Maren Morris is redefining the landscape of country music
This week’s number one song on the Billboard Country singles chart is GIRL by Maren Morris. This girl is redefining the look, the sound and the attitude of country music. As a girl in Arlington, Texas, Morris first picked up the guitar and began writing songs at age 12, and released her first self-produced album on Spotify at 15. Appearing at the top of the charts is not a unique feat for Morris, now 29, despite the fact that this is still a rare event for a woman in country music. GIRL is the first song by a female artist to climb to number one on the country chart in 17 months. Her single My Church hit number one on the Billboard Country Singles chart back in 2016, and her debut studio album, HERO also appeared in the top spot of the Country Album chart in 2017. Since then, Morris’s star continues to rise and rise again. GIRL the album set a new record for a country album by a female artist with 23.96 million downloads in its debut week, and rose to number one on the Billboard Country album chart just two weeks after its release in March this year.
It’s not only because she writes and performs chart-topping music that makes her appearance at the 2019 Roots n Blues Festival so exciting, but it’s also because she is redesigning women. From the start of her career, Morris has been a powerful voice and agent for change in the music industry. The message in GIRL is clear: she has no tolerance for the marginalization of women in the music industry, or anywhere. “ I don’t wanna feel this anymore. Pick yourself up off the kitchen floor. What you waitin’ for? “
A few days ago, Harper’s Bazaar released its first digital music mini-documentary. This eight-minute film below provides a platform for everyone who hasn’t yet experienced Maren Morris to see and hear the power of this young woman’s voice, music and message.
In addition to GIRL: The World Tour which is currently selling out in nearly every market, Morris has also entered into a creative collaboration with Brandi Carlile, Amanda Shires, and Natalie Hemby this year. The quartet is called The Highwomen. And yes, the name is intended to remind us of that mid-1980s to mid-1990s country quartet supergroup of Johnny Cash, Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson, and Kris Kristofferson– The Highwaymen. The Highwomen have released three songs in three weeks, the latest is their cover of Fleetwood Mac’s classic 1977 tune, The Chain, which is included in the forthcoming soundtrack to the film The Kitchen. The Highwomen made a rare live appearance last weekend at the Newport Folk Festival and a television appearance on The Tonight Show. Friday morning, they appeared on CBS this morning to share the purpose and goals of The Highwomen.
Highwomen bandmate and Roots n Blues Festival 2016 alum Brandi Carlile commented on Morris’s success to Variety this week: “She’s one of maybe two or three people that are succeeding and being embraced by the establishment. She’s number 1 right now, and she’s at Newport Folk Festival standing next to three women saying, ‘Yeah, I’m number 1, but it’s a problem that more of us aren’t.’ And to me, it’s the ultimate expression of love, and she’s about to perpetuate inclusion in a way that’s really radical for the fact that she is in her moment and in her heyday right now, and she’s chosen to share it. It’s a big deal. The fact that she’s one of only a few women to do that recently is disturbing, but the success of “Girl” “I find so encouraging. If one of us is winning, we’re all winning, you know.”
Maren Morris is everywhere and lucky for us, Roots n Blues Festival is a stop along her successful path this fall. Morris will headline the Friday night lineup. Listen to This is Maren Morris on Spotify and grab your tickets if you haven’t yet.