We seem to be in a bit of a golden age for country-leaning supergroups of women. Fans of the Pistol Annies and even boygenius will no doubt be delighted to hear that Maren Morris, Brandi Carlile, Amanda Shires and Natalie Hemby have combined forces to create a delightful country pun-as-band name in The Highwomen.
They recently shared their first single, the campfire singalong/rallying cry “Redesigning Women,” announcing that their debut album will be out on September 6. The album’s roster is filled out with even more huge names in country music. Everyone from legends like Tanya Tucker and Sheryl Crow on down to beloved contemporaries like Miranda Lambert, Lori McKenna and Jason Isbell will make an appearance.
“Anyone can be a Highwoman,” Brandi Carlile explained of he ultra-collaborative project in a press release. “It’s about banding together, abandoning as much ego as humanly possible, holding one another up, and amplifying other women every chance we get. Shoulder to shoulder. One push, one love.”
The hope is to combine their clout, critical appeal and out and out talent into a package that simply can’t be denied, overwhelming country radio’s gender bias by sheer force of numbers. Because of the goal to work the radio establishment to start the conversation about inclusivity on country radio, Carlile told Rolling Stone she doesn’t view the band as insurrectionists.
“It’s not anti-establishment,” she said. “And it’s not a band. It’s a movement. The Highwomen is not just four people. It’s not a compilation disc.”