MONTICELLO — It’s been 10 years since Miranda Lambert made her debut on the national country music scene with “Me and Charlie Talking,” and that decade has been very, very good to her.
Five albums, including some platinum titles and several chart-topping singles; collaboration in the band Pistol Annies; a Grammy; multiple top awards from the Academy of Country Music and the Country Music Association; marriage to country music superstar Blake Shelton; successful businesswoman with an animal shelter, three merchandise stores and soon, a bed-and-breakfast.
In a return appearance Thursday at the Great Jones County Fair in Monticello, Lambert reminded fans that despite all that, she still keeps it real.
“This is my third or fourth time here, and one of the things I love about coming is that I always feel at home,” she told the near-sell-out crowd. “One of the reasons we’re here tonight is because you all love country music.”
More specifically, Eastern Iowa — and most country music fans based on the accolades, for that matter — loves Lambert’s particular brand of country music — a little bit rebel, a little bit hometown girl and a whole lot of sass.
A video montage of her duet “Something Bad” with Carrie Underwood opened the concert. Lambert soon took the stage with “Fastest Girl in Town,” a song about a woman with a wild side: “My reputation follows me around/ Just makes me want to give them more to talk about/ Let’s go to town for a little while/ I’ll be wearing nothing but a tattoo and a smile.”
More Lambert sass came with “Platinum,” “All Kinds of Kinds” and “Mama’s Broken Heart.” She showed her softer side, as well, with songs like “Over You,” cowritten by husband Shelton about his older brother, who was killed in a car accident when Shelton was just a teenager.
With four hit records and just a little more than an hour on a county fair stage, it’s hard to get everything in. But Lambert managed to squeeze in most of her biggest, attitude-filled hits just before the first fireworks started going off.
IF YOU GO
The stars will line up again Saturday and Sunday for two more grandstand concerts. For more information,
go to Greatjonescountyfair.com.
•Kid Rock with Gunnar & The Grizzly Boys, 8 p.m. Saturday, $50 (bleacher seats only)
•Chris Tomlin and Colton Dixon, 7 p.m. Sunday, $22 and $27 (bleachers and some track seats sold out)