Kacey Musgraves

With her first album debuting at No. 2, Kacey Musgraves is already a highly anticipated addition to the country music scene.

She’s a month into supporting the Kenny Chesney tour and she heads to the Academy of Country Music Awards in Las Vegas April 7 with four nominations. Those nominations include new artist and best female vocalist awards. Her competition for the latter is Taylor Swift, Miranda Lambert, Martina McBride and Carrie Underwood. A year ago, she wasn’t even on a stage at the multiday Vegas event. A lot can change in a year.

Photo: Jason Moore

“This year has been incredible,” Musgraves told Pollstar. “Mind-blowing even. And it’s, like, what can even happen next? It doesn’t seem like anything could, and then it does. I’m just thankful that I’m still getting to do, on the baseline, what I like to do. So whatever comes with that I’ll take.”

Musgraves, 24, has been performing onstage with her family since she was a child, traveling from fair to festival. When she took up guitar, her teacher told her, as part of her lessons, to go home and write a song, even if it wasn’t a good one. She’s been writing good ones ever since. In fact, songs so good they draw comparisons to names like Patty Griffin and John Prine.

The Washington Post calls Same Trailer Different Park “magnificent” and says it “contains some of the most straightforward storytelling you could ever ask of a dozen country tunes.” Rolling Stone gave the album four stars. The songs are co-written by Shane McAnally and Luke Laird.

Photo: Becky Fluke

It’s a proud achievement in itself, made more prominent because so few country artists are themselves songwriters.

“It is different when you write your own songs,” she said. “I love it. I wouldn’t have it any other way. I guess I just work in the opposite way of some people. They don’t mind just singing. I mean, their songs are good songs, but I enjoy having something to say.”