The Highwomen, the newly debuted female-fronted crusade composed of Maren Morris, Brandi Carlile, Amanda Shires, and Natalie Hemby, graced SiriusXM Studios, NYC with an afternoon of music and stories yesterday (July 31). “It’s a movement. And it’s a humble movement. It’s one that we’re inviting everyone to be apart of; you’re all Highwomen. Even you guys,” Carlile said with a wink, establishing a lighthearted, welcoming vibe in the room.
Upon introduction, the girls reset history and honed in on their beginnings. “It started with Amanda Shires coming up to me backstage at the Basement East with a drink and saying, “You know, I want to start a band with you called The Highwomen,” Carlile tells. Shortly after, Morris received a phone call from Carlile. “I was doing Jimmy Fallon performing “Girl” because it was my album release week back in March, and Brandi Carlile called me and was like, “Do you want to be a Highwomen?” And I was like, “I’m releasing a record tomorrow but yeah! Sure,” I didn’t skip a beat.” Hemby adds, “We got married first and then got to know each other.”
The all-female country supergroup synchronically blended their bona fide, harmonious vocals in “Redesigning Women” to kick off their performance. They sang about the expectations and double standards placed on women by society. When asked how many clichés did not make it into the song, Hemby responded with, “A lot. There’s thousands of them. I just wanted to pick the best universal ones, anything that has to do with shoes.”
“Redesigning Women” was then followed up by the powerhouses second debuted single from the highly anticipated self-titled album out on September 6th. “Crowded Table,” described by Hemby is a “song I wrote before I actually made the band, and I wrote it with my dear friend Lori McKenna. We wrote the song in about 30 minutes, and then I took the song to Brandi and she changed and made some things better. We wanted to write a song about women supporting women; people supporting people really.”
The girls continued their performance with other songs off of their up-and-coming album such as “Highwomen” which pays homage to The HighwayMen; an outlaw country supergroup of Willie Nelson, Johnny Cash, Waylon Jennings, and Kris Kristofferson. “Their band was a concept, it was more than just a combination of men. They were ghosts, if you will, reincarnated. They had died over the course of history and had met together on the astral plane, so that was very mystical and I loved that about them. But also, they’re the pillars of our community, they’re tireless activists, amazing fathers, husbands, and leaders, and we’re proud to be associated with them in any way,” Carlile confesses. The performance finished up with “If She Ever Leaves Me” as Jason Isbell, a member of the backing band stated, “an openly gay song where the writer admits it’s a gay song,” and “My Only Child” a sentimental letter to a child who will forever be an only child.
Country music has been struck by a force of nature; The Highwomen and this is a movement that will make history.
“Redesigning Women” and “Crowded Table” are now available everywhere you buy or stream music. Take a listen below and check out more new recently released music here on our ‘New Country Music’ playlist. Be sure to give the playlist a follow for your weekly new country music fix.
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