Classic Clips – The Highwomen “The Chain”, The Howard Stern Show, 2019

The Highwomen came about following a conversation Amanda Shires had with producer Dave Cobb, during the making of her 2016 album ‘My Piece of Land’. She thought of creating a female ‘supergroup’ in homage to the famous Highwaymen; Willie Nelson, Johnny Cash, Waylon Jennings and Kris Kristofferson, but also to raise the profile of women in country music and to get more radio play for female country artists. Cobb thought the idea had potential and introduced Shires to Brandi Carlile, who liked the idea and helped to take it forward. Maren Morris became the third member and, while the original idea was to leave the fourth spot open for a changing roster of guest musicians, a meeting with singer/songwriter Natalie Hemby convinced the other three that she was the final member they were looking for. It’s a powerful combination as this great clip shows. Backed up by members of Carlile’s band and Shire’s husband, Jason Isbell, this clip was taken from a recording done for the Howard Stern Show and shows the beauty of their four part harmonies as well as the strength of each band members own voice.

‘The Chain’ is one of the songs from the classic Fleetwood Mac album ‘Rumours’ and is unusual in that its writing is credited to the whole band. It has become something of a theme song for Fleetwood Mac and is often used to open their live shows, so covering it is a brave move for any band. The Highwomen not only do a great job on their version, but they manage to give it their own twist and put a very distinctive stamp on it. Although this clip is barely two years old it has already become something of a classic, with The Highwomen’s harmonies steadily building the song to a great climax and Shires’ inspired fiddle playing all but eclipsing Lindsay Buckingham’s guitar solo on the original version.


About Rick Bayles 354 Articles
Now living the life of a political émigré in rural France and dreaming of the day I'll be able to sing those Cajun lyrics with an authentic accent!
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