Pistol Annies Reunite at Country Music Hall of Fame, Announce More Live Shows [Pictures]
Miranda Lambert's name was on the ticket Wednesday (Sept. 26) at the Country Music Hall of Fame, but the night was all about the Pistol Annies.
Lambert was performing the second and final show of her residency at the museum in Nashville when she turned the evening into an Annie-athon with fellow members Ashley Monroe and Angeleena Presley. The trio debuted three new songs off their upcoming album Interstate Gospel, announced Thursday (Sept. 27), as well as a series of past fan favorites. The evening proved that the Annies remain as brilliant, bold and impactful as we remember them.
Pistol Annies Are Back and Better Than Ever
The sold-out crowd wholly embraced the trio from the moment they took the stage with the smoldering "I Feel a Sin Comin' On" through the beloved closing umber, "End of My Story." In between was a packed hour of Annies power — their first 'official' show in five years — in which they debuted "Interstate Gospel," "Got My Name Changed Back" and "Best Years of My Life."
"We have been working on new music and we're real excited about it," Lambert said. "Thank you for loving the Annies and welcoming us back into the world."
"Got My Name Changed Back" is the most conspicuous of new songs, especially with Presley's sly prelude: "This song has nothing to do with us and is about no one in this band," she said before they launched into the fiery number with a melody reminiscent of Johnny Cash.
Lambert takes lead vocals and was practically gleeful as she sang: "I don't want to be a Mrs. on paper no more" and "Well I got me an ex that I adored / But he got along good with a couple road whores."
"That was fun," she said at the end of the song, asking the crowd to decipher its meaning, "Ya'll get it?"
"Got My Name Changed Back" will bring the bounty of discussion a day after the reunion concert, but "Best Years of My Life" is the perhaps most intriguing of the new music. Leave it to the Annies to take a depressing subject matter and make it sharp and witty. "I picked a good day for a recreational Percocet," Monroe wistfully sings in the first line, setting the tone for rest of the song that uses the title sarcastically to tell the story of someone who settled for less-than in life and is "in the middle of the worst of it."
The album's title track is the most upbeat of the songs they shared on Wednesday night, with the jubilant, energetic number built on a melody of classic country and gospel. "The sinners say gospel is saving my soul," they sing over a perky acoustic guitar as Lambert plays washboard.
The trio rounded out their mini set with a variety of notable throwbacks, including "Hush Hush," "Hell on Hells," "Bad Example" and "Girls Like Us." In true Annies fashion, each woman had her moment to shine. Monroe brought the room to a hush with lead vocals on the sobering “Dear Sobriety,” while Presley showed off her strong songwriting muscle on the fiery “Wrangled” and Lambert owned the stage during “Got My Name Changed Back.”
“We’re three girlfriends that live a lot of life. We’ve got ex-husbands and husbands and babies and family things, all the things that you deal with in life," Lambert said, reflecting on the last several years. "And we sit around write about our lives. Our records are slumber parties on wheels, so thank you very much for listening."
Take this away: the Annies are as fearless as ever. The trio will perform three living room-style shows to bring new music to fans, with upcoming concerts at the Ryman Auditorium on Oct. 25, the Town Hall in New York City on Nov. 2 and the Novo in Los Angeles on Nov. 7. Tickets are available starting Friday (Oct. 5).
Interstate Gospel comes out on Nov. 2.