Miranda Lambert is in the midst of the Roadside Bars and Pink Guitars tour, with some manly support from newcomers Randy Houser, Luke Bryan, Chris Young, David Nail and James Otto as her opening acts.

After years of opening for country greats such as Keith Urban, George Strait, Dierks Bentley and Toby Keith, Miranda is more than ready to step out in front. "I've been on big tours ever since I started," the singer tells newscincinnati.com. "But you can't just go out there and headline, you have to do it right. It was finally time to do it on my own, and I wanted to make sure I was ready and had a lot of experience under my belt. And having my first No. 1 song ['White Liar'] helps get people out to the show."

Miranda says it was a conscious decision to take a bunch of young male singers out on her first headlining gig. "I really thought it would be a cool dynamic. They all matter right now, and they're all working really hard. I don't think they were scared. I've known most of them for a while, and we've all grown up together, and we're all new at this but we're trying to kick some butt."

The 26-year-old hit the ground running early in her career and hasn't stopped since. "I started playing in bands when I was 17," she says. "I played in bars every weekend in Texas until I was 19 and kept doing it while I was on 'Nashville Star.' I always felt like I needed to be there because I was paying my dues, and it's really important to play in dives where there are shady people getting arrested in the parking lot. I have plenty of stories. But when people ask for my advice, the first thing I tell them is, 'Go play shows. Play wherever you can. The road is hard, and you have to get accustomed to it.'"

Miranda, who has cultivated something of a country 'outlaw' image, was asked if she feels any kind of friendly rivalry with that 'other' country outlaw, Gretchen Wilson? "We know each other pretty well," she says, adding, "I don't think we're anything alike though. We're both strong women who are not afraid to sing about stuff like that, and she kicked the door open for artists like me. Hopefully, I'm doing the same for some younger artists. I'm glad to be a part of that; it's time for people to bring that outlaw country thing back."

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