UPDATE: According to the publicist of Amanda Shires, Margo Price is not currently involved in this project as discussed in the interview below and preliminarily reported. Amanda has also offered further clarification (see bottom).
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This story has been updated.
A new country music supergroup is on the way that will combine the talents of Brandi Carlile, Amanda Shires, and others. Called the Highwomen, it will take inspiration from legendary country music supergroup The Highwaymen, which included Willie Nelson, Johnny Cash, Kris Kristofferson, and Waylon Jennings. Jim Lauderdale is also involved in the project as a co-writer working with Amanda Shires, as are others.
This is the information that came out in an interview Amanda Shires conducted on 91.9 WFPK with Laura Shine as Shires got ready to perform on the radio station’s Winter Wednesday presentation in Louisville, Kentucky on January 9th. When talking about working with songwriter Jim Lauderdale, Amanda Shires revealed,
“We’ve been writing some songs together for a new project I started with Brandi Carlile. Me, her, and Margo Price [UPDATE: According to Amanda Shires’ publicist, Margo Price is not involved in this project]. We’ve got a new group called the Highwomen coming up—as in exalted, not stoned. I mean I’m sure being stoned is fine depending on where you are and all of that. I’m not advocating anything, or un-advocating anything. Anyway, we’re recording it in March, so we were writing some songs.”
Shires says the idea came to life after she pitched it to Brandi Carlile.
“We’ve been friends for a long time. I met her on a Cayamo Cruise I can’t even remember when, a long time ago. And we’ve been friends. We were at The Basement [Nashville] for some reason, and I told her about this idea I had called the Highwomen, and she was like, ‘I love that idea.’ And I was like, ‘I want you to be in it. And I want you to help me run this because I’m terrible at business, and my voice isn’t as great as yours.’ And she was like, ‘Yeah I’ll be in your band The Highwomen.’ And we have guests like Sheryl Crow. Any women that want to come, and men, it’s all inclusive. It’s not like man haters.”
Though no recording has taken place so far, it sounds like the album is mostly written for the recording sessions in March.
“We’ve written a whole lot of songs, me and Brandi, and then on our own we have [written songs] too. And I thought it would be fun to have me and Jim [Launderdale] write and see if anything came out that would work for the Highwomen, and I think we did good. I like co-writing. It’s fun to see how other people’s minds work and process, and I’ve always been such a big fan of [Jim’s] writing. You know, who doesn’t love George Strait? And him as a person, really.”
And for those wondering what the sound will be since all three women have slid back and forth between more country elements, and then more Americana elements in their careers, Amanda Shires assures this will be country.
“For myself and Brandi, the music that we do on our own is our top priority. But this other project that we’re doing is also a priority, but what we want to do is play more country music. So it will be more country.”
Brandi Carlile just earned a whopping six Grammy nominations for her latest record By The Way, I Forgive You, including three in all genre categories. Amanda Shires released her latest record To The Sunset in August, 2018. More information on the Highwomen when it comes available.
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UPDATE 4:15 p.m. CST: Amanda Shires says, “I accidentally jumped the gun when I spoke with WFKP about my idea for a women’s super group called the Highwomen. Brandi and I do have something in the works and we will announce the exact details when it comes to fruition. Just wanted to let you know that nothing is official and this isn’t news yet.”