Miranda Lambert’s status as the most awarded artist in the history of the Academy of Country Music Awards is well established.
She’s won three Grammys out of 27 nominations and has received more Country Music Award nominations that any other female artist. She’s an author, an animal activist, a record label head and a headliner in Las Vegas. Miranda Lambert: Velvet Rodeo The Las Vegas Residency is more than a residency though. It both embodies her untamable spirit and enables her to tell her story through setlist structure and Gibson guitars.
Lambert kicked off her summer residency with the opening track from her latest studio effort. “(Lyrics from) ‘Actin’ Up’ inspired not only my album title, Palomino, but also the name of the residency, so it felt like the best way to kick the party off in Vegas,” said Lambert from her farm in Tennessee, where she was preparing to leave for her home state of Texas to celebrate her 40th birthday with family and recharge. “I wrote it with Luke Dick and Jon Randall, and they know me so well, so I think that’s why it embodies so much of my personality in its lyrics.”
She followed it up with “Fastest Girl in Town” and “Kerosene,” the song her 2005 self-titled debut that established her rebellious image, before strapping on the Miranda Lambert Bluebird guitar recently created by Gibson Custom Shop and strumming the opening chords to “Famous in a Small Town.” Bakkt Theater has been transformed into her home and the audience into guests who receive the highest level of musical hospitality.
Maintaining an intimate feel has always been important to Lambert as she graduated from bars and clubs to bigger rooms.
“When we designed and built out the Velvet Rodeo set, I wanted to have the feeling of some pit, some seats and make sure there wasn’t a bad seat in the house,” she said. “The way the lighting, sound and effects play in the room honestly came together better than I ever even dreamt.”
Putting the setlist together was a challenge of balancing hits and deep cuts. “I always love ‘Carousel’ in that room, and I’m not sure if we’ll do that one outside of Velvet Rodeo in the future as it is such a moment in that room. I think ‘Kerosene’ will always get people stomping their feet, and it’s been a lot of fun to do ‘Drunk (And I Don’t Wanna Go Home)’ in Las Vegas as it was built for that crowd!”
Lambert enters her fourth decade as the co-owner of Big Loud Texas, with which she intends to support the next generation of writers and artists from the Friendship state. She’s been writing a lot lately and plans to release new music next year.
“I made a promise a long time ago to my fans that I’d push myself when we go into the studio,” she said. “I think they know that when I say a record is ready, it’s something I’ve really put a lot of thought into.”