do you know what's pretty fuckin' great?

By Robbie on June 15, 2012

The Pistol Annies are pretty fuckin' great! This defies all common sense, because the Pistol Annies is the name of a supergroupy kinda project undertaken by a N***ville megastar, Miranda Lambert, and involves N***ville players and producers doing the kind of trailer-trashy swagger and pottymouth cornpone that is the trademark of O**tl*w C**n*ry and B*******t Records....I mean, it's like the deacon farting in his own church, and using his own organist to accompany. The songwriting plays as too tossed-off -- and is actually bad in spots -- but the performances are so good that it doesn't make too much difference, once again illustrating the old saw that it's the singer not the song. If for instance you love hearing George Jones and Melba Montgomery singing "Looking Back To See," or Shania Twain's "No One Needs To Know," then you probably know how to put your inner Allan Bloom on hold while a good groove is going on, and this stuff will make your heart soar.

I don't know who's playing the guitar (having bought the digital files to punch up some solo driving I had to do this week), but I know it's not Buddy Miller, and I know whoever it is loves what Buddy does. It's like Hank Garland to Wes Montgomery -- the second-hand, respectful quality of it proves endearing rather than disabling. Meanwhile, the rhythm section guys should be calling their moms and bragging about how they played here, it's so good. And the producer, whoever he is, is fantastic at organizing rhythmic bits and pieces, devising subtle quirks to distinguish basslines, and directing soloists away from anything remotely like a star turn. Hell on Heels (what the album's called) is put together with meticulous care. But because of that lack of polish in the lyrics, and because of a scattering of outrageous little touches (popping up mostly as songs come to a close), the care isn't in the least obtrusive. Needless to say, the singing, which is female trio, is flawless; but more needful to say, it's spirited -- like this soul feast of a record, which you should buy. (Do I have the People magazine gig now?) 

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12 comments

  1. avatar Anonymous Jones Posted about 14 hours later

    When a deacon farts in his own church, he has to sit in his own pew.

  2. avatar Barry Mazor Posted about 16 hours later

    Guitarists on that one, Robbie, are Randy Scruggs and Richard Bennett, so you make the call! Those are two guys who've probably influenced Buddy along the way..

  3. avatar Barry Mazor Posted about 16 hours later

    full credits:

    Pistol Annies Primary Artist, Vocals, Background Vocals
    Richard Bennett Guitar
    Matt Chamberlain Drums
    Jay Joyce Guitar
    Stuart Mathis Guitar
    Russ Pahl Steel Guitar
    Randy Scruggs Guitar
    Glenn Worf Bass
    Fred Eltringham Drums
    Mike Wrucke Guitar
    Michael Webb Keyboards
    Miranda Lambert Group Member
    Ashley Monroe Group Member
    Josh Grange Guitar
    Angaleena Presley Group Member

    Technical Credits
    Richard Dodd Mastering
    Glenn Worf Producer
    Chuck Ainlay Producer, Engineer, Digital Editing
    Tracy Baskette-Fleaner Art Direction
    Mike Wrucke Producer, Engineer, Digital Editing
    Frank Liddell Producer
    Blake Shelton Composer
    Tammie Harris Cleek Imaging, Photo Production
    Miranda Lambert Composer
    Ashley Monroe Composer
    Judy Forde-Blair Liner Notes, Creative Producer
    Angaleena Presley Composer

  4. avatar Curt Spaeth Posted 2 days later

    I have to agree with Robbie, the Pistol Annies really put out a good album. I hope we hear more from them in the future. It's nice to see Nashville do something right once in a while.

  5. avatar Jack Ordeal Posted 4 days later

    Thanks Robbie. I hadn't heard of it before your post
    and I'm really enjoying it. They get a little too
    glossy on track 4 and it sounds like the
    chipmunks but the rest is pretty fuckin great!
    Great tone and restraint from the band and
    the lady's can flat out sing. Nice to actually
    LIKE a new(ish) country record.

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