My favorite thing about Miranda Lambert is that she never holds anything back.
She’s never afraid to say exactly what she thinks, and in a recent interview with Vulture, she sat down to talk about her upcoming Las Vegas Residency, as well as some of the milestones she’s reached in her career thus far that have led her to Vegas.
While she is currently the most decorated artist in ACM Awards history, with 37 trophies under her belt, and was just honored with the coveted ACM Triple Crown award, she’s always had a tricky relationship with country radio.
And with an artist of her caliber, who has been at the forefront of mainstream country for so long, you’d think she would have plenty of #1 hits under her belt by now.
But actually, she has just 4 solo #1’s to her name, out of 39 in total that she’s put out throughout her career.
But at this point, as she continues to release great music and kick ass in her career regardless, she’s over worrying about having success on radio.
For example, her fan-favorite “Tequila Does” was never a single, but it’s a helluva lot of fun to hear at a live show:
“Some, like ‘Tequila Does’ — that song just did its own damn thing. It wasn’t a single. We did it twice, and the second take was it.
It’s so much fun, because it’s a huge song in my set. I have one of those careers that some songs just pick themselves to stand out. I like to watch that happen. Kind of like ‘Actin’ Up’ is now.
‘Strange’ is my radio single, but all the streaming services prefer ‘Actin’ Up.'”
And when “Strange” was announced as her next single from her recent studio album Palomino, I’ll admit that I was a little disappointed, because there were so many great options on that tracklist, like my favorite’s “Carousel” and “Waxahachie.”
But it sounds like Miranda couldn’t care less about which one you hear on your local FM station, and she really lets her label pick whatever they want.
She’s over trying to appease the powers that be at country radio, which she said in no uncertain terms during the aforementioned interview:
“The more the merrier to me. I don’t care anymore. I just have had such a weird relationship with radio this whole time anyway.
I actually prefer for radio and the label to tell me what they think, because I want it to work. Then the streaming services pick their own thing.
I would like for as many of these songs to be heard, whatever way they can be.”
Pretty damn cool to hear one of the biggest names in mainstream country say, for all intents and purposes, that they don’t give a flying shit about radio play anymore.
I don’t think thats something you would’ve ever heard even 10 years ago, but like she mentioned, streaming services are slowly helping change the game in terms of how we listen to all kinds of music, especially for independent artists.
And she added that, these days, the climb to the top of the country radio charts take way too much time… and let’s be honest, it’s really more about how much money a label is willing to dish out to have the song played as much as humanly possible as opposed to the actual song itself:
“Why not? Nowadays, too, the singles on the country radio take so long.
I mean, ‘Settling Down’ took 11 months to get to the top five, and I’m like, well then, that just shoved out other songs because there’s not time.
So I’m all about however they can be heard, let’s put them out there.”
Go ahead and preach, Mrs. Miranda.
It’s honestly so refreshing to hear an artist like her say that, because I think it’s actually how a lot of them feel, but don’t think they could actually say without causing major damage to their career.
And this is just one more example of why Miranda is one of the best in the business right now, and you won’t change my mind on that.
Originally written by Billy Joe, John Anderson first released the song in March of 1981 as the lead single to his John Anderson 2 album. It peaked at #4 on the Billboard Hot Country Singles & Tracks chart later that year.
Of the influence Billy Joe had on her own music, Miranda told Rolling Stone that she used to perform this exact song all across the Lone Star state when she was first getting her start in small honky tonks and bars:
“Billy Joe’s words have inspired countless artists for decades…myself included.
I was singing his songs in honky-tonks all across our home state of Texas by the time I could drive. ‘I’m Just an Old Chunk of Coal’ was always one of my favorites to perform.
I was honored when they asked me to record it for this project and join so many of my heroes to celebrate his incredible legacy.”
While Billy passed away in 2020 and is no longer here to get to hear all these new renditions himself, he once said that the lyrics of good music will last forever, and that has clearly aged well when it comes to his great and timeless music:
“When you write songs, and you write good songs, people will always remember you. Words will always outlive us.
And if your name is attached to those words, you’re gonna live forever.”
Amen to that, Billy.
His friend and fellow Texan who’s featured on the tracklist, the legend himself Willie Nelson, remembers Billy Joe fondly, saying:
“He was just real; there wasn’t one phony drop of blood in him.”
The new album was co-produced by Charlie Sexton and Freddy Fletcher, and features an incredible cast of artists including Willie Nelson and Lucinda Williams, George Strait, Miranda Lambert, Nathaniel Rateliff, Ryan Bingham and Nikki Lane, Steve Earle, Edie Brickell, Rodney Crowell, Margo Price, Allison Russell, and Amanda Shires.
Set to drop on November 11th, they previously released the lead single, “Live Forever,” featuring Willie Nelson and Lucinda Williams.
And I know we’ve only heard two songs so far, but this one is already my favorite… you simply can’t beat Miranda’s Texas twang on a classic track like this: