In the wake of her critically-acclaimed new The Marfa Tapes album release alongside singer-songwriters Jack Ingram and Jon Randall, Miranda Lambert has added the quarantine-era lament “They’ve Closed Down The Honky Tonks” — yet another stripped-down ballad — to the bunch. The new Lambert song plays in the documentary regarding making the Marfa Tapes album that debuted two weeks ago. The track is featured in the film.
The “Bluebird” vocalist penned the acoustic track in the early months of the pandemic. Lyrics like “No bartenders, no guitars with b-benders/No two-stepping shuffles, no shiny belt buckles,” were influenced by noting venues were potentially facing closure. Famous Texas venues Broken Spoke, Gilley’s, and Billy Bob’s — where Lambert played sold-out shows in April and May — were referenced, alongside the reflection, “There ain’t nothin’ sadder than coverin’ Haggard and nobody singin’ along.”
The Marfa Tapes project features raw tracks recorded in Marfa, a small town in the West Texas desert. To Rolling Stone, Jack Ingram noted, “The whole idea of the record was trying to show people or let people listen to the moment of creation.“It takes time to record [songs] with a full band, and then we got to do a demo…it’s almost like making a whole movie. And then by the time you get into the studio, with the session band and everybody else, you’re light years away from the moment of inspiration and creation.”
Related to movies, the previously mentioned Marfa Tapes documentary is now currently available to buy or rent on Apple TV.