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HomeEF CountryWatch or Read as Miranda Lambert Talks to Kelleigh Bannen About New...

Watch or Read as Miranda Lambert Talks to Kelleigh Bannen About New Album ‘Palomino’

Miranda Lambert chats with Kelleigh Bannen about the release of ‘Palomino,’ how the idea for this “traveling” album came to be. They discuss the writing process for specific tracks, taking time away from touring during the pandemic to get fresh ideas, and much more.

Tune in and listen to the episode in-full this Monday (May 2nd) at 11am LA / 1pm Nashville / 2pm NYC or anytime on-demand at apple.co/_KelleighBannen.

Miranda Lambert on the 36 Different Places Visited on ‘Palomino’
This record goes from the east coast to the west coast. It goes to 36 places. It’s a physical journey. We started with “The Tourist.” That’s what we wrote first, and then we wrote “Scenes” next. And between those two songs, the person on the journey was meeting all these people, taking a road trip out west. And so we started chasing that. We actually looked at maps on our phone, like, okay. I was like, “We haven’t been to Nashville yet.” So we wrote “Music City Queen.” And Luke [Dick]’s like, “We need to do some northeast stuff, because we haven’t,” so we wrote “Pursuit of Happiness,” where we start in Maine and go down to New York and the Carolinas… And I’ve never written with that much purpose.

Miranda Lambert on Why She Needs to Get Bored More Often to Better Her Writing
I realize how much better [of a songwriter] I am when I just… I need to get a little bit bored… and I’m not good at that. I need to just go brush my Great white Pyrenees for two hours at my farm, and that’s it. Without my phone. And then I’ll be like, “Oh, my gosh.” My husband will be like, “How was your day?” I’m like, “I had the best day.” Like, “What’d you do?” I was like, “Brush the dog for two hours.” And he was like, “That’s awesome.”… Just because you don’t stop enough, and my brain… You’re creative and you’re in business as a woman, and your brain just doesn’t stop.

Miranda Lambert on Visiting KOA Campsites with Her Husband During the Pandemic
KELLEIGH: There is a part of me that’s like I want the diary entries from the people that are at the KOA and are like, “Is that Miranda Lambert staying here?” Were you bumping into folks and like-
MIRANDA: I do get recognized at first, but sometimes, sometimes not, which it doesn’t matter in those moments, because it just is like kindred spirit people. You know what I mean? Brenden and I were at this campground in West Virginia, and it was beautiful. It was a KOA, and we were parked, whatever, got our camp set up, and this truck and trailer pulls in right next to us, and it was the exact same truck and exact same camper. It was a 2020 Globetrotter. And I was like, “Who are they?” I was like Mrs. Kravitz looking out the blinds. I’m like, “Who’s pulling up next to us?” We ended up making friends with them… They were some really sweet people doing the same thing we were doing, and they had the same like, “How do you work your TV? How do y’all work your stove?” So we ended up talking and being friends. And everybody that has this bug in them, you’re meeting at these places, and I think it’s beautiful because it’s places I never would go to work, or in any other capacity, I would never be in a situation like that where you just go find some new friends around a campfire from wherever and maybe never see them again.

Miranda Lambert on Writing “Country Money” and Deciphering Its Characters
I’ve seen from the dashboard of my bus every farm from New York to Tucumcari. I’ve seen miles and miles of cornrows and potato fields, and I respect it. I grew up on a farm and it wasn’t for money. My dad wanted to show us how to live off the land. But I respect it so much, and it’s hard work. And it’s your money is in your soil and your crop. And that’s what I feel like my money’s in, because I’m still sowing my seed. That’s what I’m doing, too, just in a different way. It’s not on a tractor. And so it’s just a fun way to say it. And in my mind, because you know these people, I pictured like Ashley McBryde getting out of her F350 with her boots, and she’s Connie Johnson in my mind as we’re writing it. Caylee Hammack is Carol Jean, the chicken egg queen. And then The Pistol Annies are the Carter Sisters with the good corn liquor. And as we were writing this song, I’m like, “I can see it all playing out in my head.”

Kelleigh Bannen & Miranda Lambert
Credit: Apple Music

Miranda Lambert on Writing “Geraldene”
Funny enough is I just had that title, because I was watching ‘Heartworn Highways.’ Like a million times I watched it, and in that movie, Townes’ dog is named Geraldene. He’s like, “This is my dog Geraldene,” and he’s showing the camera around his chicken coop or whatever. And Geraldene is his German Shepherd. And I was like, “That’s a cool name.” So we were writing in Marfa [,Texas]. This was the right trip where we actually decided to put out ‘The Marfa Tapes.’ But I’m with Jack [Ingram] and him and John Randall on a picnic blanket in Marfa and I’m like, “What about Geraldene? That’s the song title. Who’s she? Let’s write something about her.” 
We’re like, “Okay.” So we start. John picks up his guitar and instant magic happens, because it’s John. But something… I don’t know where it went awry, but John and Jack got in a huge fight. One of them wanted Geraldene to be one person and one wanted her to be somebody else, and wherever we were chasing with this song. And I just was like, I got up, walked in, made a drink, a sandwich. I was eating some pickles, watching out the window going, “They are still just arguing and bickering in the yard.”
Probably 15 minutes goes by, and I walk back out there and I bring two beers and I was like, “Everyone should calm down. What are we fighting about? This should not be hard. Her name’s Geraldene, guys.” And so we finally landed on who she is, and she is a little bit of everyone that we either kind of envied and also hated.

Miranda Lambert on the Character in “Carousel”
She’s in love with Harlan Giovanni, who’s a trapeze artist. What’s not romantic about flying through the air? And how do you not think about that when you take your stroller to the fair and hear these noises and smell the cotton candy. I think it was just a mix of Luke [Dick] was just playing his guitar. We didn’t have any tracks going or anything, and there were string lights. I leave string lights up all the time on this little porch at the farm, because I’m redneck… And it was just the string lights and there was crickets. And in fact, that’s a recording off of our voice note at the beginning of the song of just… the crickets were going crazy and the frogs, because it was summer. And all of us knew. Me and Natalie [Hemby] and Luke were staring at each other’s eyes the whole time. We’re like, “Oh, this is one of those songs and those stories.” And it was just so emotional writing it, this beautiful woman who lived in this crazy life with this sequins and then just put it in a cedar chest forever. And now she’s a soccer mom and loving that, too.

Miranda Lambert on Whether or Not She’ll Ever Be Able to Perform “Carousel”
That’s one of those songs that I feel like… I think [Luke Dick and Natalie Hemby] would say this, too. We were really lucky to pull that. I mean, that found us. It came down out of the sky and we were lucky enough to catch it. I mean, it was one of those, wow. I mean, I don’t even know if I’ll ever be able to sing it live for a long time just because it just wrecks me for this character, the narrator, the whole story, because it is very close to home.

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