Kacey Musgraves, from a small town in East Texas, is one of country music’s newly risen stars.
Country Weekly magazine crowned Musgraves the belle of the 2014 Grammy Awards ball. Her album debut, “Same Trailer Different Park,” won for best country album. Her song, “Merry Go ’Round,” won the best country song honor. Musgraves’ Grammy wins topped tough competition, including superstar Taylor Swift.
“There’s so much music out there, so many great songwriters and songs that never even get heard,” Musgraves said recently before a show in Tulsa, Oklahoma. “So the fact that something I was part of was considered to be the best of the year at the Grammys was just an honor.”
Critics and the public at large embraced Musgraves and her clever, winning songwriting upon the release of “Same Trailer Different Park” in early 2013. In an era when music doesn’t sell in the numbers it used to sell, the album won a gold record award. Musgraves’ songs “Merry Go ’Round” and “Follow Your Arrow” respectively earned platinum and gold record awards.
Last month, executives from Universal Music Group Nashville presented Recording Industry Association of America-certified gold and platinum awards to Musgraves following her opening act set for Katy Perry at the KFC Yum! Center in Louisville, Kentucky.
“It was really cool because all my friends were there, all the people who I got to be creative with,” she said. “Everyone’s hard work is playing off.”
Musgraves played 14 dates on Perry’s “Prismatic World Tour.” At first, the pairing of a country artist with Perry may seem odd, but Musgraves made country music converts of the pop princess’ fans.
“Initially there was maybe some intrigued confusion,” Musgraves said. “People saw these country-and-western looking people coming out. ‘What’s happening? There’s cowboy boots, cowboy hats.’ ”
Musgraves and her band’s “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly” entrance music stirred more puzzlement.
“We’d get into our first couple of songs and we’d hear a little bit more clapping,” Musgraves said. “As the set went on, they got a little more excited and loud. They were kind of singing along by the end. And when we ended with ‘Follow Your Arrow,’ they were super excited.”
From a visual perspective, Musgraves and Perry share a love for colorful costumes and sets.
“Yeah, we both really love a scene,” Musgraves said.
Musgraves draws both musical and style inspiration from classic country music performers Patsy Cline, Loretta Lynn, Dolly Parton and that multi-faceted pair of Western entertainers, Roy Rogers and Dale Evans.
“Dolly’s outfits were always amazing,” she said. “I love to bring a little bit of that back.”
Influences upon Musgraves’ playful songwriting include John Prine, a one-of-kind singer-songwriter whose songs, while certainly down home, transcend conventional country music.
“Yeah, he made a huge impression on me, with his lyrics,” she said. “He broke all the rules of songwriting. He wasn’t afraid to repeat words or say something weird. It’s really clever the way he turns a phrase really well and plays on words. I really love that.”