'I'm gonna do me': Amanda Shires on women in country music and her new album 'Take It Like a Man'

Watch above as Amanda Shires discusses the evolution of her career, the treatment of women in country music, and her latest release, the confessional Take It Like a Man.

Take It Like a Man, the seventh album from the Grammy-winning singer-songwriter-violinist, is now available on major digital platforms and music retailers.

Video Transcript

AMANDA SHIRES: I am Amanda Shires, I am a singer-songwriter, fiddle player, rock and roller, wife, mother, and creator of the Highwomen. I was lucky when I started playing music young. I was 15 and I was working professionally with one of the greatest acts in country music, it was the Bob Wills and the Texas Playboys band. Led at that time by Tommy Allsup, who was of Buddy Holly and the Crickets.

Everything that happens to me or that I do in the music business always gets compared to that time, because I didn't know it then, but I had a group that was professional. You could see that I'm a young woman and they're old men. They didn't have the man, woman thing, you know? And I didn't see the other sides of that until I moved throughout the different branches of the music business as it is.

So I think that in my early education with that, I saw music in a more equal and classy way. And when I see it's not going down like that, I get kind of frustrated. I naturally want to tell stories and I naturally want to shed light onto things that are important to me.

The Highwomen experience, getting a group of women together that already have careers in order to bring on awareness and conversations is a beautiful thing, and there's that divine feminine of women collaborating. When I came up with the idea, there was about 13% representation on country radio. Right now, it's nearing 16%.

It's still not enough to make me feel like it's working as fast as I'd like it to, and it doesn't exactly feel positive that it's not changing as fast, but I do have faith and I do have hope that things can get better. Being that I have been in a male-dominated industry for a long time, I decided to call my record Take It Like a Man, because you really can't take anything like a man you can only take things as you can as yourself. I could only take things like Amanda.

I really only know how to take things as I take them, and that is with the experiences that I've had. Folks will tell you that you're being emotional or that you're being weak if you show emotion, and really, I don't think that's true. I think there's great strength in being vulnerable and having your emotions.

It's like somebody wants to design you to be a certain way and to say certain things and to not say this and not do that and not wear this and not do that, and I'm at the IDGAF point at this point, you know? I'm going to do me, and if you don't like it, that's fine. You can not come to the show, just unfollow.

It makes me feel good to be able to have an outlet where I can have that sort of release and open those lanes for myself, because we wander around through the world and we are restricted and confined, and in this one aspect I have the freedom to move with ease.