As I sit writing this week’s post I am truly relishing my quiet surroundings. Most of us long for those moments when we can be alone and enjoy peace and quiet. My wife says that I enjoy alone time more than the average person, and I tend to agree. However, the normal person also looks forward to those social moments when we interact with other people. Sometimes family members, sometimes friends and associates, whatever the case we long to be surrounded by other human beings. On the other end of the spectrum are those who enjoy moments in the spotlight. Entertainers usually are in this category as our featured artist this week Miranda Lambert. Nevertheless, even though entertainers enjoy performing in front of thousands of people at a time, there are still times that they do enjoy being in a quiet place. In Lambert’s case, she finds quiet times in her home of Tishomingo, Oklahoma, the county seat of Johnston County, Oklahoma with a population a little over 3,000.
When you really think about it, we are not that different from superstar artists when we also seek quiet times. The thirty year old 2014 Country Music Entertainer of the Year is certainly at the top of the industry. Since her start well over ten years ago, Lambert has steadily climbed to the top of the charts with songs that touch the hearts of her ever growing fan base.
Born November 10, 1983, Miranda Lambert was raised in Lindale, Texas by private investigator parents. While still in high school, Lambert made her professional singing debut with “The Texas Pride Band.” In 2003 she auditioned for the talent competition Nashville Star, where she earned a third-place finish. As a result of her showing in the competition, she signed with Epic Records. Her debut single, “Me and Charlie Talking” (co-written by her father and Heather Little), was released in summer of 2004 as the lead-off single to her debut album. Titled Kerosene, Lambert’s first album comprised twelve songs, eleven of which she co-wrote. The album debuted at number one on the Billboard Top Country Albums charts, and eventually gained a Platinum certification by the RIAA for shipments of over one million copies.
In preparation for this post, I listened to a lot of Miranda Lambert’s music again. Even though I was very familiar with her music, I wanted to acquire a better understanding of the content her songs. An interview with CBS Sunday Morning earlier this month opened my eyes to Miranda Lambert the person. One thing she mentioned as she explained a tattoo on her arm of two guns with wings was that the tattoo was a description of her personality; a little tough and a little tender. This explained her appeal to her fans. Lambert as a young star had the persona of a rock star at times, but appeared just tender enough to appeal to the older country music audience. Of course, overall changes in country music were occurring simultaneously with Miranda Lambert’s debut and rise up the charts. With artists like Taylor Swift, Rascal Flatts, Carrie Underwood and Lambert emerging, country music is as big as ever.
Going back to Lambert’s songwriting, she explained why her earlier material had such a harder edge than most country music. In the Sunday morning interview, Miranda Lambert told of her childhood with private investigator parents as a big songwriting influence. She stated that she saw a lot of domestic violence victims, which affected her sensibilities and provided fuel for songs that gave voice and empowered the victims.
Things are changing for Miranda Lambert as she crossed a life milestone in turning thirty years old. In addition she has gained a different viewpoint of life. Lambert is now married to fellow country music star Blake Shelton, and well into her music and songwriting career. In fact, earlier this month Lambert released her fifth studio album Platinum. As I listened I knew right away it would be special. In fact, Platinum opened its first week as number one on the Billboard 200 Album chart. The music critics enjoyed the album as well. At Rolling Stone, Will Hermes rated the album four stars out of five, remarking how the album gives evidence to Lambert’s climb to the top ranks of country music’s echelon “by singing top-shelf songs in the voice of a woman getting real.” In addition, Hermes compared listening to Lambert’s music as “eavesdropping in a hair salon.” Alex Macpherson of The Guardian rated the album four stars out of five, stating how the release shows an artist “swaggering righteously like the Partonesque country superstar [that] she is”, and according to him Lambert “isn’t done rebelling.” What this means is Miranda Lambert’s name will be a part of more households, and she and husband Blake Shelton will be targeted much more in the tabloids. Lookout folks!
As her moments in the limelight increase, I’m sure Miranda Lambert will enjoy her quiet moments; most likely in a quiet place like her home in Tishomingo. It really seems like a great contrast to the glamorous and very busy world of country music stardom.