The news from back home is not always depressing. I read a piece in yesterday’s paper about a new female Country and Western group, Pistol Annies, and I felt like maybe there was hope for America after all, despite the Republicans.
While most of the guys in Nashville are singing adolescent drivel about their cars and huntin’ and fishin’, at least some of the women, the Pistol Annies in particular, are sticking with the traditional concerns of C&W – bad love, bad luck and bein’ poor.
Good Country and Western speaks directly to me as a writer. In the best of it, the lyrics are as important as the music, and it grabs you just like certain short stories grab you. Only look at the lyrics to Red Dirt Girl by Emmylou Harris or Lucinda Williams’ Car Wheels On A Gravel Road. These songs are intense even when you are just looking at them on the page.
Or take a couple lines from Housewife’s Prayer by Angaleena Presley one of the Pistol Annies. It’s on their new album, Hell on Heels.
All I need is a match and a gallon of gas /
God I’m getting tired /
Gonna set this house on fire.”
Well I’ve been thinking about all these pills I’m taking /
I wash ‘em down with a nice tall beer and the love I ain’t been making,
In an interview on the Taste of Country website, Presley admitted that the line about burning down the house was not a metaphor. At the time she wrote the song, she was going through a divorce and was seriously weighing her options. Over here in France at La Muse, I have my own new personal muse, and her name is Presley, and no, she is no relation to the King but she is a coal miner’s daughter and a damned good writer.