The Heart Wranglers Unite: Lainey Wilson Reflects On ‘Heart Like A Truck’ And Writing Songs With Her ‘Best Friends’
“Heart Like A Truck” co-writers Lainey Wilson, Trannie Anderson, and Dallas Wilson dubbed their songwriting trio, “The Heart Wranglers.”
Trannie Anderson, Lainey Wilson, Dallas Wilson; Photo Courtesy of Steve Lowry for ASCAP
Amid a whirlwind year of milestone moments, Lainey Wilson recently took time to celebrate one of her many accomplishments during a No.1 party celebrating the chart-topping success of her hit, “Heart Like A Truck.” Joined by her friends and fellow songwriters, Trannie Anderson and Dallas Wilson, the Louisiana native reflected on the song, its journey to the top, and the close-knit bond she shares with her co-writers.
Parking Lot No.1 Party
The ASCAP-hosted event took place in the parking lot of Sony Music Publishing on Nashville’s Music Row. They opted to celebrate “Heart Like A Truck” on the beds of their trucks, treating friends, family, and members of the music industry to a parking lot party on a Thursday afternoon.
It was a full-circle moment for the reigning ACM Female Artist of the Year, who recalled attending a similar event in the parking lot of Sony Music Publishing in 2017.
“About a month before I signed over here, they were having a fall festival and they had a couple of their writers singing in the back of a truck out there on hay bales. And when we got ready to do this, I mean it only made sense to kind of do that again,” Wilson shared with Country Now and other media outlets ahead of the party.
“So,” she added, “it feels like a full circle moment for me. But also, I mean these people sitting right here next to me, Dallas and Trannie, the people that I wrote ‘Heart Like A Truck” with, they’re like my down-home friends, if that makes any sense at all. And it only made sense for us to just kind of throw a party in the back of our trucks.”
The Story Behind The Song
When thinking back to the moment they wrote the song, Wilson revealed that they knew it was “special” the moment they wrote it. And surprisingly, it was the first song the trio of songwriters had ever written together. It came together amid the pandemic and Wilson says they initially began taking the song in a different direction when they got into the writing room together.
“It was one of those things where I think a lot of people during that time were trying to cover up the way that they were feeling during the pandemic. And we were kind of trying to do that at first when we were writing the song, we kind of started writing the song from a more of a rocking standpoint… tough, gritty,” she recalled.
When they realized what they were doing, they stopped themselves.
“We said, ‘Are we being honest with where we’re at right now in this situation?’ And the truth was, we weren’t,” Wilson acknowledged. “So we started getting vulnerable with it and it was really coming from a real place.”
Her Third No.1 Single
The finished product became “Heart Like A Truck,” the lead single off Wilson’s Bell Bottom Country Album. The track reached the No.1 spot at country radio in April, marking her third chart-topper. Since then, she’s notched two more (“wait in the truck” with HARDY and “Watermelon Moonshine”) and likely has another on the horizon with “Save Me,” a collaboration with Jelly Roll.
When discussing the way “Heart Like A Truck” has resonated with fans, Wilson shared, “This song is about going through those tough times and embracing those tough times, those scratches and the dents and the bumps along the way. And these two people right here are not just co-writers of mine. They’re two of my very best friends and they’re two of the people who helped me get through those tough times, but also encouraged me to embrace those tough times, [I] knew that this was going to be a relatable song.”
Who Are The Heart Wranglers?
Lainey Wilson, Trannie Anderson, and Dallas Wilson have dubbed their songwriting trio “The Heart Wranglers.” Their clever alias was established during a songwriting retreat in Arizona a few years ago.
Anderson explained, “We’d written ‘Heart Like A Truck,’ and that’s where ‘heart’ comes from. And then…just every time we write together we’re pretty much wrangling something, we’re cowboys in some regard…So it just felt right to go with that name.”
“Yeah, when we were in Arizona, we were at a dude ranch too. So we were wrangling songs, but we were also riding horses and doing a bunch of dude ranch stuff. So wranglers kind of felt right,” Dallas Wilson chimed in.
Their bond is something the current nine-time CMA Awards nominee cherishes and something that cannot be replaced.
“We have a special thing,” Lainey Wilson acknowledged. “At times I feel like these two know what I’m trying to say better than I do when I’m having a hard time putting it to words. They know my heart, they know what I want to say. And you mentioned this earlier too, but you feel like we do have so much in common. I mean, of course there’s three different sides to the story and that’s what makes co-writing so special. But we all do have the main goal in mind. We know what we want, what it needs to really say the message that needs to come across.”
Teases New Music
With her yet-to-be-announced next studio project already underway, Wilson hinted that more songs written by The Heart Wranglers could be on the horizon.
“Before Bell Bottom Country was done, we were already working on this next batch, this next cycle. I think when I’m 80 years old and when they’re 80 years old, because we’re all the same age too, we will still be making music together,” she proudly shared. “I mean, they’re my best friends and it’s really cool to be able to work alongside your best friends. So yes, steadily writing music for the next project and even songs that might not end up on this project that will serve a purpose at some point in time.”
Lauren Jo Black
Lauren Jo Black, a University of Central Florida graduate, has immersed herself in the world of country music for over 15 years. In 2008, she co-founded CountryMusicIsLove, eventually selling it to a major record label in 2015. Following the rebranding of the website to Sounds Like Nashville, Black served as Editor-in-Chief for two and a half years. Currently, she assumes the role of Editor-in-Chief at Country Now and oversees Country Now’s content and digital footprint. Her extensive experience also encompasses her previous role as a Country Music Expert Writer for Answers.com and her work being featured on Forbes.com. She’s been spotlighted among Country Aircheck’s Women of Influence and received the 2012 Rising Star Award from the University of Central Florida. Black also spent time in front of the camera as host of Country Now Live, which brought live music directly to fans in 2021 when the majority of concerts were halted due to the pandemic. During this time, she hosted 24 weeks of live concerts via Country Now Live on Twitch with special guests such as Lady A, Dierks Bentley, Jordan Davis, Brett Young, and Jon Pardi. Over the course of her career, she has had the privilege of conducting interviews with some of the industry’s most prominent stars, including Reba McEntire, Blake Shelton, Luke Combs, Carrie Underwood, Luke Bryan, Miranda Lambert, Lainey Wilson, and many others. Lauren Jo Black is a longtime member of the Country Music Association and the Academy of Country Music.