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Miranda Lambert is the best thing in country music

 Miranda Lambert and Blake Shelton: Country's finest.
Wade Payne/Invision/AP
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Date published: 11/8/2012

By Jonas Beals


She also does it with a voice that is sippin' whiskey smooth, but burns like moonshine when it has to. There aren't any vocal gymnastics, and the twang level hits the authentic mark without sounding contrived (I'm looking at you, Jennifer Nettles).

She can pen a good song, as evidenced by the CMA song of the year "Over You," which she co-wrote with her hubby. But she also knows how to get good help. Her latest album, "Four the Record," features songs by Gillian Welch, Brandi Carlisle and Alison Moorer, and instrumental help from Randy Scruggs and Steve Winwood.

So good on the CMAs for giving her the female vocalist of the year award for the third year in a row. But if there were any justice, Lambert would have her husband's entertainer of the year award. No offense to Shelton, but he's just kind of ho-hum compared to the firecracker he married.

If that fire worked against her, that's too bad. She might not fit the traditionalist's definition, but she sure as hell isn't anything but country.

Jonas Beals: 540/368-5036
Email: jbeals@freelancestar.com

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JONAS' IN-TOWN PICK: Check out some superior blues-rock from the Neil Tibert Band with Waverly Milor at 909 Saloon. Friday at 9 p.m. OUT-OF-TOWN PICK: Gary Clark Jr. at the 9:30 Club in Washington. The next big thing in the guitar world. He is a must-see. Friday night at 8 p.m. LISTENING TO: "Just as Long as We're in Love" by Terry Callier. Although he died last month, his unique jazz-folk-soul legacy will live on.