Singer-Songwriter Humbled to Perform With Garth Brooks, Trisha Yearwood | NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth

Singer-Songwriter Humbled to Perform With Garth Brooks, Trisha Yearwood

Texas Connects Us singer to open for Garth Brooks



    Maggie Kerkman
    NBC 5's Kris Gutierrez interviews country music singer Karyn Rochelle, Sept. 17, 2015, before the opening night of the Garth Brooks tour in Dallas where she is the opening act.

    Walking deep underneath American Airlines Center, we are led through a maze of underground tunnels and stop at a door. A paper sign announces the home of its temporary owner, Karyn Rochelle.

    If you haven't heard the name, you may already know her work. She's the writer behind country star Trisha Yearwood's song, "Georgia Rain" and a host of others.

    If you're headed to one of the seven shows Garth Brooks and Trisha Yearwood are playing in Dallas, you'll see Rochelle as the opening act, as well as on stage with Brooks as part of what she said he calls his "Wall of Sound" — his backup singers.

    The dressing room is modest. A love seat, a lit mirror, a spot for waters and two standup rolling wardrobe containers. She sits down with NBC 5 anchor Kris Gutierrez and opens up about what it's like to be part of one of the biggest concert tours ever.

    What started last September has continued with 200 shows, many of them two shows a night. It's exhausting but also gratifying.

    Rochelle said she keeps on by feeding off the energy of the crowd. Walking out on stage to thousands of cheering fans, she said, "Their energy just lights us up."

    You'd think someone who's on stage for a living wouldn't get nervous. But Rochelle said it still happens. She's a huge fan of Trisha Yearwood's, grew up listening to her — so to write a hit song for her and to get to perform it with her — it's almost too much.

    "If I could go back to my 15-year-old self and tell her," said Rochelle.

    She said when "Georgia Rain" comes up in the show, she never knows in advance whether Yearwood will motion to her to come sing with her, but when Yearwood does, Rochelle said she feels her lip quivering. She's never lost that feeling of amazement, "I'm singing with Trisha Yearwood and she's singing a song I wrote."

    Rochelle said it sounds nutty but the song "Georgia Rain" was unusual.

    "It was like a gift," Rochelle said. She usually starts with a melody first and this one stuck with her, but unlike other songs where she works on them for hours, days or weeks, this one for 30 minutes.

    "It was like throwing up," she said laughing.

    It hasn't happened like that before or since.

    She'll play two shows Thursday night and come back to the dressing room to change into comfortable shoes to go out and do a "meet and greet" with fans before heading back to her hotel room to relax.

    A few minutes after our interview, Rochelle is with the NBC 5 marketing department just outside the American Airlines Center. She is one of the singers of the NBC 5 Texas Connects Us theme. When we last see her, she's in the sunshine, singing.

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