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Even though she’s now living in Tennessee, Miranda Lambert will always be “Texas as Hell.”

BARN people are STABLE people. #mychurch #gypsyvanner #welchcob #texas #tennessee #homestates

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That’s the title of this song taken from Miranda’s self-titled, independent album released prior to her hitting the national scene as a contestant on the music competition show “Nashville Star” in 2003.


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According to the label printed on the CD, Miranda is the sole writer on “Texas as Hell,” and you can tell the fiery attitude that inspired her hits “Kerosene” and “Fastest Girl in Town” was already in place at this early stage.

The song starts out with the chorus, “I’m Texas as hell, mean and ornery/ I don’t need no loudmouth comin’ on to me.”

It’s a brave man who would dare walk up to this woman to hit on her in the honky-tonk. Those lyrics describe one tough cookie who isn’t going to suffer any fools.

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Looking through the rest of the songs on Miranda’s early album, every one of them is either written solely by Miranda or co-written with her father, Rick Lambert. This album is the product of a trip Rick and Miranda took to Nashville when she was just a teenager. They were looking to record a few songs in hopes of launching Miranda’s music career. The songs they found were in step with the pop-country style dominant in the mid-’90s, and Miranda hated them.

After a tearful conversation with her dad, Miranda decided she was going to work to make music on her own terms. “Texas as Hell” marks the beginning of that journey that led to her current masterpiece, “The Weight of These Wings.” Keeping in mind she started with “Texas as Hell,” listen to this track, “Use My Heart,” from Miranda’s latest offering.

Her songwriting has gotten a lot more nuanced and original, but Miranda’s Texas spirit remains fully intact.

Hunter Kelly is a senior correspondent for Rare Country. Follow him on Twitter @Hunterkelly.
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