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Today we have a special Broken Record Holiday episode with Nashville singer Amanda Shires. Shires’ new holiday album, For Christmas, isn’t meant to make you feel merry and bright. Instead it’s an acknowledgment of the complicated feelings that can come along with the holidays, like disappointment, longing and maybe a little bit of lust.
In addition to her solo career, Amanda Shires plays fiddle and sings in her husband Jason Isbell’s band, The 400 Unit. She is also a founding member of the female country supergroup, The Highwomen, with Brandi Carlile. But way before she hit it big in Nashville, Shires played fiddle with the Texas Playboys, the legendary Western swing band started by Bob Will’s that she joined when she was just 12 years-old.
On today’s episode Bruce Headlam talks to Amanda Shires about what inspired her to write a non-traditional Christmas album. Shires also explains how finding out that her Grandfather served decades in Alcatraz raised a ton of questions about her family’s history. And she recalls what happened the time she discovered her husband had ripped off one of her lyrics.

The Hosts

Rick Rubin

In addition to being a podcast host, Frederick Jay “Rick” Rubin is an American record producer and former co-president of Columbia Records. Along with Russell Simmons, he is the co-founder…

Malcolm Gladwell

Malcolm Gladwell is president and co-founder of Pushkin Industries. He is a journalist, a speaker, and the author of six New York Times bestsellers including The Tipping Point, Blink, Outliers,…

Justin Richmond

Justin Richmond is producer and co-host of the music podcast Broken Record with writer Malcolm Gladwell, New York Times editor Bruce Headlam, and music producer—and Def Jam co-founder—Rick Rubin. Justin…

Bruce Headlam

Bruce Headlam is one of the co-creators of the music podcast Broken Record. He worked at The New York Times for 19 years, including two years running the 50-person Video…