Country’s reigning queen has been just a little busy lately.
Miranda Lambert, crowned 2012’s Female Vocalist of the Year by the Academy of Country Music and the Country Music Association, has enough prestigious awards and nominations to stretch all the way to France, where she was nominated for chanteuse of the year in the 2010 French Country Music Awards.
Her hits range from “Gunpowder & Lead” and “White Liar” to “The House That Built Me,” “Heart Like Mine,” “Over You” and “Mama’s Broken Heart.” And she’s the very first artist to have her first four albums debut at the top of Billboard’s Country Music Albums Chart.
Already this year, she’s been co-headlining the Locked & Reloaded Tour with Dierks Bentley and launched a new CD and tour with her side project, Pistol Annies. She and Annies bandmates Ashley Monroe and Angaleena Presley were supposed to launch Riverside Casino’s Summer Concert Series June 28, but canceled all their June tour dates. Lambert will bring her solo show to the outdoor stage, instead.
“We may have been a little ambitious with time,” she says via email earlier this month. “After we booked the handful of dates, we realized we weren’t going to have enough time where we could all be together to rehearse a new show to be as good as we want it to be.”
Time is a precious commodity for Lambert, whose sizzling career is matched only by that of husband Blake Shelton. However, the Texas native who now calls Tishomingo, Okla., home graciously agreed to answer Hoopla’s questions between performing in the May 29 “Healing the Heartland” concert Shelton organized for Oklahoma tornado victims — and jetting off to Nashville to perform in the CMT Awards on June 5.
- Miranda Lambert
- 9 p.m. June 28; gates open at 8 p.m.; all ages show
- Riverside Casino Outdoor Stage
- Reserved seating provided in VIP section; general admission guests should bring seating (No outside coolers or beverages allowed.)
- Tickets: Sold out
- Pistol Annies refunds available until 8 p.m. concert night at point of purchase; must have tickets in hand.
- Information: Riversidecasinoandresort.com
- Artist’s websites: Mirandalambert.com and Pistolannies.com
Q: You strike me as somebody who needs wide open spaces for you and your animals — what is your home like? With the town’s small population (just over 3,000 in the 2010 census), can you just let your hair down, walk around and be just another shopper at the grocery store?
A: Our house is just a house. It’s nothing fancy, just like me. I LOVE being on the farm with all our animals, and just getting to have a normal life when I get the chance. To the locals, Blake and I are just another neighbor down the street who they might see one day at the grocery store or the gas station and that’s the way we like it.
Q: From where do you draw inspiration for your songwriting? How has that evolved over the years?
A: I think every songwriter can only draw inspiration from their own personal experience and from the experiences of those around them. I know I’ve been questioned before about some of the harder edged songs I’ve written until you realize my parents used to be private investigators when I was younger, so I heard about all kinds of things that were happening to other people. It doesn’t need to be something that you’ve actually experienced, but it does help to have a perspective of whatever the subject is before you write.
Q: How do you stay true to your country roots and sound when it seems like a lot of emphasis is placed on being crossover hit makers among today’s young female country singer/songwriters?
A: Have you heard me talk? I don’t think anyone could confuse me with anything but country even if they tried. And that’s just the way I like it.
Q: Who have been your greatest musical mentors?
A: I have a lot of musical heroes I look up to. I love Merle Haggard. I love Dolly. I love Beyonce. You can figure out what those have in common … ha.
Q: What will we hear in your upcoming Riverside, Iowa, outdoor concert? What kind of band will you bring along?
A: I’m bringing the same band I’ve had from the start of this whole ride with me to Riverside and we’re gonna do our best to make sure everyone has a good time. We have a blast and I hope that translates every night to the audience.
Q: What keeps you on the road, connecting with your fans in live performances?
A: I love being on the road and doing live shows. There’s nothing like playing in front of an audience and having them respond and even sing your own songs back to you. How can you not feel great feeling the positive energies from thousands of people all at once? It’s hard being away from home and family, but that comes with the choice you make to be an entertainer.
Q: What do you hope they take away from spending an evening with you and your music?
A: I just want people to have a good time and enjoy a few hours away from whatever might be going on their lives that they could use a little break from. If they relate to something I sing about, even better.
Q: How do you and Blake keep the home fires burning when you have such active, separate careers?
A: Who said it involves fire?
Q: You’ve both won so many major industry awards — any friendly competition for accolades? What keeps you grounded?
A: No one is happier than I am when Blake wins an award, and that includes when we are competing. And he’s my biggest fan. So on the chance that we’re both nominated for the same thing, we just have fun with it.
Q: You’re just 29 and you’ve had such a remarkable career already — where do you see yourself five years from now, personally and professionally? What’s your next big goal?
A: I try not to project too far ahead. What’s happened in my career is so much more awesome than I ever imagined, I’m just trying to enjoy every moment and appreciate it.
Q: What different aspects of your soul are fed through your solo and Pistol Annies careers?
A: I’m not sure. Being able to write songs and have people appreciate and relate to them is just the most amazing job.
Q: What’s your idea of a great day?
A: A great day is when I can be at home the same day Blake is at home and we get to not be in show business for a bit, but just get to do stuff like fishing and playing with the dogs and the most simple things.