Marfa, Texas provides a heavenly escape for anyone wandering through. It’s certainly been a hub of refuge and creativity for Miranda Lambert over the years. “It’s more than just a place. It’s a state of mind,” reads the desert town’s visitor page. Lambert, alongside frequent collaborators and good friends Jack Ingram and Jon Randall, knows exactly what that means, as the dusty stretch of land and mountain ranges have served her well in her work.
It seems fitting that Lambert’s forthcoming The Marfa Tapes (out May 7 on Vanner Records/RCA Nashville), a collaborative set with Ingram and Randall, would seek to capture the shine of Marfa’s majestic beauty. “I’ll never forget pulling into Marfa that first night at 4 am,” Lambert shares in a press statement. “The stars were like nothing I’d ever seen before, just this endless blanket hanging so low you could reach up and touch them. I immediately understood why this place was so special.”
Totally disconnected from modern devices, there was really “nothing to do out there but pour a cocktail, sit around the campfire, and talk,” Randall chimes in. “Eventually, that just inevitably leads to songs. There’s no pressure to write, but most of the time, the three of us can’t seem to help ourselves.”
The Marfa Tapes features previous songwriting collaborations, “Tin Man” (from Lambert’s double-decker release, The Weight of These Wings) and “Tequila Does,” off 2019’s Wildcard. Over five days last November, the trio met to reconnect and what resulted is a 15-song project, recorded with a a pair of microphones and a single acoustic guitar, doused in electric harmony work. In celebrating human connection and richness in life only friendship can provide, the album comes at a time when we all are still missing what it means to be alive.
Today (March 5), the trio releases the first song, “In His Arms,” a wistful, wind-swept tune. I’ve been a rolling stone, a tumbleweed / Waiting for the right one to find me, she sings over the crackle of guitar and nature’s own elements. But the wrong always set me free / I wish I was in his arms tonight.
“There’s something singular that happens in that moment of collaboration and creation, something you can never really recreate in the studio,” Ingram says. “Our hope with this album was to share a little bit of that magic with people.”
Check out the album tracklist below:
1. “In His Arms”
2. “I Don’t Like It”
3. “The Wind’s Just Gonna Blow”
4. “Am I Right Or Amarillo”
6. “Homegrown Tomatoes”
7. “Breaking A Heart”
10. “We’ll Always Have The Blues”
11. “Tin Man”
12. “Two-Step Down To Texas”
14. “Tequila Does”
15. “Amazing Grace (West Texas)”
Photo by Spencer Peeples