REVIEW: Pistol Annies “Interstate Gospel” is Irreverant, Real, Timely Top Notch Songwriting


Pistol Annies (Miranda Lambert, Ashley Monroe, and Angeleena Presley) new release Interstate Gospel (Sony Music Nashville) is out today.  The harmony singer-songwriters have musical accompaniment by Frank Carter Rische, Fats Kaplin, Angaleena Presley on acoustic guitars,  Glenn Worf on bass, Dan Dugmore on dobro and wurlitzer, steel guitar, piano and electric guitars, Fats Kaplin on fiddle and steel guitar, Matt Chamberlain on drums, Frank Carter Rische on electric guitar, Chris Coleman on brass and Chuck Leavell on piano on this project.

This album features entwining three-part harmonies and crafted songs that deliver the truth about life, screwing up, and being betrayed over sparse uncluttered acoustic instruments. An example of the songwriting is in”Best Years Of My Life”: “I was looking forward to staying here forever because you asked me to… didn’t think I could do better so I settled down in this ten cent town, it’s about to break me.  He don’t love me but he ain’t gone yet; these are the best years of my life.”  Lyrics with this degree of blunt wry hopelessness continue without any trace of sentimentality.  On “5 Acres of Turnips,” we have “generations of shame in my grandaddy’s name and a “tear in the screen door letting the flies in.”  “When I Was His Wife,” is a first (or perhaps second?) wife’s commentary to the next wife with the refrain:  “‘He’d never cheat, he’d never lie, he’ll love me forever til the day that we die’ — I said that too when I was his wife.”

The entire album is a welcome dose of truth in a musical world that sometimes likes to tell us lies to keep us happy.  There’s something so welcome and timely about three women creating this album, in the current climate where women are identifying deep difficult cultural fragments.

Interstate Gospel  was recorded by Eric Masse at Southern Ground and The Casino with some additional Recording by Paul Hornsby at Muscadine Recording Studios, and mixed by Eric Masse at The Casino.  Run, don’t walk, to get your copy here:

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