The Highwomen are a country music group composed of Brandi Carlile, Natalie Hemby, Maren Morris, and Amanda Shires, formed in 2019. The group's self-titled debut album is slated for release in September 2019.
The Highwomen project was widely hinted at by Carlile, Morris and Shires before it was officially announced on April 6, 2019. With the name paying homage to the legendary Highwaymen (consisting of Johnny Cash, Waylon Jennings, Kris Kristofferson and Willie Nelson), the Highwomen were originally intended to leave the fourth spot in their line-up vacant to allow other female collaborators to join them, with Chely Wright, Courtney Marie Andrews, Margo Price, Janelle Monae and Sheryl Crow mentioned as potential guests.
The group made their live debut on April 1, 2019 at Loretta Lynn's 87th birthday concert held at the Bridgestone Arena in Nashville. There, Natalie Hemby was officially revealed as the final member and the quartet performed "It Wasn't God Who Made Honky Tonk Angels". Their debut single, "Redesigning Women", and its associated music video featuring female artists including Tanya Tucker, Cam, Lauren Alaina, Cassadee Pope and Wynonna Judd was released on 19 July 2019, with their self-titled debut album (set for release on September 6) becoming available for pre-order on the same day. The song was promoted by country singer Dierks Bentley who released a comedic reading of the lyrics to his YouTube Channel which received praise from Carlile and Morris. Their second single, "Crowded Table", written by band member Hemby and Lori McKenna, was released on July 26, 2019.
The Highwomen performed their first ever full live set at the 60th annual Newport Folk Festival, previewing songs from their upcoming album including "If She Ever Leaves Me", written by Shires, her husband Jason Isbell and Chris Thompkins. With Carlile on lead vocals, Isbell described it as "the first gay country song" which elicited applause from the audience. Other songs performed included "My Only Child", an ode to "suburban moms" performed by Hemby who wrote the track with Shires and Miranda Lambert, "Loose Change", a nod to 70s country featuring Morris on lead vocals and "Cocktail and a Song" which was written solely by Shires in honor of her father. Carlile later invited the rest of the Highwomen to join her during her headlining set where, as they originally intended, the group performed alongside other female artists including Dolly Parton, Judy Collins, Sheryl Crow, Yola Carter, Jade Bird, Linda Perry, Amy Ray and Lucy Dacus.
Their cover of "The Chain" by Fleetwood Mac from the soundtrack of the movie The Kitchen debuted during the film's first trailer and was officially released on August 2, 2019. The title track of their self-titled debut album was released on August 13, 2019. Written by Carlile and Shires with Jimmy Webb, the original writer of "Highwayman", the track that originally inspired the Highwomen's formation, it tells the story of various women throughout history and features guest vocals from British country soul singer Yola Carter and backing vocals from Sheryl Crow.
|Title||Album details||Peak chart positions||Certifications
|US Country||US||UK Country||CAN|
- Moss, Marissa R. (2019-07-19). "The Highwomen: In the Studio With Country's Ballsiest New Supergroup". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 2019-07-19.
- Hudak, Joseph (2019-06-11). "Brandi Carlile, Maren Morris Talk Highwomen Project". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 2019-07-19.
- "Listen: Brandi Carlile, Maren Morris, Amanda Shires, Natalie Hemby Are The Highwomen". NPR.org. Retrieved 2019-07-19.
- Willman, Chris; Willman, Chris (March 6, 2019). "Brandi Carlile, Amanda Shires Add Maren Morris to 'Highwomen' Supergroup".
- Moss, Marissa R.; Moss, Marissa R. (April 2, 2019). "See the Highwomen's Live Debut at Loretta Lynn Birthday Show".
- Houghton, Cillea. "The Highwomen Light the Ultimate Bonfire in 'Redesigning Women' Video [Watch]". Taste of Country.
- "Dierks Bentley Does Comedic Reading of The Highwomen's 'Redesigning Women'". Country Music.
- "The Highwomen share second single "Crowded Table": Stream". www.yahoo.com.