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Albums Of The Week: Jack Ingram, Miranda Lambert & Jon Randall | The Marfa Tapes

A trio of top-notch singer-songwriters join forces for a no-frills, unplugged gem.

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Miranda Lambert The Marfa Tapes https://app.asana.com/0/1135954362417873/1200024385849159/f

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Jack Ingram, Miranda Lambert and Jon Randall’s album The Marfa Tapes is a collection of beautifully intimate and raw songs written and recorded together in the tiny, middle-of-nowhere town of Marfa, TX.

Barely a dot on the map, Marfa is an eccentric outpost in the midst of a vast expanse of nothingness, the perfect place to lose — or find — yourself. For Lambert, Randall, and Ingram, it’s both. Over the past several years, the desolate location has become a songwriting haven for the trio, yielding both massive hits and profound personal growth. When they returned for five days this past November though, they came not to write, but to record, capturing a captivating new album inspired by the stark beauty of west Texas and the deep, lasting bonds the three have forged there. Recorded raw and loose with just a pair of microphones and an acoustic guitar, The Marfa Tapes is a stunning work of audio verité; an intimate, unadorned snapshot of a moment in time fueled by love, trust, and friendship.

“I’ll never forget pulling into Marfa that first night at 4 a.m.,” said Lambert. “The stars were like nothing I’d ever seen before, just this endless blanket hanging so low you could reach up and touch them. I immediately understood why this place was so special.” Randall continues: “There’s no TV, no radio, nothing to do out there but pour a cocktail, sit around the campfire, and talk. Eventually, that just inevitably leads to songs. There’s no pressure to write, but most of the time, the three of us can’t seem to help ourselves.”

The trio recorded much of the album outdoors, inviting the ambient sounds of the desert to seep into their live, bare-bones performances, and the atmosphere is utterly transportive. While a couple of the tracks may already be familiar to listeners — ACM Song of the Year Tin Man as well as fan favorite Tequila Does — the majority of these songs have never been heard outside of Marfa. The result is a rare glimpse inside the creative process of three of the genre’s most accomplished writers and performers; a candid, unvarnished look at Lambert, Randall, and Ingram’s undeniable chemistry in its purest, most honest form.

“There’s something singular that happens in that moment of collaboration and creation, something you can never really recreate in the studio,” said Ingram. “Our hope with this album was to share a little bit of that magic with people.”