In a world of mainstream media garbage lies a few saving graces that adorn the printed media, and garner very little airplay on Country radio. The Pistol Annies made their debut in 2011on the CBS special Academy Of Country Music’s Girl’s Night Out Superstar Women Of Country, performing their iconic hit “Hell On Heels”. They gave themselves the monikers “Lone Star Annie”, “Hippie Annie”, and “Holler Annie”.

I wholeheartedly agree with the major Country Radio’s aggressive war on women on the major mainstream echelon. If you ever really pay attention and take notice to the radio now….it’s 95 percent men. That’s NOT to say it’s because women aren’t making quality songs, because there are some good females like these and Miss Lainey Wilson and others.

Despite their lack of radio airplay and lack of chart success this trio has had both solo success and success as a band. Their first album “Hell On Heels” debuted at number 1 on the U.S. Country charts, and was certified gold in sales. Their second album “Annie Up” was by far their least embraced offering, and shortly after in 2013 they took a brief hiatus.

In 2018 they finally emerged back around full of girl power, and ready to take on the world with their third album “Interstate Gospel”. That album debuted at number 1 as well, and sold 80,000 copies without radio airplay. But it is their personal issues that propel them to the forefront of my attention here lately, it has not been an easy few years for the three gals here.

Right on the cusp of their fourth album being released called “Hell Of A Holiday” they had another setback this time from Miss Ashley Monroe announcing she had been diagnosed with an extremely rare type of blood cancer called Waldenstrom Macroglobulinemia.

Without haste, she dealt with the denial stage of dealing with this diagnosis, and quickly went into chemotherapy treatments. She said in an interview  “I’m in a slight sliver of denial-slash-hopefulness that maybe I won’t have to hear about it. Maybe it’s one of those things I’ll have, and it won’t affect my blood like it had been after [I receive] these treatments.”

“The biggest change has been this overall acceptance and surrender of control that it turns out I probably very much needed anyway,” Monroe says. “Oddly enough, I’m calmer now than I ever was. I’m more in the moment, and I can clearly see what matters and what doesn’t. What my doctors have stressed to me now,” Monroe says, “[is that] my biggest danger is getting an infection or getting sick, even getting a cold, just because my immune system is so low. That’s what I’ve been told: Just don’t get sick.”

On December 15th, she finished her chemo treatments, and was seen leaving the treatment center ringing the bell. She is taking care of herself, and said that her blood level numbers look positive on all fronts. However what will this mean for touring with the band? Will she be able to record further albums solo or with the Annies?

I’m so glad that all the drama with Miss Miranda Lambertt and Mr. Evan Felker is over with on a major media scale, and that he is sober and ready to reform the Turnpike Troubadors now. As an addict myself that struggles with opioids, it really made me happy that he got sober even if it meant the demise of his own marriage. It seems that he is working on his issues and is mending fences, he is a lucky man his wife chose to stay with him.

I choose not to write articles focusing on another person’s detriment, but I feel this was more of a hopeful post for everyone to emerge victorious on that situation, and that Country Music retains the Pistol Annies and the Turnpike Troubadours both, because we need them!

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