Songwriters: Miranda Lambert, Ashley Monroe, Angaleena Presley
The new Pistol Annies single and video release serves up a tasty helping of swaggering country fun, along with a lyrical account of a girl group’s life on the road, and a streak of self-deprecating wit to boot.
They’re “not trying to get rich;” they’re “just trying to get by… playing for tips on a Saturday night.” The witty, lightly catchy chorus sums up the nitty-gritty ins and outs of traveling with the band – “We owe four hundred dollars to the boys in the band/ Gas light’s blinkin’ on a broke-down van/ Livin’ on truck stop burgers and fries/ Crossin’ our fingers for a vacancy sign….”
Sly, playful grins shine through each Annie’s performance as they rotate lead vocals, introducing one another by home state and bad habit of choice. There’s one from Tennessee who “likes to pop her pain pills for every little ache” (“Hippie Annie” Monroe), one from Kentucky who “ain’t gonna smile ’til she lights up her lucky” (“Holler Annie” Presley) and a “rootin’ tootin’ pistol from the Lone Star State” who “mixes up a double at the break of every day” (“Lone Star Annie” Lambert). The winning title hook finds the girls musing ”Who in the hell is gonna pay these bills? One’s drinkin’, one’s smokin’, one’s takin’ pills.”
The roadhouse country-rock arrangement is no less jaunty and fun than the Annies’ inspired performances as they poke good-natured fun at their own images. It’s refreshing indeed to hear a single characterized by such color and personality - possessing a sense of humor along with a sense of self-awareness. That makes “Takin’ Pills” both an instantly memorable and effortlessly likeable effort. More, please.