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between two hills. This Annie is the upfront gal who is unafraid to speak her mind. Says Miranda: “She makes our group unique.” Unlike most groups, the Pistol Annies were first solo artists and


songwriters before they became band mates. Ashley Monroe knew at a very young age that music was her calling. When her father died unexpectedly, Ashley took charge, insisting that the family move to Nashville where the fifteen year old planned to write songs to pay the bills. Even at fifteen she had a voice and talent that commanded notice. Country star Vince Gill heard the teenager sing and asked her to join him for breakfast to discuss her music and career. Ashley quickly agreed, but when Gill called the next morning, there was a small problem. At fifteen, the child had neither a car nor a driver’s license! The two subsequently became friends, with Vince taking on the role of mentor to the young artist. A talented songwriter, Ashley co-wrote two songs on Gill’s most recent album GUITAR SLINGER, including the heartfelt If I Die and Who Wouldn’t Fall In Love With You. Ashley currently has a solo album of her own in preparation, anticipated for a spring 2013 release, with Vince Gill producing. Miranda Lambert began performing at rowdy Texas bars and


festivals while still a teenager, writing and performing many of her own songs. She rose to fame in 2003 as a finalist in the Nashville Star singing competition, and was signed to Epic Records when the competition ended. Since that time, Lambert has released four albums, all achieving platinum sales status. She is the reigning Female Vocalist of the Year for both the Country Music Association and the Academy of Country Music. Her most recent 2011 album release, FOUR THE RECORD, was named Album of the Year by the Academy of Country Music. In 2010, Miranda was awarded a Grammy for Best Female Country Vocal Performance for The House That Built Me. Growing up in eastern Kentucky, Angaleena Presley would


occasionally skip school to play her guitar and dream. She would dream of Loretta Lynn whose hometown could be found twenty- five minutes from where Holler Annie was raised. Like Loretta, Angaleena is a coal miner’s daughter and proud of her hillbilly heritage. She is also a singer-songwriter. When Presley moved to Nashville ten years ago, her goal was to write songs for others.


36 Maverick


Once in the studio, however, she discovered that she loved to perform as well. Angaleena has a solo album near completion, produced by Frank Liddell and Mike Wrucke, the same team that produced HELL ON HEELS. She continues to be very active in the songwriting community and recently signed her first ‘big girl’ publishing deal with EMI Music Publishing. All three of the artists feel that their solo careers are important


to the future of the Pistol Annies, bringing fresh energy and personality, as well as new ideas to the band. Miranda’s individual efforts have had an even more direct and measurable impact on the Annies. The trio have played as the opening act on several of her recent solo tour dates, encouraging a large and loyal Lambert fan base to become fans of the fun loving, straight shooting Pistol Annies as well. The Annies embark on their first headlining tour, a string of several dates across the United States, in September 2012. From the tour bus the Pistol Annies will head directly to the


recording studio to work on their second, yet untitled album. The girls promise more of the same—good, honest music sung from the heart. There are at least ten songs already set aside for the record, and more on the way. While the inspiration is there and the juices are flowing, the trio plan to keep writing. During their last weekend session, the team quickly churned out four new songs. While no specifics are available, the Annies did say that the new album will likely draw on the experiences of the last two years with songs that reference life on the road and that describe the evolution of the band since the beginning. With a November recording session planned, a spring 2013 album release is anticipated. When they talk about the future of the band, the Pistol Annies


are clear. Sure they want to be big; make that huge. They’d like to front a multiple bus and truck tour and play to arenas. That could happen, but maybe it won’t. More importantly, they’d like to focus on the present, to continue having fun while they make music and fans. They’d like to focus on each other as girlfriends and songwriters who delight and inspire. They’d like to build stories and create memories for that time many years from now when the Granny Annies rock and roll together on the porch, pistols at the ready. Holley Dey


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