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Thread: Pistol Annies ~ Interstate Gospel era

  1. #21
    Ultimate Carrie Fan Farawayhills's Avatar
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    As there will be a video for "Got My Name Changed Back", this must presumably be regarded as the album's lead single. However, it is musically nothing like anything on Mainstream radio (and radio did not support their earlier albums) - so the video is more likely to be aimed at streaming and fans.

    This live performance is from Miranda's second residency concert at the Hall of Fame - it shows her playing the washboard. She sings lead throughout this track:



    This is Megan Bledsoe's review of the song, from her blog, Country Exclusive:

    Song Reviews: The Three New Pistol Annies Tracks | Country Exclusive

    "This is just great, a fun, catchy song about freedom after getting divorced. It’s refreshing to hear a song like this where the result of the divorce is happiness, as opposed to loneliness and regret. There’s a stigma surrounding failed marriages, and it’s nice to hear Miranda Lambert singing about it positively. She leads this track, with some backing “yeah yeahs” by her fellow Annies. That part can be a bit overdone, but equally, it will add to this live, and it makes this one probably the most likely to have any semblance of a shot at radio.
    The best thing about this one is the sound. The annies simultaneously display more of a rock edge and more twang than on their previous efforts. We have solos for the dobro and the electric guitar, showcasing more of a rootsy sound while also embracing a rougher quality. Their sound, on this one as well as the others, appears more defined and unique. It seems to take away a little of the underlying polish from their last two records, leaving the instrumentation more uninhibited."



    It reminds me somewhat of the early Dixie Chicks (all three are fans), and the retro Pop feel of the final harmonies make an interesting contrast to the striking music of the rest of the song.
    Although Angaleena (who co-wrote all the tracks) has said that it shouldn't be seen as being about any of the band members - the fact that Miranda sings lead alone in this song makes it inevitable that people will relate it to her divorce - and, although the details in the lyric do seem largely fictitious, attention is bound to focus on the most controversial line "Well I've got me an ex that I adored, But he got along good with a couple road whores". I would suggest that this song can be seen in part as a retort to the tendency for many people to persist in trivializing Miranda's double album "The Weight of These Wings" as a "divorce" album - whereas in reality it was about heartbreak, self-blame, and recovery, and did not refer to the actual divorce, either in its songs, or in the few interviews she gave. In the Pistol Annies project, with the support of her bandmates, she may feel more inclined to explore the topic of divorce more directly - in part, perhaps, as a reaction to the relentless pressure from the tabloids.

    Relationships seem likely to be a theme of several of the songs - and the positive sense of freedom in this one can be contrasted with the third pre-release song, "The Best Days of My Life", which is a more serious (and desperately sad) song about a woman still trapped in a failing, loveless marriage.

  • #22
    Insane Carrie Fan abbeyjones18's Avatar
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    They released another new song on Friday: "Stop Drop and Roll One":


  • #23
    Ultimate Carrie Fan Farawayhills's Avatar
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    A cute performance video for the title track, showing the three Annies in happy mood, singing together with guitars, has been premiered on The Fader. (As on the album, Angaleena sings lead on this song)

    https://www.thefader.com/2018/10/23/...e-gospel-video

    The Fader is an interesting choice. It's a New York based magazine, concentrating on independent music and life style, with a heavy emphasis on African American culture. This would seem to reflect Miranda's links to New York, and her increasing move to the Alternative sector, and probably the increasing use of Blues numbers that she's been including in her own concerts. Spreading interest in the album to other musical sectors is probably sensible, as it remains to be seen how far Mainstream Country will support this project.
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  • #24
    Ultimate Carrie Fan Farawayhills's Avatar
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    Only a couple of hours to go, and we can download the whole album. Six songs have been officially released in advance - and it's interesting to see that the marketing (at least in the UK) is clearly focused on downloads. Anyone who bought the six songs on Amazon will have that purchase taken into account, and they can download the rest (with the booklet) for only a couple of pounds more. The physical CD is available, but scarce, and currently costs about three times more than the download album - it looks as if secondary sellers are offering imports as diehard collectors' items. The market for physical CDs here seems to be fading faster than in the US - I must say I'm one of those who finds downloads much more convenient, and wouldn't really want a CD.

    Judging by the advance releases, the slower ballads are likely to be my favourites - including "The Best Days of My Life" (a heartbreaking song of a woman's desperation to disguise a failing marriage), and "Masterpiece" (a song that directly seems to address the aftermath of a "celebrity" divorce, and the tabloid reaction).

    One of the songs ("Cheyenne", another ballad) wasn't officially pre-released, but has been performed in concert, and was recently the subject of an interesting incident. It's well known that Miranda thinks songs and performances deserve serious priority, and has limited patience for audience interruptions. In this example a woman goes to the front of the stage, and apparently tries to join in the performance, swaying with raised arm, and singing or calling out to the performers. Security are unable to remove her, and Miranda eventually hands her guitar to Angaleena, bends down and speaks to the woman, takes her hand and leads her off. What was said was not recorded, but the incident seems gentler than some of the tabloid reports tried to suggest:

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  • #25
    Ultimate Carrie Fan Farawayhills's Avatar
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    More lovely photography in the booklet (photographic, creative and art credits to Miller Mobley, Tracy Baskette Fleaner and Stephanie Eatherly). Miranda's usual style team of Johnny Lavoy (hair), Moani Lee (make up),, and Tiffany Gifford (dress design) prepared them for the shoot, together with Leah Hoffman & Lindsay Doyle

    The musical production was handled by virtually the same team as The Weight of These Wings - Frank Liddell, Glenn Worf and Eric Masse. (Frank and Glenn have been long term producers of Miranda's albums, and Eric was the new addition for the double album - he also engineered this one).

    Interestingly, Dan Dugmore, who plays steel through much of "Cry Pretty" also plays a variety of instruments on this one. Other prominent contributions come from Alt Country legend Fats Kaplin, and from Frank Carter Rische (Lily Mae's brother, and a former member of the family band, Jypsi - he also played on TWOTW)

    The album makes a special dedication to Randy Scruggs, who died recently, at a relatively early age - he had made a major contribution to several of Miranda's recordings, and they describe him as their favourite guitarist.

    They also thank "our wonderful Savior" - which I think is further evidence that their unconventional Gospel opening and closing of the album is sincere.

    This is the third Pistol Annies album (and the first for five years). The members traditionally share lead roles (they jointly wrote all tracks here, except the last, which is by Ashley and Angaleena). However, my impression is that Miranda takes a fuller role on this third album. Besides the musical production credits, the album's distribution is jointly handled by RCA (on behalf of Sony) and by Shopkeeper (the influential management company that has handled Miranda throughout her major career), and much of the pre-release publicity seemed to be coming from Miranda and her family. The CD copies were manufactured in Mexico - but I'm not sure if that is usual today.

    I don't mean to imply that all the Annies are not strongly in evidence, or that the album is not varied, with a range of often witty and light hearted lyrics - but Miranda does take lead on some of the standout songs, and, thematically, as well as musically, it's possible to see parts of this album as a continuation, and resolution, of some of the emotions explored in TWOTW. Miranda's double album put an emphasis on self-blame, followed by a recovery and the finding of new love (which, sadly, did not survive the separation of touring). TWOTW, though, despite the undercurrent of its obvious context, never directly addressed the divorce - but some of the songs on this album do seem to bring that aspect out much more explicitly. Partly, that may be a reaction to the relentless obsession of the tabloid media and some of the social media fanbases with the past, that Miranda simply can't avoid, even by her decision in that era not to give interviews - but I also wonder if working with her partners (who co-wrote all the new songs) gave her the confidence to explore the failed marriage/divorce theme more directly.

    (I hope to say more about the individual songs later.)
    Last edited by Farawayhills; 2 Weeks Ago at 10:14 PM.
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  • #26
    Ultimate Carrie Fan Farawayhills's Avatar
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    From the Washington Post review:

    "In an industry saddled with bro-country cliches, the Pistol Annies are an escape and a throwback. They are a reminder of a time when Kitty Wells didn’t wanna play house and Loretta Lynn’s love for you was as deep as your pocket. The group can go big, busting out a kind of bravado that borders on camp, or deliver perfect harmonies over simple ballads plucked on acoustic guitars. There have been other all-woman supergroups, such as the 1980s trio formed by Dolly Parton, Linda Ronstadt and Emmylou Harris and the Honky Tonk Angels (Lynn, Parton and Tammy Wynette), assembled a few years later. But the Annies — Lambert, Presley and Ashley Monroe — probably have more in common with the Dixie Chicks. They’re a group instead of a celebrity one-off, and they’ve packed their three albums — 2011’s “Hell on Heels,” 2013’s “Annie Up” and the new “Interstate Gospel,” out Friday — with originals that are unflinchingly honest."
    https://www.washingtonpost.com/enter...=.58818940f0f6

    From the New York Times

    "That’s the attitude that has endeared this country supergroup to its fans — the Annies seem like they’re both letting it all hang out and inhabiting personas that are larger than life. It’s been five years since the band released new music — the Ryman show heralded the arrival of “Interstate Gospel,” out on Friday — and even longer since country music was dominated by the down-home comedy and depictions of domestic troubles that are their specialties. The Annies’ priorities set them apart in the mainstream landscape: They’re far more focused on entertaining their audience, and one another, than their chart stats."
    https://www.nytimes.com/2018/10/31/a...te-gospel.html


    From Nashville Scene:

    "Interstate Gospel sets an extraordinarily high bar not just for country music, or “women in country,” but for songwriters across the board. The record — due Nov. 2 via RCA Records Nashville — is full of hard realities and rude awakenings....They’re The Highwaymen for a new generation, given the sheer talent combined in one unit. The Annies are three of the finest living songwriters with three of the finest voices — each has her own perspective, but they’re all tuned the to same wavelength, bent on telling the truth, at whatever cost."
    https://www.nashvillescene.com/music...ecord-and-more


    Miranda's own comment to Marissa R Moss (link in the above Nasville Scene review):

    "It’s just about good songs. I don’t care who sings them. What color, gender. I just want it to be something that makes you feel something. Or talks about something that is worth something. A topic that is important enough to be discussed. I don’t have a hankering for intellectual emptiness when it comes to country music. … I don’t care what everyone else is doing. I want to be better than I was yesterday. I’m not going to focus on music that sucks. I’m just going to go listen to John Prine and say, “Oh God, I have forever to get there.” It’s more about getting better than knowing who you are better than. There is music for everybody. Just go find what you like. Where I get squirrely is when there is only one thing. "
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  • #27
    Insane Carrie Fan lizcarlo's Avatar
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  • #28
    Insane Carrie Fan lizcarlo's Avatar
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    I might have to wait for cd again. I'm wanting to wait to listen to the full cd with fresh ears. I'm so excited they are back.I want to listen to the songs so bad.

  • #29
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    Really great record. I wish they would get radio play, the songs are great. They really are like the Dixie Chicks, they just mesh so well.
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  • #30
    Ultimate Carrie Fan txacar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lizcarlo View Post
    Love this fun video. Thanks for posting. Closing in on 1 million views on youtube.
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  • #31
    Ultimate Carrie Fan Farawayhills's Avatar
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    A 20 minute interview with Bobby Bones (somewhat spoilt by the station only providing two mikes, and having problems with the sound level) - but some interesting insights on the group dynamic and the writing process.


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  • #32
    Carrie Guru rainbow1's Avatar
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    Really enjoyed listening to that! Super talented young women!!
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  • #33
    Ultimate Carrie Fan Farawayhills's Avatar
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    I'm not really chart focused - but I couldn't be more pleased about this!

    They've pulled off the rare feat of opening at number one on both UK official album charts

    Country
    https://www.officialcharts.com/chart...-albums-chart/

    Americana
    https://www.officialcharts.com/chart...-albums-chart/

    On both charts, they debuted above Roseanne - which is pretty remarkable, considering her more established base and "legend" status. Topping the Americana chart was perhaps the more likely - Angaleena, in particular, has been very popular, and an award nominee, here. Topping the Country album chart may have been more difficult, as it also includes more Pop-influenced material - but the bigger audience will bode well for their tour dates here.

    For comparison, Miranda's solo double album (which was released before her first real tour here) also charted near the top on both - but she didn't manage to get two number ones in the same week.
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  • #34
    Insane Carrie Fan lizcarlo's Avatar
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    Congrats to Pistol Annies


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