Angaleena Presley Talks Pistol Annies, Shares Songwriting Stories
An early look at our piece on Miranda Lambert's trio, which was named a favorite act by readers in the June 'Best of the West' issue.
The Pistol Annies (L-R): Angaleena Presley, Miranda Lambert, and Ashley Monroe.
Photo by Randee St. Nicholas/Courtesy Sony Music
The readers have spoken in C&I’s June “Best of the West” issue, and one of their favorite country music acts is Miranda Lambert’s trio, the Pistol Annies. Lambert’s joined by singer-songwriters Angaleena Presley and Ashley Monroe in the group, which released its debut album last year.
Associate website editor Hunter Hauk writes in the new issue (hitting newsstands April 17) that the self-titled Annies record features “down-home dioramas and vivid characters rife with Southern-gothic potential.” He also chats with Presley, who’s dubbed “Holler Annie" in honor of her Kentucky roots. Check out some extra goodies from the interview with Presley:
In the Pistol Annies song “Lemon Drop,” Angaleena Presley sings about securing her car’s dangling muffler with a guitar string. That actually happened to the singer and real-life Kentucky coal miner’s daughter years ago, on her home state’s barren Bert T. Combs Mountain Parkway.
“My muffler was literally dragging the ground, but still attached,” Presley told us in her unaffected Southern drawl. “So I just thought about it, clipped a string off my guitar, got down there and tied that sucker up.”
“I’d grown up as my dad’s little helper. So I’m pretty handy around the house. He’d taught me how to fix things, make something out of nothing, solve problems.”
Another of Presley’s lead-vocal and lyrical contributions to the Pistol Annies’ album is “The Hunter’s Wife,” a honky-tonk-worthy anthem inspired by her gun-toting uncle and his bride. “I’m sick of squirrel gravy and I’m sick of coon stew,” she sings, a few lines before the other Annies join her for the chorus.
“I wrote that song about my uncle, who’s a coon hunter. He spends thousands of dollars on his pen and his coon dogs.
“My aunt was always like, ‘Your uncle, I haven’t seen him in a week. He loves those coons more than he loves me’,” Presley quipped. “My aunt Lola, she’s feisty.”
More from Angaleena
On comparing the members of Pistol Annies to the three lead characters in the movie, 9 to 5: “I feel like I’m the Lily Tomlin character, because she’s the brunette and comes up with all these schemes and plans. Miranda is like [Dolly Parton's character] DoraLee, because she’s a pistol and she’s a gun packing mama who will change you from a rooster to a hen in one shot. And sweet lil Ashley’s like ol’ Judy Burnley. Please hold! [Laughs.] She’s neutral and hippie – free-lovin’.”
On her musical hero, Loretta Lynn: “I haven’t met her. I don’t know if I am supposed to. I have her on this pedestal. I grew up singing her songs, and me and my mom used to do dishes to her records. We had a record player in the kitchen. I used to skip school and go to Butcher Hollow [pronounced ‘Holler’] and write in my journal, ‘Oh Loretta, I wanna be just like you.’”
On making time for her solo career: “I’m kind of a jack of all trades. I’m writing a bunch on Music Row. I have a record that’s finished and in the works. Hopefully I’ll have one out this year. I want to do it all.”
Read more about the Pistol Annies in the June issue of C&I.