Above: Miranda Lambert performs at the Academy of Country Music Awards April 18 in Las Vegas. Below left, Lambert walks the ACM Awards orange carpet in her low-cut metallic sapphire Pamella Roland gown. (Associated Press photos) Below right: The singer-songwriter, a Texas native who now lives in Tishomingo, and her country star beau Blake Shelton show off the big paddlefish she caught on Hudson Lake in northeastern Oklahoma. (Photo by Jim Edwards/Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation)
From Friday’s Weekend Look section of The Oklahoman.
Miranda Lambert riding success as headlining tour heads to Stillwater
Whether striking an awards show pose in a dazzling cleavage-baring gown or cruising an Oklahoma lake in camouflage overalls, country girl Miranda Lambert knows how to haul in the big catches.
At the April 18 Academy of Country Music Awards, the star singer-songwriter personified Vegas glitz with her orange carpet arrival in a low-cut metallic sapphire Pamella Roland gown. The blond spitfire not only joined pal Carrie Underwood, Brad Paisley and rock legend John Fogerty in belting out “Travelin’ Band” during the show’s rollicking opening number, she stayed in the spotlight by performing solo and snagging three trophies.
Less than a week earlier, Lambert, a Texas native who now lives in Tishomingo, snared a massive paddlefish on Hudson Lake in northeastern Oklahoma, where her beau and fellow country singer Blake Shelton set a new lake record with his 40-pound catch on the same fishing expedition.
“There’s part of me that’s a tomboy. There’s a part of me that’s a girly-girl, too, though. But I think I can fit in with the guys,” Lambert said in a phone interview between the two big outings from Florence, Ariz., where she played the Country Thunder festival.
“We love to be outdoors, we love hunting and fishing and riding four-wheelers and just being down-to-earth and being home. … Definitely fishing and hunting are something that Blake and I share together.”
Since March, Lambert has been taking the different facets of her colorful personality, along with a revolving stable of country boys, on the road for her “Roadside Bars & Pink Guitars” tour. Her first headlining trek comes to Stillwater’s Tumbleweed Dance Hall Saturday night for the final night of the venue’s 19th annual Calf Fry.
“We’ve really changed our show. We’re doing an acoustic portion, we’re doing some new songs and some new cover songs, and just really kind of amped it up since we knew it was our headlining tour. I’m happier than ever to be out on the road, and I think it shows. So I think people’ll have a good time,” Lambert said.
After touring with country superstars like Paisley and Kenny Chesney, the singer-songwriter felt ready to step into the headliner role in support of her critically acclaimed third album “Revolution.”
“It was a little scary at first ‘cause I wasn’t sure how the turnout was going to be, and … it was like the pressure’s all on us now. But it’s been awesome,” she said.
“It kind of shows that you’re moving up a level. We’ve been out for five years now on other people’s tours and it’s just nice to be able to like put to the test everything we’ve learned and do it on our own.”
Since she has opened for so many superstar men in the course of her career, Lambert, 26, recruited a pack of talented country guys to take turns warming up her crowds. Among her openers are Oklahoma-Texas band Cross Canadian Ragweed, James Otto, David Nail, Randy Houser, Eric Church, Jake Owen, Luke Bryan and Chris Young. Fellow Texas native Wade Bowen will open her Calf Fry show, while Ragweed will headline the “Testicle Festival” tonight.
“There’s a bunch of great male acts, and I just thought it would be a cool dynamic,” she said. “I think a lot of guys are more likely to come see guys and the girls are more likely to come see a girl. … I love the music of all the guys that are out with us.”
With her recent successes, Lambert has become a key player in a shifting dynamic in country music. She recently notched her first No. 1 single with the wily cheating song “White Liar,” and she is set to play both the huge Bonnaroo Music Festival and Lilith Fair this year.
Along with Shelton, Bryan and trio Lady Antebellum, she represents a new generation of country stars who maintain close friendships even as they vie for chart position. These young guns dominated the ACM Awards. cheering each other to victory in several categories.
The members of Lady A, who befriended Lambert last summer on Chesney’s tour, said in interviews they were rooting for their pal’s “Revolution” to win album of the year over their own self-titled debut. The trio traveled last year to Tishomingo for a songwriting confab with Shelton and Lambert, which yielded Lambert’s “Revolution” cut “Love Song.”
Along with the album of the year title, Lambert also earned top female vocalist and video of the year for “White Liar.” Rotating tender ballads and feisty anthems, “Revolution” became her second ACM album of the year; she won the trophy in 2008 with “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend.”
“It’s really nerve wracking every time you put out an album because you’re just hoping that people love it as much as you do. ‘Revolution’ really I took a lot of time off and stayed at the farm and wrote for the record and took a lot of time and concentrated on what I wanted to say. So this is the thing I’m most proud of musically,” she said.
“It really is a part of who I am. You know, I’m very honest in this record and in my music period. So I feel like when people accept that, they accept me.”
19th Annual Calf Fry featuring Miranda Lambert
With: Cross Canadian Ragweed, Wade Bowen, Bellamy Brothers and more.
When: 8 tonight and 7:30 p.m. Saturday. Lambert plays at 10:30 p.m. Saturday.
Where: Tumbleweed Dance Hall, Lakeview and Country Club roads, Stillwater.
Information: (405) 377-0075 or www.calffry.com.