- 14 Aug 19
Brandi Carlile teamed up with original 'Highwaymen' songwriter Jimmy Webb for the timely reworking of the track.
Country's newest supergroup The Highwomen, made up of Brandi Carlile, Amanda Shires, Natalie Hemby and Maren Morris, have released their latest single, 'Highwomen'. An updated version of the classic song by Johnny Cash, Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson and Kris Kristofferson's The Highwaymen, the track pays tribute to various persecuted women.
Brandi Carlile, the most nominated woman at this year's Grammys, teamed up with Jimmy Webb, the original songwriter behind 'Highwayman', to rework the track for the modern age. Like in the original version, each artist takes on a different persona, including a Honduran refugee and a victim of the Salem Witch trails. Bristol singer-songwriter Yola appears on the track as an honorary fifth member, singing from the point of view of a Civil Rights era freedom rider.
I’m so proud to stand amongst these Highwomen and feature on this song...
I was a Freedom Rider...
Thank you @TheHighwomen @brandicarlile @amandashires @MarenMorris @nataliehemby for having me, and alongside @sherylcrow !!! Single out now pic.twitter.com/kjE881WqM8
— Yola (@iamyola) August 13, 2019
All five voices come together on a moving final verse: "We are The Highwomen singing stories still untold/ We carry the sons, you can only hold/ We are the daughters of the silent generations/ You sent our hearts to die alone in foreign nations/ It may return to us as tiny drops of rain/ But we will still remain."
"[The men] were able to stand shoulder to shoulder with each others as equals," Carlile recently told Apple Music. "This is a difficult time for women to do that because there are so few spaces for us on country radio, and in the industry in general, so we thought, 'Why can't we form a straight line? A shoulder-to-shoulder women's country group?'"
Brandi Carlile, a three-time Grammy Award-winning singer-songwriter has released six studio albums. Her fellow Highwomen include Maren Morris, a chart-topping country star; Amanda Shires, a solo singer-songwriter, fiddle player, and regular collaborator with her husband Jason Isbell; and Natalie Hemby, a country artist who has penned songs for the likes of Lee Ann Womack, Miranda Lambert and Little Big Town.
Yola is set to play Dublin's Olympia Theatre on December 1. In his Hot Press review of her recent release Walk Through Fire, Pat Carty remarked: "Great songs, great sound and a great voice, it’s a record as rewarding and successful as that other English buswoman’s holiday in Tennessee, Dusty In Memphis, and you can’t say fairer than that."
Originally debuted live at the Newport Folk Festival, 'Highwomen' is set to appear on the group's upcoming self-titled debut album, out September 6.
Listen to 'Highwomen' below: