ToC Critic’s Pick: Kacey Musgraves, ‘Dime Store Cowgirl’ [Listen]
The personal, humble “Dime Store Cowgirl” is one of the best from Kacey Musgraves’ Pageant Material album. Find this singer and storyteller at her best during this three-and-a-half minute biography that is at times funny, contrite and revealing.
Sonically, “Dime Store Cowgirl” is a grade-A production. Pedal steel cries add flavor and pathos to Musgraves' city-by-city approach to telling her story. “And I made it all the way past Austin City Limits / And maybe for a minute, I got too big for my britches, but …” she sings to close a catchy first verse.
“I’m just a dime store cowgirl / That's all I'm ever gonna be / You can take me out of the country / But you can't take the country out of me,” Musgraves adds during the chorus, before the breakdown:
“Cause I'm still the girl from Golden / Had to get away so I could grow / But it don't matter where I'm goin' / I'll still call my hometown home.”
References to Willie Nelson, Gram Parsons and saguaro cactuses add a southwestern flavor to her second single from Pageant Material. It feels dry and dusty, but Musgraves’ sugar-sweet voice and the toe-tapping melody bring the needed rain shower. Over and over one sings along as she says:
“And I kinda fell in love with a Palm Springs trailer park / But those California stars could never steal my heart, cause … I’m just a dime store cowgirl.”
“Dime Store Cowgirl” was quietly released as a single, so it’s difficult to believe it’s her next hit, and that’s a shame. The song is as straight down Country Main Street as she gets. It’d sound fine between any two on the radio.
Key Lyrics: “I’m just a dime store cowgirl / That’s all I’m ever gonna be / You can take me out of the country / But you can’t take the country out of me.”
Did You Know?: Musgraves tapped the legendary Paul Franklin to play pedal steel on songs from Pageant Material. The steel playing on "Dime Store Cowgirl" is subtle and brilliant.
Listen to Kacey Musgraves, “Dime Store Cowgirl”
Kacey Musgraves' Pageant Material Is Family Affair