Miranda Lambert proved once again why she is the most decorated female artist in CMA Awards history. With pitch-perfect vocals and instruments from country yesteryear, the twangy Texan put jaws on the floor with her CMA performance of “To Learn Her.”
“To Learn Her”
The 2017 Country Music Association Awards were a big night for Lambert. She entered the night with five nominations, which was notably more than any other artist that night. She left with her seventh Female Vocalist of the Year award.
Her latest album release, The Weight of The Wings, contains a mix of tempos and melodies. But one of the slow-dancing tunes is “To Learn Her.” This is what she performed at the Bridgestone Arena stage that night.
What was most interesting about the performance is the song itself. In an age of highly stylized, electronically produced music (country music included), Lambert’s track hearkens back to the golden days of country music.
It was something one might expect to see if they were attending the awards in 1957 instead of 2017.
Beyond the slow, rhythmic tempo, part of what makes “To Learn Her” sound as though it came from a country music time capsule is the steel guitar. Though not prevalent in the modern-day country, it remains firmly rooted in country music history.
Lambert certainly recognized the appeal.
“I think it’ll stand out just because there’s a steel guitar on the stage, and there’s not as much of that as there used to be,” Lambert told Rolling Stone Country before the ceremony. “But that’s why I love country music. I hope that people maybe that are new country fans will grab onto that sort of feeling that the old school gives you.”
It wasn’t the only thing that felt “old school.” To help complete take the audience back to the past, she also sang into an old-fashioned, stand-up microphone. Only her dress and earrings seemed from modern times.
Lambert has created a wildly successful career by engaging the more traditional sounds. Besides her seven CMA Female Vocalist of the Year nods, she has almost countless nominations.
Past CMA wins also include Album of the Year, Single of the Year, and Musical Event of the Year.
The chorus of “To Learn Her” says “To love her is to learn her/Some things you just can’t learn.”
It seems Miranda’s talent is something both loved and learned.