With liberal themes and ferocious lyrics, female singer-songwriters are changing the tone of the industry.

This article titled “Drugs, casual sex and black comedy: the country music revolution” was written by Alex Macpherson, for The Guardian on Thursday 17th October 2013 16.52 UTC

‘People think country audiences are all conservative, redneck, almost small-minded,” sighs Brandy Clark. “That's not true. Are they more socially liberal now? Yes. But maybe they always have been to some extent.”

The question arises because a new sisterhood of straight-talking women has been revolutionising the country world. Clark is a professional Nashville songwriter of more than a decade's standing whose own debut album, 12 Stories, is released this month. Among the artists she has written for are the young Texan Kacey Musgraves, this year's breakout country wunderkind, and Miranda Lambert – arguably the grande dame of the movement, a woman whose ferocious narratives have been scorching a path through country since 2005, both solo and in her all-female Pistol Annies trio. “We set out to tell the truth,” says Ashley Monroe, another Pistol Annie, who has also embarked on a solo career this year. “Stuff that happens to us and to people we know.”

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