Editor’s note: CMT Cross Country: Jack Ingram and Miranda Lambert premieres Friday (Aug. 31) at 10 p.m. ET/PT.
There’s something unmistakable about people from Texas, and Jack Ingram and Miranda Lambert are certainly no exception. The singer-songwriters met recently in Nashville for a night of songs and stories captured for CMT Cross Country.
During an interview prior to the taping, Lambert and Ingram talked about why they seem destined to work together.
CMT: Even before CMT Cross Country, the two of you had a bit of history together.
Jack Ingram: She used to come down to a lot of shows in Texas where I would play. But because I’m a friend of hers and a fan of hers, as well, I was always … reading her interviews and watching what was going on, and I kept hearing her talk about me. … In a not so round-about way, she helped me get where I am today by keeping my name out there as an artist that maybe people hadn’t heard before. So, it’s just natural that we are going to grow old together somehow — not with wedding rings on our fingers for each other.
Miranda Lambert: But we’ll be around!
Miranda, you’ve said that you used to travel almost anywhere to see a Jack Ingram show.
Lambert: Yeah, we’ve already had issues with him getting his head through the door today. … No, I was just really at a very influential time in my life when I first started writing songs and was trying to figure out who I was and if this was even for me. I found Jack and loved the music and loved the show. I mean, the live show … he was a rock star. He was everything that I wanted to be. So I guess just at that part of my life, too, I was starving for music. He was playing around in Texas, and I would just go anytime I could and be somewhat of a stalker — which, luckily, now I’m over that phase of my life.
Ingram: Hey, I would love to have stalkers like you.
Lambert: We would drive five hours to a show, but it’s pretty cool because now we get to do things together. We’re doing this thing where we actually get to sing together on stage — when I’m actually invited to the stage. Before, I’d just jump up there at any Jack show just to sing.
Ingram: She didn’t know how welcome she was.
Have you learned anything new about each other?
Lambert: We got to actually talk today, and it’s funny because this is the first time we’ve gotten to sit down and have conversations about where we both come from and why we both respect each other. It just happened to be on camera, but it’s really good.
Ingram: It’s nice because we’ve known about each other and have been friends in passing and have respect for each other, but we had a chance to sit down and actually communicate. … It’s important to have friends in this business because it’s tough out there to find people that you know you can call and they’ll understand exactly what you’re saying. And she’s one of them.
Lambert: It kind of reinforces why I started being a fan of his in the first place, and the image that I had of him is exactly the way that he is. So, it’s a good feeling, you know?
Ingram: And I’m the same way because I was a fan of hers long before she knew I was. When she was playing some of her first shows, she was opening the shows for me. I knew the difference between her and some of the others. As an artist, you know the difference. You go, “Oh, that one’s gonna be good.”
Lambert: What’s cool to me, too, is also that he’s one of my heroes, and I’ve never had any bones about saying that either to him or anyone else. He’s somebody that really stood out to me and still does. He’s one of the main reasons I’m in this business. It was cool to just hear him singing along with my songs. It’s not very often that you get one of your heroes who listens to your music and actually likes it, so I feel really fortunate. That doesn’t happen a lot.
Laura Douglas is a producer for CMT Insider.