I’m not what you’d call a big country music fan, though my once-fervent hatred for the genre has softened a bit as I’ve grown older. It does seem — from this outsider’s perspective — that country is a little less uniformly bland than it used to be and there’s more room for iconoclasts and experimenters. (I made a similar point in my post on Jamey Johnson.)
Another salutary trend in country, which seems to be a trend across all of American culture these days, is the rise of kick-ass women. (The Dixie Chicks were not the first, but they really seemed to open the floodgates.)
Which brings us to the Pistol Annies, the country “supergroup” that has been such a smashing success this year. The band was pulled together by Miranda Lambert, who enlisted the help of her friends Ashley Monroe and Angaleena Presley. They’re all solo artists in their own right (Lambert has a great solo album out this year), but their collaboration has a kind of loose-limbed insouciance that is unique and incredibly appealing.
The general vibe of their debut, Hell on Heels, is captured well by this song, “Takin’ Pills,” which I can’t get enough of:
Here’s another of my favorite songs, the droll “Trailer for Rent.”