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Tuesday November 25th 2014

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Country Cool Girl Heats Up Orange Beach

By Whitney Fike

One of country music’s most popular female artists, Miranda Lambert, will grace the Gulf Coast on Thursday, July 12.  She’s girlie with her pink microphone and guitar but don’t let her fool you, she’s about as feisty as they get. Lambert’s tour is edgy and full of intensity. She brings it on stage by interacting with her fans and talking about her also famous husband Blake Shelton and her many rescue dogs. The CMA female vocalist of the year with four No. 1 albums (in a row) is doing all the right things with her music and for her fans.

Joining Lambert are special guests Lee Brice and Thomas Rhett as well as the newest addition on the lineup, the Pistol Annies (Ashley Monroe and Angaleena Presley). Don’t miss Lambert’s On Fire Tour at The Amphitheater at the Wharf in Orange Beach, Ala. in support of her fourth album, “Four the Record.”

The IN was able to ask some questions about country music and Lambert’s lifestyle in between her busy tour schedule.

IN: Recently, you have been featured on the covers of many magazines. Do you ever feel pressure being a role model to so many female fans?
LAMBERT: I’m a real girl, and I enjoy a good meal with friends. I am not built to ever be a size zero or two. I won’t let the pressure get to me. I try to embrace my curves and encourage my fans to be happy with who they are. I want to be healthy; I watch what I eat, but like everyone should, I splurge on occasion. I also try to work out regularly and have an active lifestyle. Getting up and going just makes you feel better and rock harder! I’ve had girls come up and thank me for being normal and that makes it all worth it.

IN: Some of your songs are very emotional and have deep meaning. When you perform, you show that emotion on stage. Do you feel it’s important that fans know you have just as much of a connection with a song so they can relate to your songs?
LAMBERT: Music is my life and it is such a powerfully healing experience. Songs have helped me through a lot and I hope my songs can do that for my fans.

IN: You’ve recently been quoted saying that Taylor Swift has really helped country music and if her fans are watching for her, they might like you as well. What do you think makes country music today?
LAMBERT: I think people are finally starting to see that country music is about much more than just cowboy boots and rhinestone shirts. We’ve been pigeonholed for a long time, but now it is becoming a more popular format thanks to such varied and talented artists in our format being showcased on all kinds of new media.

IN: Tim McGraw and Faith Hill had a very successful tour together as a married country couple. Do you feel you and Blake Shelton could take on the same challenge if your labels ever allowed it?
LAMBERT: Blake and I are focusing on our own careers and celebrating each other’s individual successes. It is pretty awesome to be part of the reigning ACM and CMA couple though! We do enjoy working together when the right opportunity comes along, such as co-writing my last single, “Over You,” and singing the duet, “Better in the Long Run,” on my new album, “Four the Record.”

IN: How do you prepare for each performance? Do you have any fun traditions or superstitions?
LAMBERT: Not really—I like hanging out with my band, friends, and dogs before my shows. I just try to get in a fun, party mood and extend that to my audience!

IN: Obviously it’s known you’re an animal lover. Do you think if you weren’t a performer you would have a job working with animals?
LAMBERT: Since music is the only thing I’ve ever wanted to do, it’s hard to say what I’d be doing right now if I weren’t an artist. But I do think it would include animals. They’re really my next favorite thing in the world and it’s a great feeling helping them. I love the work I do with MuttNation Foundation. Don’t forget—love a shelter pet!

IN: Your songs are full of empowering messages. What song have you released that means the most to you as an artist? Is there something you’re most proud of?
LAMBERT: I am really proud of all my songs because I try to keep them truly authentic to who I am as an artist and a person. Specifically, I am so honored that I recently got to cut “Over You” that Blake and I wrote about his late brother, Richie. I am even more honored that it went to No. 1 and just won a CMT Female Video of the Year award. It means so much to me and Blake that we were able to celebrate his brother’s memory with this song.

IN: You’ve been down to the Gulf Coast a few times recently. Do you ever get a chance to enjoy the beaches and water when you are here on tour?
LAMBERT: If I don’t have a lot of other responsibilities during the day like interviews and other business items, I usually try to get out and enjoy the towns I visit. Sometimes it’s just going to a local store or taking my dogs for a walk. I do love going to the beach and getting a tan whenever I can, so I’m crossing my fingers for Orange Beach!

IN: What have you enjoyed most so far during the “On Fire” tour?
LAMBERT: The great fans and hearing them sing along with my new songs! It’s so much fun having new material to play. I am also enjoying being out with my friends, Chris Young and Jerrod Niemann, and occasionally the Pistol Annies, Angaleena Presley and Ashley Monroe. I think I have an “On Fire” combination with all these artists!

MIRANDA LAMBERT
WHAT: Miranda Lambert with Lee Brice, Thomas Rhett and Pistol Annies
WHEN: 7:30 p.m. Thursday, July 12
WHERE: The Amphitheater at the Wharf, Orange Beach, Ala.
COST: $27.60-$62.05 (fees included)
DETAILS: amphitheateratthewharf.com; ticketmaster.com