Miranda Lambert draws inspiration from Pistol Annies; heads to CCMAs

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SASKATOON - The "Fastest Girl In Town" is riding into the Canadian Country Music Awards.

Country superstar Miranda Lambert, whose lastest single "Fastest Girl In Town" is climbing music charts, will take the CCMAs stage this Sunday at Saskatoon's Credit Union Centre.

Lambert will perform one song on her own and another with Pistol Annies, the all-girl trio that teams the Texas native with friends Ashley Monroe and Angaleena Presley.

"Oh my god. I'm obsessed with Pistol Annies and I know it's probably not OK to be obsessed with your own band, but I can't help it," Lambert laughs in an interview with The Canadian Press.

"They totally inspire me. I mean we write like crazy."

Lambert, 28, first gained attention as a runner-up on Nashville Star in 2003. Her solo hits include "Kerosene," "The House That Built Me" and "Heart Like Mine." She's also married to another country music superstar, Blake Shelton.

With Pistol Annies, Lambert has found kindred spirits.

She says when the women each write a song on their own, they won't play it for each other unless they know it's good enough.

"It definitely drives me to make sure that I write the best songs I can, especially if I'm going to play it for my girls who I know are great," she says.

The feisty blond says Pistol Annies is getting ready to do a record in November, so they know they need to be writing songs. They draw inspiration from each other, she says.

"When I'm by myself obviously I'm not that prolific. I mean I'll write here and there, but I'll definitely hit walls and months go by that I don't write anything," she says.

"And then when we're together, one person will say something and it will spark the other person. We'll just be talking and somebody will say something that's clever and the other person will grab the guitar and I think that's what keeps the juices flowing."

That and it doesn't feel like work.

"It's a big slumber party. It's fun. It's more like a hobby," she laughs.

Lambert, who has been named female vocalist of the year by both the Country Music Association and the Academy of Country Music, says she was thrilled to get a call from the Canadian Country Music Awards.

But she also admits she doesn't know what to expect at the show.

"We've never been there, but it's exciting. We're excited to see the artists we've never seen before and be part of it," she said in an interview from Regina where she was performing Friday night.

"We're honoured that you guys wanted us to come."

And while country music fans will be excited to see Lambert, she's looking to check out some stars too.

Lambert says she's a "huge fan" of Corb Lund.

"I'm really excited to get to meet him and probably take a picture with him and probably be a groupie," she laughs.

"I love his music. I've never gotten to meet him, but my husband actually turned me onto his music. I've never gotten to meet him so I'm excited."

Lambert a groupie? Absolutely, she says.

Lambert says Pistol Annies recently got to meet one of their favourite songwriters, Chris Knight. She says they were so enthralled they acted like 15-year-old girls meeting Justin Beiber.

"But I feel like if you ever lose that, then you've lost your passion," she says.

"You know, I love being fans of a person and it reminds me to always be nice to my fans because when I get nervous meeting someone I realize that's what people feel like meeting me sometimes."

Scottish-born crooner Johnny Reid has a leading eight nominations heading into Sunday night's show, while Dean Brody of Jaffray, B.C., has seven and Alberta singer Gord Bamford is next with six.

Lambert won't be the only American country star at the show — Taylor Swift is also due to make an appearance.

Organizations: Credit Union Centre, Canadian Press, Country Music Association

Geographic location: SASKATOON, Texas, Regina Jaffray Alberta

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