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Thread: The Highwomen - Self-Titled Era

  1. #1
    Huge Carrie Follower Momin's Avatar
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    The Highwomen - Self-Titled Era

    They are here and I love them.

    Their self-titled debut album is up for pre-order. It will be released on Sept. 6, 2019.

    The lead single is "Redesigning Women", posted below. The video is directed by Elizabeth Olmstead, and it features other female artists too. Lauren Alaina, Kassi Ashton, Cam, Lilly Hiatt, Wynonna Judd, Catie Offerman, Cassadee Pope, Erin Rae, RaeLynn, Natalie Stovall, Anna Vaus, Hailey Whitters, and Tanya Tucker

    Tracklist:
    1. "Highwomen" (written by Brandi Carlile, Amanda Shires & Jimmy Webb)
    2. "Redesigning Women" (written by Natalie Hemby & Rodney Clawson)
    3. "Loose Change" (written by Maren Morris, Maggie Chapman & Daniel Layus)
    4. "Crowded Table" (written by Brandi Carlile, Natalie Hemby & Lori McKenna)
    5. "My Name Can't Be Mama" (written by Brandi Carlile, Maren Morris & Amanda Shires)
    6. "If She Ever Leaves Me" (written by Amanda Shires, Jason Isbell & Chris Thompkins)
    7. "Old Soul" (written by Maren Morris, Luke Dick & Laura Veltz)
    8. "Don't Call Me" (written by Amanda Shires & Peter Levin)
    9. "My Only Child" (written by Natalie Hemby, Amanda Shires & Miranda Lambert)
    10. "Heaven Is a Honky Tonk" (written by Brandi Carlile, Natalie Hemby & Ray LaMontagne)
    11. "Cocktail and a Song" (written by Amanda Shires)
    12. "Wheels of Laredo" (written by Brandi Carlile, Tim Hanseroth & Phil Hanseroth)



    Redesigning Women Lyrics:
    Full time livin' on a half-time schedule
    Always tryin' to make everybody feel special
    Learning when to brake and when to hit the pedal
    Working hard to look good 'til we die

    A critical reason there's a population
    Raising our brows in a new generation
    Rosie the Riveter with renovations
    And always gets better with wine

    Redesigning women
    Running the world while we're cleaning up the kitchen
    Making bank, shaking hands, driving 80
    Trying to get home just to feed the baby
    Skipping the bread for the butter
    Changing our minds like we change our hair color
    Ever since the beginnin' we been redesigning women

    Pullin' up the floors and changing out the curtains
    Some of us are saints and some of us are surgeons
    Made in God's image, just a better version
    And breaking every Jell-O mold
    And when we love someone we take 'em to heaven
    And if the shoe fits we're gonna buy 11
    How we get it done we like to keep 'em guessing
    But secretly we all know

    [Chorus]

    How do we do it?
    How do we do it?
    Making it up as we go along
    How do we do it?
    How do we do it?
    Half way right and half way wrong

    [Chorus]
    Last edited by Momin; 07-19-2019 at 10:44 AM.
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  • #2
    Huge Carrie Follower Momin's Avatar
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    The reviews and articles are in. I'm posting links and excerpts from them.

    https://www.hotpress.com/music/liste...album-22782264

    "[The Highwaymen] were able to stand shoulder to shoulder with each others as equals," Carlile told Apple Music. "This is a difficult time for women to do that because there are so few spaces for us on country radio, and in the industry in general, so we thought, 'Why can't we form a straight line? A shoulder-to-shoulder women's country group?'"

    The as-of-yet unreleased title track of the upcoming album is a reworking of the classic song 'Highwayman'. Carlile told Rolling Stone that she and Jimmy Webb, the original songwriter behind the track, re-worked the lyrics "with stories of women who died in protest".


    https://popculture.com/country-music...nce-new-album/

    ""Almost all of us are mothers of young girls, and we all grew up listening to country music," Carlile previously told PopCulture.com and other media. "We all had Deana Carter, and Trisha Yearwood, and Tanya Tucker, and Pam Tillis, and Kathy Mattea. And we had the greats, we had Loretta Lynn, and Patsy Cline, Brenda Lee, Kitty Wells, too.

    "But we recognized that we're in a time right now where our daughters don't have the same country music heroes that we had," she continued. "They have a few of them, and they're great. But, two women out of the Top 20 is not enough. Zero women on the Top 20 is not enough for country radio. We wanted to get together with compassion, and love, and tackle the problem of country music not being an amplifier for women, and we intend to do that."

    “I’m just really proud to be part of a collective,” Morris told Music Row. “We have the utmost respect for one another. When we win, we all win. None of us need this – we all have our own things going on.”


    https://www.rollingstone.com/music/m...morris-860629/

    (This article is brilliant!)

    The Highwomen will be sending “Redesigning Women” to country radio with everything they’ve got — to “re-illuminate the path” and make sure that young women grow up hearing themselves, and their stories, reflected on the airwaves. Will radio play it? Who knows. But it’s still a ****ing hit.

    “I don’t know what the excuse will be if there is one,” says Carlile about whether or not it will end up on the country charts. “But I know that if we get played on country radio and we succeed in opening the door on that format for other women, then that’s a great story. But if we don’t get played and we are rejected by country radio, that’s also a great story. The Highwomen are a great story, no matter what.”


    https://www.npr.org/2019/07/19/74319...as-the-highwom

    "Anyone can be a Highwoman," Carlile says in the band's press materials. "It's about banding together, abandoning as much ego as humanly possible, holding one another up and amplifying other women every chance we get. Shoulder to shoulder. One push, one love."
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  • #3
    Huge Carrie Follower Momin's Avatar
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    I want to post some important parts from the Rolling Stone article because it gives a lot of insight into the upcoming music.

    https://www.rollingstone.com/music/m...morris-860629/

    1. “Redesigning Women” has all the bones of a what could dominate the airwaves if gender bias weren’t so ingrained in the foundation, and that’s the point: the Highwomen’s LP isn’t a kiss-off to Music Row, meant to rattle and shake anything but the doors themselves open. Rather, it’s an invitation to turn a corner on inclusivity. It’s a set of country-ass songs from four of the best in the business, in a perfect storm of critical appeal, mainstream success, indie cred, and good ol’ fashioned fun.

    2. “It’s not anti-establishment,” says Carlile, taking a seat backwards on a rolling office chair in front of the console. “And it’s not a band. It’s a movement. The Highwomen is not just four people. It’s not a compilation disc.”

    3. Shires came up with the idea for the Highwomen around 2016 when she was on the road, listening to country radio and tallying up how many women she’d hear come across the van’s speakers (spoiler alert: it was a very low number).

    4. “I think a lot of people on my team probably thought I was insane to join a band right in the middle of my own album cycle and tour,” Morris will share later. “But when Brandi called to ask me if I wanted to be a Highwoman, and that these were going to be the people involved, I couldn’t say no. I’ve also been touting the same message with Girl; it’s high time for more female perspectives in the country genre.”

    5. The first thing that Carlile and Shires did to kick off the Highwomen mission was take the original “Highwayman” anthem — sung by Johnny Cash, Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson, and Kris Kristofferson — to its songwriter Jimmy Webb, who helped them rewrite the story of their own ghost band, as the original group of outlaws did before. “[Their characters] all died doing things that men do,” says Carlile. “Willie was a bandit. Johnny Cash drove a ****ing starship, nobody knows why. We rewrote it with fates that befell women: a doctor convicted of witchcraft; an immigrant who died trying to get over the border but got the kids over safe and sound; a preacher; and a freedom rider who gets shot.”

    6. There’s “My Name Can’t Be Mama,” a barn-burning honky-tonker about juggling motherhood with personal identity, and “My Only Child,” a heartbreaker gorgeously written by Hemby, Shires, and Lambert about the ache of missing someone who will never actually be born.

    7. And then there’s “If She Ever Leaves Me,” a classic country weeper that just happens to feature a woman — Carlile — singing about another woman, written by Shires, Isbell, and Chris Tompkins. “Me and Amanda were in Jackson Hole, and I was on the elliptical and I thought about this project and went, ‘What if Brandi sang it?'” Isbell says. “And I started going, ‘Gay country song! Gay country song!’ I called Amanda [Shires] and went ‘Gay country song! Gay country song!'” The group is billing the tune as the first of its kind, and it encompasses the kind of longing that anyone who’s ever felt true desire can relate to: love is love. “If she ever leaves me,” Carlile sings, infusing her booming range with the spirit of Hank Williams’ and Dolly Parton’s most lonesome yodels, “it won’t be for you.”

    “I love that we have songs on this album about shattering female stereotypes to a gay country love song, and songs about losing loved ones,” says Morris. “It’s all real and it’s all country.”

    8. Longtime fans of Morris will recognize “Loose Change,” a whip-smart early work that helped stir discussions about her bubbling talent around Nashville. She’s unmistakably country on this one, just as she is tenderly folky and confessional on “Old Soul,” which tells her story of a life lived too fast and a childhood exchanged for grownup dreams. “Even though those songs might not have fit on my solo record, they could flourish and really thrive in the sonic space that these women and [Cobb] created,” says Morris. “Now I feel like I’ve caught this Americana bug after doing this album with them.”
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    Junior Carrie Follower jaymiee's Avatar
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    No Carrie? Disappointing
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  • #5
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    I'd like to see Carrie in a project like this, since groups made up of people with strong solo work of their own are often very interesting, and can develop a collective personality which is original in its own right, and more than the sum of its parts. However, Carrie's collaborations have been relatively rare, and I think she sees herself more in terms of a solo artist.

    She wrote "Play On" with Natalie Hemby, and that included some memorable and relatively unusual lines, like "How you gonna cope when there is no closure" and "Even when the floodgates swing wide open, Never let the current take you down". I think it reflected Carrie's philosophy pretty well - but, like many of her album closers, it remained a rather under-rated song. Apart from that, I can't think of any other close contact between her and these other artists. Also, Carrie's career has been pretty closely identified with the Nashville Mainstream - whereas this project is being more identified with the "Outlaw" wing (partly because of the name and its association with the Highwaymen, but also because of its more direct and open Feminism and challenge to radio, its early orientation towards the festival circuit, Amanda Shires' "Mama wants to change that Nashville Sound" protest at the CMAs, and Brandi's position, for many, as pretty well the reigning Alt Country Queen)

    For all those reasons, I don't see Carrie as being likely to associate closely with the group - though she may one day join in a joint performance, as several other women are doing. But regardless of whether Carrie is involved, I do think this is an important initiative, and I expect it to get a lot of critical attention.
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    Huge Carrie Follower Momin's Avatar
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    Yeah, a lot of the shortcomings and biases that this project is focusing on, Carrie has not been on the receiving end of those for the most part (even though there are some areas where there has been very clear discrimination). Still, I don't see that as a cause for Carrie to not join these women in some way. In fact, I'd be surprised if she doesn't. She has been speaking up about her misgivings with the industry and how women are treated, and this might be another way for her to do so. Plus, I think the project can really benefit from getting a voice from someone like Carrie, who is very well-established, has had tremendous success and remains a very loud voice in the country genre. And since she has a very huge following, it can help bring attention to an important cause.

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    I like Maren Morris, but I was surprised that she is a member of this group.

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    Ultimate Carrie Fan Farawayhills's Avatar
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    The Highwomen have played what I think is their first major live set at the Newport Folk Festival - and it has attracted a lot of positive attention. Brandi also made guest appearances with some of the other acts, and there was a strong finale when they joined up with a large number of other female singers in a show of "girl power".
    Apparently the whole of the still-to-be-released debut album was played in the Highwomen's own set (as well as the two advance singles, "Redesigning Women" and the anthemic plea for widespread inclusion, "Crowded Table".

    Some good quality videos have been posted by people attending the Festival.

    Here is one, "If She Ever Leaves Me", written by Amanda and her husband, Jason Isbell, with Chris Thompkins (who also wrote Carrie's Grammy winning songs, "Before He Cheats" and "Blown Away". Jason Isbell gives a short introduction to the song, and plays guitar. (I can't identify all the band, but the other two, identically dressed, guitarists are the Hanseroth twins, who have accompanied Brandi throughout her career)

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    Ultimate Carrie Fan Farawayhills's Avatar
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    And another, "My Name Can't Be Mama", with alternating verses written by different members of the Highwomen

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  • #10
    Huge Carrie Follower Momin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Farawayhills View Post
    The Highwomen have played what I think is their first major live set at the Newport Folk Festival - and it has attracted a lot of positive attention. Brandi also made guest appearances with some of the other acts, and there was a strong finale when they joined up with a large number of other female singers in a show of "girl power".
    Apparently the whole of the still-to-be-released debut album was played in the Highwomen's own set (as well as the two advance singles, "Redesigning Women" and the anthemic plea for widespread inclusion, "Crowded Table".

    Some good quality videos have been posted by people attending the Festival.

    Here is one, "If She Ever Leaves Me", written by Amanda and her husband, Jason Isbell, with Chris Thompkins (who also wrote Carrie's Grammy winning songs, "Before He Cheats" and "Blown Away". Jason Isbell gives a short introduction to the song, and plays guitar. (I can't identify all the band, but the other two, identically dressed, guitarists are the Hanseroth twins, who have accompanied Brandi throughout her career)

    High time we get a gay/lesbian love song in country music! This is going to be on repeat in my playlist when it comes out. Absolutely can't wait to hear the studio version. I expected nothing less from these women!

    The second song is very, very fun as well. And I had heard all these women in this kind of country music before but not Maren. To my ears, her blend is very suited and compliments the production, even though most of her solo work is very pop-oriented.
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    I agree, on both counts. The change, from the original heterosexual assumption of the lyric (which Jason refers to in his introduction) to a Gay association adds a lot to the impact of the song, fits the times, and broadens the appeal, in a direction that Country Music is still rather reluctant to show openly. (I think acceptance by a minority has long been there, e.g. in Ray Wiley Hubbard's "Cowboy Twinkies", Rodney Crowell's "Wandering Boy", Willie Nelson's "Cowboys are Frequently, Secretly Fond of Each Other", Miranda's adoption of a couple of Gay club anthems on her Mainstream albums, and the current widespread admiration of the songwriting of Shane McAnally and Brandy Clark). But I do think this Highwomen song is probably still much more likely to hit a strong chord of approval from the Festival audience than it would from Mainstream radio.

    And on the question of Maren Morris (who, as has been pointed out, is, for many, a rather surprising addition to the group), I agree that most of her solo work does sound very Pop (and it's noticeable that, in contrast to both Carrie and Miranda, for example, she shows much less understanding of, or willingness to incorporate, traditional Country references in her general-music focused work.) However, she is interested in, and influenced by, Blues, which gives some of her solo work a Roots-influenced feel. I think her work with this group shows that she is certainly capable of adopting a Country style in her singing - whether or not she chooses to emphasize that in much of her solo work.

    For me, it is, though, Brandi who, at least so far, dominates the impact of this group. Given that Amanda is still generally better known as a fiddler, Natalie as a song writer, and Maren as a singer who has rather pointedly focused on a different side of the musical spectrum, it is Brandi who seems largely responsible for the attention the group is getting from the Festival audience, the critics, and other Roots and Country artists. After a decade of strong album work, she is currently on a career high, and increasingly appearing at Mainstream events. I'm pretty sure that her reaching out more widely, and probably the ethos behind the formation of this group, owes a lot to her view of the need for change and a new perspective - not just on Gay inclusion, but also on the wider issues of women in the genre.
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  • #12
    Huge Carrie Follower Momin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Farawayhills View Post
    I agree, on both counts. The change, from the original heterosexual assumption of the lyric (which Jason refers to in his introduction) to a Gay association adds a lot to the impact of the song, fits the times, and broadens the appeal, in a direction that Country Music is still rather reluctant to show openly. (I think acceptance by a minority has long been there, e.g. in Ray Wiley Hubbard's "Cowboy Twinkies", Rodney Crowell's "Wandering Boy", Willie Nelson's "Cowboys are Frequently, Secretly Fond of Each Other", Miranda's adoption of a couple of Gay club anthems on her Mainstream albums, and the current widespread admiration of the songwriting of Shane McAnally and Brandy Clark). But I do think this Highwomen song is probably still much more likely to hit a strong chord of approval from the Festival audience than it would from Mainstream radio.
    Can you specify which of her songs are gay anthems? Is Little Red Wagon one of them?

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    https://www.billboard.com/articles/n...brandi-carlile

    Sure sounds like a big win for women in country music!

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    The title track has been released. I am absolutely loving their vibe.

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    This is the audio for "My Only Child", written by Miranda, Natalie and Amanda. Miranda posted that she was honored to be one of the writers - she is the only one of the three that doesn't have a child of her own, and I think that adds some additional poignancy to the lyrics.



    It is a very tender and heart filled song, written from an unusual perspective, as a mother holds onto the the memories of her daughter as a newborn, and as an innocent child, as she grows up. Although the girl always wanted a brother and sister, I interpret the lines "last of my kind, you will always be my only child" to imply that the daddy mentioned in the lyric has gone from their lives, perhaps through death.

    Amanda's fiddle plays a big part through this song, and Natalie sings lead

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    I like it alot.


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