They met in a
"Her last record is stunning," Earle tells Rolling Stone Country of Lambert's two-disc masterpiece, The Weight of These Wings. "When Guy Clark was ill and after he passed away I started coming here and co-writing a little bit. I tried to do that with him but then he got too sick to do it. But I made appointments with a few people to come in to town to write and Miranda was one of them. She and Allison [Moorer, Earle's ex-wife] got their hair done in the same place when Allison and I first got married. The first couple of years we were [in
That's not, however, how they first became acquainted with each other. A fan of Earle's work, Lambert wrote the title cut of her first LP, Kerosene, then realized that she had unconsciously created a tune that was reminiscent of Earle's 1996 tune "Feel Alright," the opening track on his LP I Feel Alright.
"I hadn't even heard it, and I felt bad telling her that I never would have done anything about it either if I'd known, because I don't do shit like that," Earle says, noting that he's not particularly litigious. "I've been sued enough, mainly divorces, so I don't particularly care to be involved in that myself."
Still, Lambert added Earle's songwriting credit to "Kerosene," entitling him to half of the song's royalties from the million-selling LP. With the exception of "This Is How It Ends" and the tender "News From Colorado," co-written by Earle with Moorer and his niece, Emily Earle, the singer-songwriter penned the remaining tracks on So You Wannabe an Outlaw by himself.
A deluxe version of the LP features covers of songs by outlaws Billy Joe Shaver ("Ain't No God in Mexico"), Willie Nelson ("Sister's Coming Home"/"Down at the Corner Beer Joint" and "The Local Memory") and, of course, Waylon Jennings ("Are You Sure Hank Done It This Way"), whose 1973 LP Honky Tonk Heroes served as the sonic template for Earle's new record.