Miranda Lambert has released a large amount of music on her new album The Weight of These Wings: 24 songs over two CDs. Lambert had been working on the album for about a year, and released it without much advance notice. It’s giving listeners a lot to absorb. Rock critic Ken Tucker has a review:

“In the past, Lambert has been more rowdy in her music, more eager to shake up preconceived country-music notions of how women think and behave when they’ve been wronged. On a new song here called ‘Tin Man,’ Lambert sings, ‘If you ever felt one breakin’, you’d never want a heart.’ The last line of ‘Runnin’ Just in Case’ is ‘There’s freedom in a broken heart.’”

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It’s true. The popular conception that country music is a primarily white genre is, well, a white lie. Country is a combination of Appalachian folk music and blues. Some of the very first artists to build out the country appellation were black artists, such as DeFord Bailey, a black harmonica player and Grand Ol’ Opry star, Clarence “Gatemouth” Brown and Charley Pride, who became RCA’s best-selling artist since Elvis in the ‘70s. Then there’s the little-known history of the banjo — it’s not as white as you think.

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