I don’t usually post multiple New Music Friday posts about the same band let alone two posts in a row (though not two weeks since I missed last week while I was at the Newport Folk Festival actually listening to The Highwomen perform). I’m not super inspired by the couple of new songs that are not by The Highwomen, so I’m going to continue to share my love and excitement about this super group. I said it in my post about Newport and I’ll say it again here after seeing them perform at the Newport Folk Festival I am now ready to pay any amount of money and travel anywhere to see them again at what I’m sure will be a very limited tour when their album comes out in September. Somehow I feel like this is going to wind up with my trying to justify going to Nashville twice in the span of a year since I’m already meeting a friend there to see Brandi Carlile play at the Ryman in January.
Anyway, on with the music. Last Friday, The Highwomen released the second single from their forthcoming album, “Crowded Table”. Like their first single, “Redesigning Women”, this song was also penned by Natalie Hemby along with Lori McKenna. As they talked about during their Newport set it’s about making room for everyone. Right now in music, especially country music it can seem like a zero sum game in which instead of supporting other female artists you have to fight with them because there’s only so many slots the music industry will give them. This song is about doing the opposite of that and trying to make room for everyone at the table.
Today they also released a 100% Stevie Nicks approved (she shared it in InstaStories last night and it was super fun to watch all The Highwomen freak out about it) cover of Fleetwood Mac’s “The Chain”. Brandi has been covering this song in her live sets for years and it’s always been one of my favorite covers of hers. Now adding in the harmonies from the rest of The Highwomen plus Jason Isbell on the guitar just makes it that much better.
I’m refraining from posting a video the song I really want to share. If you don’t actually know who The Highwomen are it’s a country super group composed of Amanda Shires, Brandi Carlile, Maren Morris, and Natalie Hemby. Their name is a take off of the 80’s and 90’s country super group The Highwaymen composed of Willie Nelson, Waylon Jennings, Johnny Cash, and Kris Kristofferson. They had a song called “The Highwayman”, which The Highwomen have written updated lyrics for. I had never heard the original until this week and it does not even hold a candle to amazing harmonies coming from The Highwomen on their version of the song. They started their set at Newport with it and it might be my favorite song from the album. They haven’t released an official version of it yet, but there are definitely some videos of it from Newport floating around out there. I am Dr. Jekyl and Mr. Hyde about cell phone videos at concerts. I never take them and generally want to throw away everyone’s phones when I’m at concerts. I’ve spent more shows staring at the stage through someone else’s cell phone than I care to mention, and it annoys me to no end. On the other hand I have certainly been happy to watch people’s videos after the fact to either relive some favorite moments of shows I’ve been at like re-listening to this song or to see amazing moments from concerts I wasn’t at, but I’m sure someone’s cell phone video is not really how they first wanted to share that song with the world. So I’m refraining from posting it, but you know if you really want to hear it I can’t stop you from using a little Google.