Single Review: Joanna Smith, “Georgia Mud”

Is there anyone left in Nashville with a functioning memory of country music?

Trisha Yearwood put out “Georgia Rain” in 2005.  This is almost the same song.  The theme, storyline, geography, and even the weather are all identical.

The only differences?  It’s not written as well or sung as well.  Not even close.

Helpful hint to all aspiring female singers: Don’t get in the ring with Trisha Yearwood.  The very best female vocalists on radio today – Carrie Underwood, Miranda Lambert, Jennifer Nettles –   they shouldn’t get in the ring with Trisha Yearwood, unless they really are on the top of their game.

“Georgia Rain” isn’t even Trisha Yearwood at the top of her game. It’s one of her less notable singles.  But wow, does it wipe the floor with Joanna Smith and her “Georgia Mud.”

Then again, if I’m the only one who even remembers “Georgia Rain”, Smith has nothing to worry about. With the tasteful arrangement that is identifiably country, she might even be hailed as a visionary.  At least it’s not a rock record, right?

Grade: C

Listen: Georgia Mud


  1. “Georgia Rain” may be one of Trisha’s less notable singles, but it’s still one of my favorite songs of hers. It’s a near perfect vocal performance and the only killer song on a album full of filler.

    And I agree, for anyone to try and get in a ring with her would be crazy. It’s very hard to be as good as Trisha Yearwood. It’s near impossible to be better. She can out sing almost everyone.

    As for “Georgia Mud” it sounds like a laundry list of southern clichés (Tire swings, cotton dresses, magnolia trees, etc) and it comes off as a second-rate knockoff of Trisha’s song. Maybe Nashville is betting we don’t remember “Georgia Rain” opposed to them not remembering it?

    Anyway, I don’t know if I would’ve made the comparison if you hadn’t pointed it out, Kevin. You’re dead on with your review, I just don’t know if I would’ve been smart enough to put two and two together.

  2. I thought “Georgia Rain” was the best on a so-so album, and it ranks among one of my favorites of Yearwood’s career.

    Of course, you couldn’t expect much from the current state of country music….

    I am not sure that the recent singles being shipped to radio are giving us much hope for the rest of this year.

  3. I liked Jasper County quite a bit. Of course, I really like “Georgia Rain” too.

    I agree that the singles aren’t very hopeful for 2011 so far. Listening to radio must be difficult right now.

  4. …a song about mud-wrestling could have opened a new chapter in country music, albeit not an immensely urgent one, but still…

    i can also understand that an art form that is deeply rootet in the more rural parts of the homeland finds ground- and weather conditions a viable topic to go on about, but still…

    however, to waste a fairly refreshing young artist, whose bubbly persona and enthusiastic vocals are quite pleasant, by having her singing about mud, even the top quality georgia stuff, is almost criminal, but still…

  5. The review is right on but I can’t agree with comments like “Georgia Rain was the only killer song on Jasper county”. “Standing Out in a Crowd”, “Trying to Love You” and “Sweet Love” to me were all far better and the only 3 songs from the album currently on my i-Tunes. Next to Suzy B, Trisha’s my favorite female vocalist of any genre.

  6. “Helpful hint to all aspiring female singers: Don’t get in the ring with Trisha Yearwood. The very best female vocalists on radio today – Carrie Underwood, Miranda Lambert, Jennifer Nettles – they shouldn’t get in the ring with Trisha Yearwood, unless they really are on the top of their game.”

    True dat.

  7. This has nothing to do with “Georgia Mud,” but I agree with Bob that ‘Jasper County’ is definitely not a “so-so album” “full of filler.” Not that anyone cares, but I thought “Who Invented the Wheel” was a pretty killer track myself.

  8. It does seem to me that Music Row struggles with object permanence at the moment: Once a single has gone recurrent, it’s like it never existed at all. It’s a comment on both the current slate of “artists” and their singles and the system as a whole, and it would probably be more depressing if I hadn’t given up on country radio in favor of my iPod a good seven years ago.

    This single is a resounding meh. Smith’s voice is fine enough, I guess, and she doesn’t seem to have the pitch issues of Taylor Swift / Hillary Scott / Kimberly Perry, but they’re not setting much of a bar for anyone to clear. As for the song, I agree wholeheartedly that anyone who invites comparisons to Trisha Yearwood is setting themselves up to be considered an also-ran, and that’s precisely what this song does.

    I’d rate Jasper County as Yearwood’s second-weakest set (ahead of Where Your Road Leads, which is the only one of her albums I’ve ever sold off), but I still have exactly half of it on my iPod and listen to those tracks regularly, and I’d consider it a solid album on its own merits.

  9. I’m not saying Jasper County was a horrible album overall, but it is pretty weak if you compare it to her other works, I didn’t like it as much as her other albums…. But I do have all 11 songs from the album (plus her duet with Garth), so even though it’s not what I consider Trisha at her best, it’s still pretty darn good.

    “Georgia Rain” happens to be one of the standouts, IMO, from the album. But “Standing Out In A Crowd,” “Who Invented The Wheel,” among others rank among my favs from the album.

  10. Leeann- I guess it’s a matter of individual tastes, there are some favorite albums of mine by Reba that others would consider her worst. I guess it’s just agreeing to disagree. ; )

  11. I enjoy Jasper County. It has a handful of my favorite Trisha tracks: “Standing Out in a Crowd”, “Try Me”, “Who Invented the Wheel”, “Gimme the GOod Stuff,” and “River of You.”

    But if we’re going to play the “Rank Trisha’s albums” game, it’s not ranked terribly high overall, with the caveat that the bottom two are the only ones I don’t enjoy the majority of:

    1. Hearts in Armor
    2. Real Live Woman
    3. Thinkin’ About You
    4. Inside Out
    5. Heaven, Heartache, and the Power of Love
    6. Everybody Knows
    7. The Song Remembers When
    8. Jasper County
    9. Where Your Road Leads
    10. Trisha Yearwood

  12. To clarify, I’d give Jasper County a solid ***1/2 rating. “Second worst” for Yearwood is still a good deal better than some current stars at their very best. It’s a very good album, I just don’t think it’s among her best, but that’s a relatively faint criticism for someone I’d consider one of the genre’s greatest album artists.

    And if we’re playing at rankings:
    1. Hearts in Armor
    2. Heaven, Heartache, & The Power of Love
    3. Real Live Woman
    4. Thinkin’ About You
    5. Inside Out
    6. The Song Remembers When
    7. Everybody Knows
    8. Trisha Yearwood
    9. Jasper County
    10. Where Your Road Leads

  13. Alright, I had to turn that song off half way through. Not bad, but not remarkable in anyway, shape, or form. And not something I will be rushing out to buy.

    I love Georgia Rain. I admit, although I really love Trisha Yearwood’s music (what I’ve heard of it) I’m a bit of a latecomer, so most of what I know about her is through her hits collection. So now I need to go back and buy the rest of her albums. One at a time though, lol.

  14. See people I agree its not as good as “Georgia Rain” but i see this song as more of a down south version of “Strawberry Wine” and i actually enjoy it quite a bit because like Jonathan said she doesn’t have the pitch problems, or strain, of others and the production isn’t over the top like Carrie and Miranda can be. Also i find Joanna’s voice quite pleasent as a mix between MIranda Lambert and Deana Carter but in no way should we expect a Trisha Yearwood quality vocal in this day and age (sorry people). Finally. while i like this song I’m not sure how much of a chance it has to catch on because of Carrie, Taylor, Reba, Miranda, Sara, and more getting airplay females are starting to crowd up again compared to the typical male dominant country radio. :P

  15. Oh, I love this game. And it’s been a while since we played it. Here are my rankings for Trisha Yearwood’s albums: (and you can read my summaries here.)

    1. Inside Out
    2. Heaven, Heartache, and the Power of Love
    3. Real Live Woman
    4. Hearts In Armor
    5. Everybody Knows
    6. Thinkin’ About You
    7. Trisha Yearwood
    8. Jasper County
    9. The Song Remembers When
    10. Where Your Road Leads

  16. Here’s my Trisha album ranking:

    1. Hearts in Armor
    2. HHPL
    3. Thinkin’ About You
    4. Inside Out
    5. Where Your Road Leads
    6. Everybody Knows
    7. Jasper County
    8. Real Live Woman
    9. Trisha Yearwood
    10.Song Remembers When

  17. who cares what Trisha albums ya’ll like… start your own thread or support groups.

    now to focus – why are we comparing Trisha albums to Joanna and Georgia Rain to Georgia Mud?? Sure, they have the same word in the title but the feel, lyrics, delivery and overall vibe are WAY different.

    Shame on the article writer for putting Joanna “up” against Trisha… As if Trisha has a lock on “Georgia” songs… or Garth has a lock on “thunder” songs.. or Kevin John Coyne has a lock on writing abysmal reviews like this one (I am sure he will write more).

    it’s a great song and should do well for her.

  18. I’m kinda with Gator on this one, I thought more “Strawberry Wine” than “Georgia Rain”. I actually gave the song a favorable review on my site. I think comparing it to Trisha is a little unfair if only because few can ever hope to touch her quality. The small part I agree with the post above mine is that the delivery and vibe (same thing?) are more relaxed (a la “Strawberry Wine”) than “Georgia Rain. I do see the similarities once pointed out though. It’s too bad her fist single flopped as I liked that even more.

    Also Since everybody else did it…

    01) Hearts In Armor
    02) Heaven, Heartache And The Power Of Love
    03) Everybody Knows
    04) Real Live Woman
    05) The Song Remembers When
    06) Jasper County
    07) Thinkin’ About You
    08) Inside Out
    09) Trisha Yearwood
    10) Where Your Road Leads

  19. Oh and also just for fun may as well do this too.
    Top 10 most played Trisha songs.
    01) They Call It Falling For A Reason
    02) I Don’t Paint Myself Into Corners
    03) This Is Me You’re Talking To
    04) Wrong Side Of Memphis
    05) Standing Out In a Crowd
    06) Thinkin’ About You
    07) Cowboys Are My Weakness
    08) Everybody Knows
    09) I Would’ve Loved You Anyway
    10) Where Are You Now

  20. Great point, guest. No, wait… I’d actually rather talk about Trisha Yearwood than Joanna Smith’s borefest.

    This would probably change on a daily basis:

    1. The Song Remembers When
    2. Everybody Knows
    3. Thinkin’ About You
    4. Hearts in Armor
    5. Trisha Yearwood
    6. Jasper County
    7. Real Live Woman
    8. Heaven, Heartache and the Power of Love
    9. Inside Out
    10. Where Your Road Leads

    1. On a Bus to St. Cloud
    2. I Don’t Paint Myself into Corners
    3. Where Are You Now
    4. Lying to the Moon
    5. Real Live Woman
    6. Trying to Love You
    7. Believe Me Baby (I Lied)
    8. You Can Sleep While I Drive
    9. Fools Like Me
    10. Fairytale

  21. Get over your love for belittling a debut artist. Joanna Smith a talented young woman in a genre that could use more. I’m sure Trisha would agree.

  22. I don’t think any of us can speak for Trisha. And Kevin’s past reviews (like Ashton Shepherd’s “Takin’ Off This Pain,” for example) have often shown that he does not automatically dismiss all new artists. Let’s just learn to disagree tactfully, okay?

  23. Ah yes, I think I have rated TY’s album’s before but don’t remember the order….Im curious to see if it’s changed

    1.)Real Live Woman
    2.) Inside Out
    3.) Heart’s In Armor
    4.) Thinkin About You
    5.) Everybody Knows
    6.) Heaven Heartache and the Power of Love
    7.) Trisha Yearwood
    8.) Song Remembers When
    9.) Where Your Road Leads
    10.) Jasper County

  24. Joanna is a talented country artist. Her songs are great. Get some of her music, listen to it and stop complaining and just enjoy!

    Start with “six strings are hard on diamond rings”


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