This is an album that's had my interest piqued for a minute now, ever since it was being teased. There are a few reasons for that, the first being the all-star lineup performing on this album. First is Jon Randall, a man who's been writing and producing for numerous artists all throughout Nashville, from legends like Dwight Yoakum and Reba McEntire, Texas stars like Pat Green and Parker McCollum, and today's superstars like Dierks Bentley, Maren Morris, and Miranda Lambert. Then there's Jack Ingram who is a legend in the Texas Country circuit. He's been writing and recording music for almost 25 years now and, at one point, was probably gonna be country's next huge star after signing to Big Machine Records and dropping some great singles. Most notably the songs Wherever You Are and Barefoot and Crazy, both of which were huge hits on Country Radio in the mid to late 2000s but even before that, he had been killing it in the Texas circuit for years and I still believe that Hey You is one of the best Texas Country albums ever released. After he and Big Machine parted ways, he went 6 years without new music which eventually led to Midnight Motel which might be his best songwriting probably ever. His lyrics and storytelling all over the album are insanely solid. Whether it's the catchy and hell-raising I'm Drinking Through It or the hilarious Blaine's Ferris Wheel, this album was a solid return to form for Ingram.
And then there's Miranda Lambert who I'm pretty sure is the reason everyone is going to listen to this album. I know some people reading this might not completely know Miranda but I want to be the first to tell you, she's way more than just the girl who used to be married to Blake Shelton. After bursting onto the scene in 2005, she's gone on to pen some of the genre's defining breakup and revenge songs with Gunpowder & Lead, White Liar, and of course, Mama's Broken Heart. After splitting up with Shelton in 2015, she dropped the double album The Weight of These Wings a year after which was easily her most personal and stripped-back album to date and it also brought Ingram and Randall into the fold for writing. And that double album is partly the reason we have this album here with us. In 2015, the three of them spent a weekend in Marfa, Texas and were just blown away by its beauty and how inspired it made them so they kept returning and kept writing songs.
|(From L to R): Jon Randall, Jack Ingram, and Miranda Lambert photographed in Marfa, Tx during the recording of the album.|
I don't like it when you disappear
I don't like being away from you
I don't like it when you're not here
I've got enough gasoline, memories and nicotine
Freedom's ovеrrated, guess I underеstimated the truth