While working on songs for her third album, Revolution, Miranda Lambert turned to fellow country singer Ashley Monroe for help. The girls wrote two songs together, including the number one single “Heart Like Mine,” and decided to keep collaborating after the album’s release. Angaleena Presley later joined the songwriting sessions, too, turning what began as a standards collaboration into a sort of countrified girl group. Dubbing themselves the Pistol Annies, the three developed a spunky, harmony-heavy sound and made their debut in April 2011, singing “Hell on Heels” at the Academy of Country Music's Girls' Night Out: Superstar Women of Country telecast. An album of the same name followed later that year, topping the country charts during its first week of release and stirring up some buzz for Lambert’s fourth record, which appeared in October.
Pistol Annies held its own with Lambert's fourth album, reaching number one on the Billboard Country charts and earning considerable critical acclaim (Neil Young also praised the band repeatedly in his 2012 memoir, Waging Heavy Peace).
Ashley Monroe's solo career received a jolt from the Annies' success, and she released her second album, Like a Rose, in March 2013, just two months prior to the release of Pistol Annies' second album, Annie Up. ~ Andrew Leahey