded Love” (Foster/Dustin Welch) is a soft,  jazzy tune that sweeps along heartache with a nice, sparse arrangement.  Speaking of Jazz, “Billie Holiday is killing me” starts off “Rainin’ Inside,” a song written by Mickwee and Kevin Welch. Beautiful.

Here comes “The Fool,” in a soft heartbreaker (written by Courtney Patton) and once again, the subtle accompaniment is perfect and never intrusive. “John Wayne Cowboy” (Wilson/Temple) is very full-bodied in a swaggering country mover, and “Gold and Silver” (Foster/Simmons) draws back again on the acoustic mandolin for support and really highlights the beauty in their cohesive harmonies.

And if you still want more (you will), you can get a Bonus Track that features Raul Malo (Country crooner and former Mavericks front man), in a tune co-written by Welch, Mickwee, and Jim Lauderdale. There’s a free download card in your packaging. Take advantage of it, folks, this song is worth your time.

The Trishas have one hell of an album with High, Wide & Handsome, listen for yourself and download HERE.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

~ Richard Diehn

Richard Diehn hails from the hills of Northern West Virginia where he grew up as a member of his family’s traveling band. He’s a writer, storyteller, and certified Rockhound. He enjoys fishing, Gentleman Jack, and stalking his favorite country singer, George Jones. 

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