To Miranda Lambert, music is medicine. So it stands to reason that the songwriters that distribute their music are our doctors—Doctors of our hearts and minds and souls, who have the power to heal us with their words.When Lambert, who holds songwriters in a high regard, took the stage for the “Front and Center CMA Songwriters Series last week, she wanted to honor those healers—herself included— that helped her get through some of her darkest days.
Lambert was going through a divorce with Blake Shelton in 2015, when she gathered her songwriter friends to help her heal. The result? The Weight of These Wings, Lambert’s critically acclaimed platinum selling double-album released last year.
“This night is all about celebrating songwriters and whom they are as people and how they live their lives to inspire their art, Lambert said from the stage. “Thank you to all the songwriters for going down this road with me and spending their time on my journey. That’s what I want to do tonight is celebrate them.”
And celebrate they did. The Texas native invited 14 of the songwriters that participated in the making of The Weight of These Wings to join her on stage throughout the night and sing the songs they wrote, adding the stories behind each of the tracks.
Songwriters who appeared with Lambert included Jessi Alexander, Brent Cobb, Luke Dick, Anderson East, Natalie Hemby, Adam Hood, Jack Ingram, Shane McAnally, Waylon Payne, Aaron Raitiere, Jon Randall, Liz Rose, Gwen Sebastian, and Scotty Wray.
Lambert kicked the night off with “We Should Be Friends,” a song she wrote by herself. She then invited songwriter Aaron Raitiere her co-writer on “For The Birds,” to the stage, before admitting that most of the songs weren’t written completely sober.
While Lambert didn’t have time to get through all the songs on the album—it is a double album with 22 tracks after all—she randomly selected songs from the album because she loves them all.
The Texas native followed with songs “Tomboy,” “Getaway Driver” with boyfriend Anderson East and “Pushing Time,” before inviting songwriters Shane McAnally, Luke Dick and Natalie Hemby to join her on a rowdy rendition of “Highway Vagabond.”
“Just for the record, I’m not a writer on this song, so I tried to get out of it but they wouldn’t let me out of it,” Lambert explained.
Following the group sing along, Lambert performed her hit song “Vice” with Shane McAnally, “Ugly Lights,” “Things That Break,” “To Learn Her,” “Good Ole Days” and “Tin Man,” before inviting her dad, Rick Lambert, on stage for a special moment. The father/daughter duo launched into “Greyhound Bound For Nowhere.”
“My dad and I haven’t sang this song together, besides at a campfire, in a long time,” the 33-year-old said. “It’s really special to do it. Like I said, it’s one of the first songs we ever wrote. It’s one of the first songs I ever wrote as a songwriter, so I hope you like it.”
For her final performance of the night, Lambert called upon songwriters Gwen Sebastian and Scotty Wray to join her on “I’ve Got Wheels.” She then took a moment to thank all her songwriter friends for joining her and for their unwavering support, before handing them all platinum albums for their work on The Weight of These Wings.
“You don’t have anything if you don’t have good songs,” Lambert said. “The people in this room tonight that came here to support me and have my back, they’ve had my back the whole time. I’m just so thankful and humbled by it. I’m so thankful that I can say that some of my best friends in the world also get down in the trenches with me and put words on paper and it’s very healing—music is medicine, it truly is.”