Long before Miranda Lambert invited Maren Morris to join her for part of Lambert's Roadside Bars and Pink Guitars Tour and long before Lambert asked Morris to sing with her on "Way Too Pretty for Prison," Lambert knew Morris was destined to be a star. Lambert watched Morris make a name for herself in their native Texas, and saw something in Morris that was special.
"She's from Texas too, probably about 45 minutes from where I'm from," Morris told Zane Lowe on Apple Music's Beats 1. "I've known about her for a long time. I've met her at little fairs, and festivals, along the way when she was a lot younger, and so was I. Both trying to come up on the scene, or whatever the scene was, whatever Oktoberfest we could find to play in east Texas. I just always knew she was special, and around town, and coming to Nashville, and doing the thing.
"Then I saw her a few times at a few clubs, but I got her EP, and I knew," Lambert continued. "I was like, 'She's ... she's the next one.' She just has something special. She's brave, but she's kind of aloof about it. She just does her thing. She's an amazing singer."
It was because of Morris' talent as much as her attitude that Lambert knew she would be perfect on "Way Too Pretty for Prison," from Lambert's latest Wildcard album.
"I just thought it was fun," Lambert said. "I instantly thought of Maren because she has some of those songs with those tendencies on her own records, and, you know, we're two Texas girls, why not sing a song about maybe, possibly killing someone that deserves it? It's all in fantasy on country songs anyway."
It was Lambert's love of strong female singers and songwriters that led her to form the Pistol Annies, with Angaleena Presley and Ashley Monroe.
"It was almost a decade ago now," Lambert reflected. "We've been doing that for a long time and now there's traction and, the conversation should be over at this point. And I think it's getting there. I mean, these were two amazing female writers that were really cool and I wanted to be in a band with them because I want to be around people that are better than me, so I can get better. And these girls could write and sing circles around me, so I was like, 'Can we be in a band?'"
"It's been so fun," she added. "And it's also such freedom because there's not necessarily album cycle, which that's going away I realize now, but it was like whenever we feel it, let's get together and spend three days in the mountains somewhere and come out with a record."
Photo Credit: Getty / Jeff Kravitz