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'Interstate Gospel' review: Country supergroup Pistol Annies are as sharp as ever

Pistol Annies'

Pistol Annies' "Interstate Gospel" on RCA Records Nashville Credit: RCA Records Nashville

PISTOL ANNIES

Interstate Gospel

BOTTOM LINE The country supergroup Pistol Annies show they are as sharp as ever

There is power in numbers. And The Pistol Annies – Miranda Lambert, Ashley Monroe, and Angaleena Presley – prove it on their new “Interstate Gospel” (RCA Nashville) album.

Singing and writing as a trio allows them to address topics and make comments that would draw way more scrutiny if they were made on one of their solo albums. Even when they’re joking around about divorce and enjoying being single again, as they do in the honky-tonk good time “Got My Name Changed Back,” the Annies are in the clear, since both Lambert and Presley are divorced.

They make the most of that freedom, singing about “recreational Percoset” in the achingly beautiful ballad “Best Years of My Life” and comparing being famous to being a painting in the classic country “Masterpiece.” In the title track of “Interstate Gospel,” they celebrate religion, but with their own sense of humor, declaring, “Jesus is the bread of life, without him you’re toast.”

As a trio, the Pistol Annies can sing the intensely personal, Lucinda Williams-ish “Leavers Lullaby” without worrying about it becoming gossip fodder. It can simply be one of many great songs they create.

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