In the wake of Miranda Lambert’s high-profile divorce from Blake Shelton, there’s been infinite scrutiny placed on every single song choice she makes: Was her performance of “Bathroom Sink” at the CMA Awards reflecting her self-doubt during the split? Is a live version of “Little Red Wagon” intended as a kiss-off? Is there remorse laced through “Over You”? Hidden messages or not, Lambert looked to one of country’s most successful couples — romantically and musically — for inspiration when she took the Grand Ole Opry stage last month: Waylon Jennings and Jessi Colter, for a cover of their duet “Storms Never Last.”
Armed with her signature pink guitar, Lambert, who is not yet an official Opry member, recruited backup singer Gwen Sebastian on the Jennings vocal — and it rings more as an ode to music as her timeless companion than any fleeting amour. “Storms never last, do they, baby,” she sings in the slightly more upbeat version of the classic song, grounded by Spencer Cullum Jr. of Steelism’s pedal-steel licks. When her eyes dart to the upper pews and her lips crack a smile, it seems she’s well aware of how the tune will be interpreted and deconstructed — and it’s clear she’s doing just fine.
“Storms Never Last” was written by Colter, who wed Jennings in 1969. The track appeared both on their duets album, Leather and Lace, and the outlaw’s 1980 LP, Music Man. Their storms never did last — they were married until Jennings’ death in 2002.
Lambert wrapped her Roadside Bars and Pink Guitars Tour last month, and snagged Female Vocalist of the Year at November’s CMA Awards. “Thank you so much. I needed a bright spot this year,” she said while accepting her trophy, this time sending a message that was anything but subtle.