I haven’t heard a country song spin such a fantastical yet somehow believable yarn about circus folk since Kathy Mattea’s “Harley”, a fan favorite album cut from her 1991 set, Time Passes By.
Don Henry wrote that tune, and he’s a co-writer of this latest single by Miranda Lambert as well. “All Kinds of Kinds” is actually headed to country radio, giving this new tale the opportunity for a wider audience than that little-known gem from two decades ago.
For some strange reason, it takes Lambert a while to get around to releasing the best songs from her albums to radio. I’d argue that this coming on the heels of “Mama’s Broken Heart” makes this her best one-two punch since “Gunpowder & Lead” and “More Like Her.”
“All Kinds of Kinds” could have easily made its appeal for tolerance and against bigotry be populated with cardboard characters, but the writers take the wiser tack of creating complex and not necessarily likable folks to celebrate, trusting the listeners to be charmed by them anyway.
And how couldn’t we be, when Lambert sings with smirky, smiley non-judgment, aware of the absurdity of her subjects but enamored by their essential humanity.
Then again, maybe she’s just having fun singing about circus folks and a senator with secrets hanging in his closet.
Written by Philip Coleman and Don Henry