The Highwomen stopped by Ellen on Thursday to perform their hit single “Redesigning Women” and talk a bit with DeGeneres herself. The track comes from the quartet’s recently released self-titled debut, which the host congratulated them on for being #1 on the Billboard Top Country Charts. (It’s currently not, though it did debut there; that’s the magic of pre-recorded TV talk shows.)
The chat mostly centered on how and why they decided to form The Highwomen. Amanda Shires said she had the idea for the band as a means to make sure her daughter heard more women on country radio. Despite being one of country’s highest selling artists, Maren Morris revealed she doesn’t get as much air time as contemporary male stars. Longtime Nashville songwriter Natalie Hemby talked about how she was hesitant to join the group until she learned they’d be playing with Dolly Parton at Newport Folk Festival. And at the end of the conversation, band figurehead Brandi Carlile welcomed Ellen into the Highwomen, bestowing on the host her own hat as a sign of inauguration.
As for “Redesigning Women”, it was a firm reminder of just how powerfully voiced and generally impactful this supergroup really is. The nature of The Highwomen, with everyone on separate tour cycles for their own music, means hearing them together is a rarity right now. That makes this performance, which again featured Jason Isbell and the Hanseroth twins in the bad, something to savor. Do so by watching the replay (and interview) below.
The latest season of the Consequence of Sound podcast The Opus focuses on one of the original Highwaymen, Willie Nelson, and his album Red Headed Stranger. Listen to the first episode with new host Andy Bothwell (aka Astronautalis) below.