I have grown up listening to some of the biggest greats of country music, from the Man in Black to Bocephus, Loretta Lynn and Dolly Parton. When it comes right down to my very favorite, hands down, it will always be Miranda Lambert. Sure there are others that come close (and I call them my Miranda Lamberts) but at the end of the day it all comes down to my main girl.
I have been a fan of Miranda’s since picking up her second CD, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend. I found I related to the strong woman vibe she sang about! I wish I could say that I have followed her since she was on Nashville Star, where she came in second, or when one of my favorite songs from her debut CD, “New Strings” came out – but we all start somewhere. I had connected with “Gun Powder and Lead,” a song about not putting up with a man beating his woman. One of the biggest reasons I love music is the healing nature of the lyrics and these helped me cope with a past abusive relationship. It empowered me and made me feel stronger every time I listened until eventually I was healed.
“Gunpowder and Lead”
Before Facebook, we had forums where you would chat online with people from all over the world. It is here that I found my “Ran Fan” family of Miranda Lambert Fan Club members that ended up being some friends for life. We would talk every day about all things Miranda, or just life in general, either way, we were close and eventually followed each other to Facebook. One of the original “Ran Fan” members, Juli Schein, became gravely ill last year nearly losing her life. It was then that I realized the true family we had within this group as we flooded her page with well wishes. It was one of the most beautiful moments I have witnessed at the hands of country music. Not only did I gain a favorite country music singer but I had gained a lifelong family.
“All Kinds of Kinds”
My first Miranda Lambert concert was at the Medford Armory. I couldn’t have been more excited as she opened with David Nail. It was general admission, and as soon as you submitted your concert ticket you ran like hell to get to the front. I got there alright, but there was this super tall man standing right in front of me. All of a sudden he turned to me and said, “When Miranda comes out, I am going to move to the side and you’re going to move in front of me.” Now when I tell you I have “Miranda Lambert Gods”, it’s true and has been proven at every concert. As he moved it put me directly in front of the stage where I could lay my arm right on it. As soon as Miranda came out she walked right over, shook my hand, and began singing as if she were right over the top of me. One of the neatest parts of her stage set up is the shotgun microphone stand out of a real shotgun. I took over 200 pictures that night and never lost the perma- grin on my face. It was honestly the best Miranda Lambert concert I have ever seen.
Miranda Lambert: Medford Armory 2010
Douglas County Fair had the best line up in 2010: The Scorpions, Billy Idol, but most importantly, Miranda Lambert. It was the best year of fair for me. I had the greatest time at these concerts with my family and friends – but none took the cake as much as Miranda Lambert. Thanks to being a member of the Ran Fan Family, I was able to get a meet and greet pass to meet her. I should probably tell you that my daughter Cheyanne has been raised on Miranda her whole life and is a huge fan -so of course I had to take her in with me. I have met a ton of country singers and not once did I EVER get star struck – that was until Miranda Lambert. I could barely breathe, face beat red, and for once in my life couldn’t talk. Cheyanne was the star of the show as Miranda loves kids, but it took Miranda saying, “Would you like me to sign that?” for me to hand her the portrait I brought. Afterward, Miranda performed a great show and I sang along to every song loud and proud. Kyle Bailey took a picture of my daughter and I at this concert for the KQEN page and it will always be one of my favorites. Not long after this performance, Miranda went huge with her hit, “House the Built Me.” Little did I know, the Douglas County Fair would be her last small venue performance.
“House that Built Me”
After a two-year hiatus from Oregon, Miranda finally came back to Matthew Knight Arena in Eugene. Cheyanne and I were there in the nose-bleeds. Cheyanne, used to meeting Miranda, said to me, “Mom, will she see us from here?” I told her, “Yes, honey! Just wave and wave she will see you!” knowing that would hardly be the case as we were so far away. Then my “Miranda Lambert God” took mercy. Randy Rogers Band and Justin Moore opened for her that night, but Cheyanne never made it to the main show. My little sweetie tried so hard to stay awake, but half way into Justin she just couldn’t hang on anymore. I tried to wake her up, but it didn’t work. So I enjoyed the show by myself, singing once again every song loud and proud. Finally, the encore came about and since I had seen her perform a few times before I wanted to get out of the venue before everyone else. I grabbed Cheyanne, who was finally waking up, and all of a sudden I hear her singing “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend”. “Run Cheyanne Run!” I yelled, as we tried to find our way into another part of the arena. In our rush to leave we found ourselves on the side of the stage. Just then, Miranda turned looked right at us! “Wave Cheyanne, WAVE!!” I yelled. Cheyanne began waving and Miranda waved right back! Gosh, just thinking about that moment as I type this brings tears to my eyes. My little girl missed the whole concert, but Miranda waved at her and made her entire night.
“Mama’s Broken Heart”
“Fastest Girl in Town”
I haven’t been to another Miranda Lambert concert since, though this year she is coming to the Willamette Country Music Festival! I have loved Miranda for so many different reasons; from the strong woman to the lyrics that hit straight at your heart. Sure, every one of her songs is a favorite, but when it comes right down to it, “Airstream Song” takes the cake. “Sometimes I wished I lived in an Airstream, Homemade curtains lived just like a Gypsy,” sings right to my Free Bird heart. Now every time I see an Airstream, I immediately sing those lyrics. Maybe someday I will be that girl living in an airstream just like a Gypsy. We shall see.
I am excited to see what Miranda comes out with next, as she has recently divorced. She is really soul searching and embracing the music to heal, so this new CD should be incredible. I’ve watched her grow from a girl in jeans and t-shirts playing in small venues, to an haute couture wearing superstar playing huge arenas all over the world. That’s what is so much fun about following a country music singer from the beginning; watching the artist and their music grow. You never know what you will gain from the experience. Most will find some good music and maybe a favorite country music singer – but for me, I have gained friendships amongst my “Ran Fan” Family, courage, and strength. To me those things are priceless.