Miranda Lambert Goes Platinum (and Pink) in Chicago

When you see a pink pay phone, you kind of have to pick it up. So I did. And Miranda Lambert was on the other end of it talking my ear off about her new album Platinum, which comes out Tuesday (June 3).

First she explained why her vintage Airstream travel trailer is so important to her.

“My favorite memory in an Airstream is when Ashley Monroe and I went camping — and it was the starting of the Pistol Annies — and we wrote, like, 15 songs on a two-day camping trip,” Lambert said. “Something is so inspiring when you get in an Airstream, literally with homemade curtains and live like a gypsy for a few days. Amazing things can happen.”

That’s probably why Lambert’s own Airstream — Wanda the Wanderer, the restored and 1954 Flying Cloud trailer with a massive tiara on top — has been traveling all over the country in a “Platinum Across America” event to get the word out about the new album.

And Wanda knows how to party. She started her cross-country trek in Los Angeles, then hit Denver, Dallas, Oklahoma City first, then after Chicago on Thursday (May 29), she was off to Indianapolis and Philadelphia.

When Wanda came to Chicago, I did it all. I spent some time on the Airstream just chilling and listening to the new album. Then I had some sweet tea, colored my hair pink, took some vintage postcard photos, got a Miranda Lambert tattoo and made a “What Would Miranda Do?” leather cuff. (It’s not the best-looking bracelet I’ve ever worn, but knowing I made it myself with some leather and metal letters and a wooden mallet makes me love it anyway.)

But back to this phone call. The old-timey pink payphone was right outside Wanda and had Lambert’s recorded voice giving the inside scoop on what it was like to make her fifth album.

“The funniest thing that happened in the studio was probably just the excitement that we had over Carrie Underwood coming in,” she explained. “We were so nervous and excited and just happy to push the envelope to have someone that was so great to come in and sing.”

She admitted that she got “kind of giddy” over all of the duet partners on her new album.

No doubt, there will be no worries from fans when Lambert and Underwood sing one of the new tracks, “Something Bad,” during the 2014 CMT Music Awards airing live Wednesday at 8 p.m. ET.

Alison makes her living loving country music. She's based in Chicago, but she's always leaving her heart in Nashville.