(Editor's note: While opening shows on Keith Urban's national tour, Miranda Lambert has shared her thoughts and photos with CMT.com readers.)
This week was a different one for me. I saw some highs and lows on the road. I had a great show on my own in Nashville on Monday night and then hooked up with Keith in Columbus, Ohio, on Wednesday. It felt like home, being back on the road with those guys. You're with someone every minute for a month, then you go home and you start to miss them all! It's kind of like that feeling you get when you leave summer camp.
The show in Columbus was great as usual, but towards the very end of Keith's set, his voice went out. He showed so much courage getting through the last couple songs. That night, we traveled to Evansville, Ind., where we were scheduled to play on Thursday. Unfortunately, Keith's doctors said he had a bruised vocal cord, and we found out early that day that he was forced to cancel the show. We were all TOTALLY bummed. We very much wanted to play that last night with him. I wish him all the best for a speedy recovery. Even though the tour didn't end in a rock-star fashion like I would have liked for it to, it was so much more than I could have ever imagined. It's so amazing to see that someone like Keith has surrounded himself with such great people who are all caring, friendly and so welcoming. I've heard horror stories of the road about how headliners can be so mean to their opening acts, and we found the total opposite. I know I've said it before, but THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart to Keith and all his people.
Now, it's back to business. After watching and learning from Keith's shows for the last month, the band and I are ready to get out and kick some serious butt at our own shows. We had a GREAT one Friday night at Joe's Bar in Chicago. That place is one of my favorite little places to play. It's a total honky-tonk smack in the middle of Chicago. The people are warm, the beer is cold and they LOVE their country music. There are a million little places like this one that I played in Texas, but it's rare you find a place like this out on the road. I'm gonna play that place for a long time.
Next came the coolest part of my weekend. I sang the national anthem at the NASCAR race in Kansas City! It was unreal. We got to play for 30 minutes before the race started, and they told me there were 150,000 people there. That's the biggest crowd I've ever played in front of, but that doesn't really faze me. The part I was nervous about was singing the anthem on live TV in front of millions of viewers. Afterwards, I got to hang out in the pits, and they let me start the race in the pace car. We were driving around the track at 100 miles per hour. There were some pretty cute boys down there in track suits (like Kasey Kahne). ... I'm a sucker for boys in uniforms. It was a great day. That's such a cool world to be in.
In other news of my life, we've been added to another tour starting in January. It's in support of this guy, George Strait. Maybe you've heard of him? Is it just me or does it seem like my life is moving at 100 miles per hour? GEORGE STRAIT!!! He's the king of country music, and I get to take part in his arena tour (not to mention stare at him in those Wranglers). We're thrilled that he would ask us.
In case you haven't noticed, my video for "Kerosene" is out. I know CMT is playing it like crazy. I'm so excited! "Kerosene" is one of my favorite songs from the album, and hopefully, it will go all the way to the top. I'm ready.
Well, I think that about sums up my crazy week! I'm leaving now to go to a NASCAR cocktail party with some of the drivers and sponsors. I'll let you know if I bump into Dale [Earnhardt] Jr. I got a new four-wheeler last week, so maybe he wants to race. I think I could take him.
We're off to do some shows on our own for a while. I don't know when I'll be sitting down to write again (hopefully very soon), but I know I'll have a lot to say when we start our tour with George. Until then ...