There are plenty of songs about how wonderful rural life can be. But Angaleena Presley knows there are two sides to every story.
For all the songs about idyllic homesteads, happy families and strong communities out there, the former Holler Annie (of the Pistol Annies) would rather shine a light on the stuff that’s often hidden just out of view.
When she taped her Live @ CMT performance, Presley offered up four tunes about being tough but not always innocent — and sometimes dead wrong — with all the sympathy her subjects deserve.
Whether it’s a bitter account of being too poor to live well yet too rich for a handout like “American Middle Class” or an eye-opening description of a prescription pain-killer epidemic in “Pain Pills,” Presley can fill a bluesy lament with details that only someone who’s lived the story would think to include.
But she can also laugh at herself and a bad situation, like she does on “Knocked Up.” Introducing the song by explaining, “Here’s a song about how I met my first husband,” Presley lovingly describes her family’s horror at her first pregnancy.
Then in “Better Off Red,” she comes full circle, realizing that for all its faults, home is home — and there’s nowhere like it.
Check out a Kentucky gal who pulls no punches in Angaleena Presley’s Live @ CMT premiere.