The distaste the CMA Awards experience can leave in the mouth of actual country music fans is chased early this year by the announcement of the 2020 Grammy Award nominees in the Country and American Roots categories. Though no set of ears will find the nominees list ideal, those with distinguishing tastes will be much more rewarded.
The Pistol Annies
This tour will be an all female affair, with Miranda Lambert’s supergroup with Ashley Monroe and Angaleena Presley, a.k.a. The Pistol Annies opening up select tour dates, along with Elle King, Caylee Hammack, Tenille Townes, Maren Morris, and Ashley McBryde. Each date will feature three openers, with a revolving cast for each stop.
With the crush of new music constantly barraging consumers, the essential function of a single is to make one song a centerpiece representation of an artist’s work to draw further attention to their overall efforts and career. This is the tried-and-true system that has been in place for popular music for nearly a century.
The Pistol Annies present an important element to mainstream country as a unique project that compiles well-recognized star power with independent substance and a rootsy sound. Ahead of the release of their third album ‘Interstate Gospel,’ they have made available three new songs which pick up where the trio left off in 2013.
After months of hints and allegations, The Pistol Annies are back, and in a big way, dropping three surprise tracks Wednesday (9-26) night off a new album called Interstate Gospel that is set for release on November 2nd. “Got My Name Changed Back,” “Best Years of My Life,” and the title track all populated late Wednesday night.
It appears those waiting for a reunion of the country music supergroup The Pistol Annies will not have to wait that much longer. First formed between Miranda Lambert, Ashley Monroe, and Angaleena Presley in 2011, the trio released two records between 2011 and 2013, going #1 and #2 in the charts respectively.
Barring a miracle from Country Music Jesus, Ashley Monroe will never see the kind of career recognition that her talents deserve, at least in the here and now. That’s just the unfortunate product of the era in which her music matured. These are the real world results of the lack of support for women in country music today.
Artists give greatly of their personal lives to entertain us. The least we can do is not use their personal lives as our entertainment. The story of how the Evan Felker and Miranda Lambert relationship became the worst kept secret in Texas music, and how when it broke, the celebrity gossip rags got it all wrong.
When you think of the modern country music landscape, you think of a clear delineation line between the independent and mainstream. However the songwriting credits for Miranda Lambert are the one clear exception. Looking through her list of collaborators, it’s pretty incredible.
Adam Hood, Allison Moorer, Anderson East, Angaleena Presley, Ashley Monroe, Audra Mae, Brandy Clark, Carlene Carter, Chris Stapleton, David Rawlings, Fred Eaglesmith, Gillian Welch, Jack Ingram, John Prine, Julie Miller, Miranda Lambert, Natalie Hemby, Patty Griffin, Priscilla Renea, Shake Russell, Steve Earle, Susanna Clark, The Pistol Annies, Tom T. Hall, Traivs Howard, Waylon Payne
“I’m gonna do one by myself, because I can,” Miranda told the crowd. “I want to do this on behalf of all the girls that are not being played on country radio right now. If you really love us, you will call and request any female that has a song out and something to say. This is one of those called ‘Tin Man.'”
The next trend in country may not be defined by a style or a sound, but who is involved in it. But if collaborations will be the next big trend, how about putting out just a little bit of effort to make sure that the great talent that is going unrecognized in country music itself gets some love?
Ashley Monroe, Blake Shelton, Brad Paisley, Brandy Clark, Chris Stapleton, Demi Lovato, Dierks Bentley, Dolly Parton, Elle King, Gwen Stefani, Johnny Bush, Kenny Chesney, Kenny Rogers, Little Big Town, Lori McKenna, Miranda Lambert, Pharrell, Pink, Pitbull, Steve Fromholz, The Pistol Annies, Tim McGraw, Townes Van Zandt, Willie Nelson
In some respects, broaching a discussion on this album seems nearly futile. Or maybe not futile, but at least frustrating. It’s almost fait accompli that it will fail to achieve the commercial feats and radio success the quality of the material warrants, but that’s just the way it is for women in this particular era of country music. We should be basking in the enjoyment of a new generation of inspiring country music females…
Ashley Monroe has all the assets that it takes to be a top tier female country music star, and in an environment where the industry seems to be desperately looking to anoint them. A beautiful, astounding singer, excellent songwriter, yet three years into her major label deal and she still feels like the consummate critical darling/commercial outsider.
Acting as a guide through both the explanation of the roots of country music and the streets of Nashville, Justin Townes Earle and many others try best to define “country” for a foreign audience in the film. The Country Roads DVD also includes an entire Justin Townes Earle concert performed at Pace University on October 26th and 27th of 2012 called “The Spirit of Woody Guthrie.”
Amanda Shires, Angaleena Presley, Artic Monkeys, Ashley Monroe, Brazilbilly, Caitlin Rose, Country Roads The Heartbeat of America, George Hamilton IV, John Carter Cash, Johnny Cash, Justin Townes Earle, Kevin Costner, Lisa Marie Presley, Liz Rose, Marieke Schroeder, Miranda Lambert, Norah Guthrie, RCA Studio B, Review, Robert's Western World, The Carter Family, The Carter Family Fold, The Pistol Annies, The Ryman Auditorium, Woody Guthrie
Kellie Pickler’s 2012 album 100 Proof was like its own little country music revolution. This set the table for Kellie Pickler’s 2013 offering The Woman I Am to be one of the most anticipated releases this year. Kellie, willing to focus less on the commercial flop of 100 Proof and more on its critical success, kept much of the same personnel and approach in place for The Woman I Am, including the same producer Frank Liddell.
So here come The Pistol Annies again, with their cleavage heaving and lined with lace, all attitude in their tank boots and tube tops. So what’s the take? Are they traditional country saviors, or a silly act? When you boil it down, The Pistol Annies are gender music. Sure, we all tend to be able to relate more to a singer and and a perspective that mirrors our own, but The Pistol Annies project seems to take it a step further.
Earlier today the bawdy trio launched an interactive, animated, content-unlocking, grab-your-contact-info-so-they-can-bombard-you-about-sparkly-pink-merch-in-the-future internet timewaste as part of the advertising run up to their upcoming album “Annie Up.” I quickly awoke to the realization that I’m a grown ass adult and have better things to do than oogle at comics during the middle of a Wednesday.
What in the world is Blake Shelton thinking doing some tired, crusty, old-sounding country shuffle with an artist nobody has heard of? Is he trying to apologize to all of the “Old Farts and Jackasses” he insulted last month? Because the only people who will ever listen to this song are Geritol-drinking old farts who yell at kids for playing on their lawn and and watch 60 Minutes before going to bed by 8 PM.
This Saturday, April 21st with be the 2012 installment of Record Store Day, the annual event started in 2007 to help the struggling independent record store. 2012 will go down as the year when country came busting through the Record Store Day scene with full representation, with so many projects being released taking stock of it all can be dizzying. So here is your 2012 Country Music Record Store Day Field Guide.
Blitzen Trapper, Bonnie Prince Billy, Buck Owens, Caitlin Rose, country, Everley Brothers, Justin Townes Earle, Lydia Loveless, Ralph Stanley, Record Store Day, Ricky Skaggs, Ryan Adams, Sara Watkins, The Civil Wars, The Pistol Annies, Tony Rice, Townes Van Zandt, Uncle Tupelo, Will Oldham
Once again I sit down to review an album originating on Music Row, which means some will have an immediate negative reactionary response about why their little Saving Country Music is selling out for a pop country star, while others will come to sing the praises of how Miranda Lambert is the one to save country music.