Three of country and Americana music’s most acclaimed females are joining together for what’s sure to be a hotly anticipated new project. Amanda Shires, Brandi Carlile and Margo Price have announced they have formed a new band called the Highwomen.
Nashville’s Tennessean newspaper reports that Shires first revealed the news during an interview with Louisville radio station WFPK on Wednesday (Jan. 9). Shires says she’s written two songs with Carlile, and others with Jim Lauderdale that are earmarked for an album the trio plan to begin recording in March.
Shires first pitched the idea to Carlile.
“We were at (Nashville venue) the Basement for some reason, and I told her about this idea I had called the Highwomen,” she tells WFPK. “And she was like, ‘I love that idea.’ And I was like, ‘I want you to be in it. And I want you to help me run this, because I’m terrible at business, and my voice isn’t as great as yours.'”
They invited Price to join after Carlile agreed to be in on the project. The group’s name is a sly, tongue-in-cheek reference to the Highwaymen, a country supergroup Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson, Waylon Jennings and Kris Kristofferson formed in the 1980s.
Shires is a highly respected singer-songwriter and violin player, and she’s also married to Americana king Jason Isbell. Folk-rock singer Carlile is a critical darling whose latest album, By the Way, I Forgive You is nominated in the all-genre category of Best Album in the 2019 Grammy Awards. Her song “The Joke” is also nominated in the mainstream Record and Song of the Year categories.
Price has been a critical favorite in country music over the last few years based on her acclaimed 2016 debut album, Midwest Farmer’s Daughter, as well as her latest album, All American Made, which she released in October of 2017. She’s nominated for a Grammy, too, in the all-genre field of Best New Artist.
The three women have a very specific vision for the music they want to create collectively.
“What we want to do is play more country music,” Shires says. “So it’ll be more country.”