Filed Under:

Pistol Annies: Plain Truths, Sharp Humor, Three-Part Harmony

Pistol Annies: The name itself implies a tough country-girl persona, and the band's members can back it up. Born in Texas, Miranda Lambert is an avid hunter. Angaleena Presley hails from three generations of Kentucky coal miners. And Ashley Monroe was raised in East Tennessee near the Smoky Mountains. But in song, they don't brag about their toughness. Instead, on the new album Annie Up, they utilize big, macho guitar riffs as a musical metaphor for their strength.

Pistol Annies' brand of country incorporates hefty doses of gospel, blues, bluegrass and rock, and uses them cleverly to juxtapose vibrant narratives. In "Hush Hush," the trio offers a strategy for dealing with a disastrous family gathering: Hide your true nature, they say, and keep quiet. But the message is set to a boisterous rockabilly rave-up that suggests otherwise.

Country music has long been an arena where women speak plain truths about their lives in a way that strongly resonates with fans — but only a few do it with a tremendous sense of humor. Pistol Annies' members carry on the tradition of Loretta Lynn and Dolly Parton with songs like "Unhappily Married," turning mundane complaints of a lengthy marriage into something so funny that you can't help but feel good about it.

The members of Pistol Annies co-write their material as a group — joining three distinct perspectives, but all clearly resonating with one another. Likewise, there's magic in their harmonies, with Lambert's audacious Texas twang playing off Monroe's melodic vulnerability and Presley's sweet trill. In a year when we've already seen a bunch of strong releases by female country artists, Pistol Annies' members only add to a tremendous 2013, with three powerful voices that are even more commanding together.

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

NPR

Pack These Pages: Three Must-Reads For Summer

Harriet Logan, owner of Loganberry Books in Shaker Heights, Ohio, recommends a graphic novel about trash, a George Eliot classic and a children's book about a bear pianist.
NPR

Why Does Every New Restaurant Look Like A Factory?

The stripped-down look of exposed brick, poured cement floors, and Edison light bulbs is popular in restaurants across America. One reporter dares to ask, "Seriously, why?"
NPR

Obama: Globalization Is 'Here' And 'Done'

Warning against withdrawing from trade deals, the president acknowledged a legitimate gripe with globalization, but says focusing only on local markets is the wrong medicine.
NPR

Facebook Shakes Up News Feed, But We Still Don't Know Exactly How It Works

It will now prioritize posts from friends and family — potentially bad news for media companies relying on Facebook for traffic. The company has been under pressure to defend its political neutrality.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.