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Miranda Lambert gets crazy

By Jeffrey B. Remz, May 2007

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While many artists may grow up in small town, U.S.A. and move to Nashville to get their break or be closer to the action, that's not the case for Lambert, who lives in Lindale when she's off the road.

"That's my only home besides the tour bus."

"That's one of the reasons I moved back there...I want to go home and see my family and my friends. Being on the road all the time, I didn't really feel Nashville was really home because it's not where my family is and not where I grew up."

"I really do like the feel when I go home, I'm not Miranda Lambert at that time. I'm just Miranda, and I kind of recharge my batteries. I can really just be me...because I don't think about the (music) business."

And while she did not pen "Dry Town," Lambert says the song rings true for her because Lindale is dry.

"Thirty miles to the nearest beer store from where I live. It really hit home. I knew I wanted to put it on the record one day. As soon as we started talking about the new one, I found that song again, and I still really loved it. Being a songwriter, I feel it's one of those songs, when I cut someone else's songs, I want to feel like I could have written it, and that's definitely one of those."

The title track - written with Howard, who also was on Nashville Star circa 2003, the same year as Lambert - was the first song from the disc that country radio listeners heard. But the song was never released as the single. It also was not supposed to be such a kick ass song lyrically.

"I write about real situations. Everything in my songs is obviously not true. It's like a movie, a little mini play and one of those fun things...When we play it live, it's sort of become an anthem." Lambert has been playing the song in concert at least since January when she was opening shows for Toby Keith.

"I started writing it as 'Favorite Ex-Girlfriend,' a sort of a sweet song. Then I realized it really wasn't me. I was writing for my own record. I said what about 'Crazy Ex-Girlfriend,' and it changed the whole vibe of the song immediately. It was really fun to write."

The sound of the song also "changed a little bit. We picked it up a couple of notches," says Lambert.

This time around, Lambert also wrote three songs by her lonesome, including the tender country ballad "Love Letters," which she describes as "an old school country song." Lambert indicates she had little choice but to include it - the song was her grandmother's favorite. "This is a song that really shows I have really strong country roots," Lambert says. "It's an old school country song, and I did write it by myself, and that matters a lot to me."

"I think I really opened up a lot more than I did on 'Kerosene.' My fans are ready for that. It is a little scary to throw your emotions out there like that especially when I write the songs by myself. I can't blame it on anybody else. I was really honest and open with 'Kerosene,' and a million people bought it, so that give some faith that they'll hopefully do it for this album as well."

As for writing solo or with others, Lambert doesn't care. "I like to do both ways. I don't ever want to use co-writing as a crutch. I always want to be able to write by myself. I try to do it as much as I can."

"I don't think it happens near enough any more like it used to. Everybody co-writes. In Nashville, it's the kind of way people do things."

"It's a personal goal of mine to always write by myself and as well as (have) co-writers. I don't do it with strangers or just make appointments and go into a room with people I have never met. I really like to write with people I've had relationships with."

"You don't want to give someone you don't know your best ideas. You don't want to throw out your most raw emotions to someone you don't know."

Lambert closes the disc with "Easy From Now On," with Emmylou Harris' version the touchstone for Lambert. The song is about a woman going on her own without a man.

"I'm just a huge huge fan of Emmylou Harris and always have been. That was one of my favorite songs of hers. At the last minute, I told my producer Frank, 'what do you think about cutting this song?'...He was like, 'might as well. Let's see how it turns out.' It's really scary to cut a song. People always say if you cover an artist, you better do it better than the original, or don't do it at all."

"The song really really speaks to me as an artist. I feel I portray that in my version of it. It's still nerve-wracking to have someone that's one of your heroes and cover one of their songs. I don't think that feeling will ever go away."

"It just got a good message. It's being a strong woman. It's right in the title I feel she sort of realizes the situation the girl in the song and stuck with it and moved on. Plus it's just a beautiful song."

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