Lee Ann Womack‘s years as a major label country music hitmaker still serve her well.
Her song preferences within those UMG albums is evident. Some of those titles she carries with her today include the obligatory “I Hope You Dance” crossover joined by other country top 40 singles from that album, specifically. Some include those written and/or recorded by heroes Rodney Crowell (“Ashes By Now”), Buddy/Julie Miller (“Does My Ring Burn Your Finger”) and Don Williams (“Lord, I Hope This Day Is Good”).
Perhaps some of that major label notoriety helped Womack sell out Friday and Saturday (April 6, 7) shows at the grungier east side Nashville club, The Basement East. But the more recent disestablishment image she’s developed these past two albums—more indulgent, critically acclaimed indie releases—have kept audiences coming back to cheer every lyric.
Traditional country fiddle and steel still never left Womack’s sights, what she called real country music while promoting her latest The Lonely, the Lonesome & the Gone (ATO Records). Her clinched, honky tonk howl is notably more apparent these days—finding her stride with the sounds in her soul.
That voice has attracted pitches to join tribute albums. Such was the case with Restoration: Reimagining The Songs Of Elton John and Bernie Taupin (released April 6). Womack offered a swampy “Honky Cat” while Taupin himself reciprocated, attending that Womack club show in Nashville the day after the album’s release.
Womack’s daringly steadfast reputation remains preserved, guided by the inner voice developed after years in a Texas radio booth with her DJ father. Obligatory homages to George Jones thus capped her show, which was also filled with original titles like “I May Hate Myself In The Morning,” “Last Call,” and “The Fool.” Womack welcomed new traditional titles too, including “The Lonely, The Lonesome & The Gone,” “All the Trouble,” “Chances Are” and “The Way I’m Livin’.”
Thus, as time moves forward—20 years and two husbands for Womack, to be exact—certain titles in her discography were absent from the stage show. “Twenty Years And Two Husbands Ago,” “Either Way,” “I Know Why The River Runs” and “The Healing Kind,” all of which pay homage to her more traditional country heritage, were left in her back pocket. Perhaps why Nashville diehards reached into theirs after the show for anything inscribed with “LAW” at the merch booth.
LAW, her initials, has become a synonym for the same, true-to-your-roots country music that Womack continues to relish in all these years later. Fans clearly want more.
Lee Ann Womack’s Upcoming Shows:
April 13 – Harvester Performance Center – Rocky Mount, VA
Apirl 14 – The Beacon Theatre – Hopewell, VA
April 19 – The Heights Theatre – Houston, TX
April 20 – Gruene Hall – New Braunfels, TX
April 22 – The Kessler Theater – Dallas, TX
May 4 – Cherokee Casino – West Siloam Springs, OK
May 5 – Prairie Brand Casino & Resort – Mayetta, KS
May 10 – The Imogene Theater – Milton, FL
May 11 – MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheater – Tampa, FL*
May 12 – Coral Sky Amphitheater – West Palm Beach, FL*
May 25 – Camel Rock Casino – Santa Fe, NM
June 2 – Love In Bloom: A Tribute to Johnny and June – Franklin, KY
June 3 – Mountain Stage – Charleston, WV
June 9 – CMA Fest: Nissan Stadium – Nashville, TN
June 16 – Renfro Valley Entertainment Center – Renfro Valley, KY
August 16 – Filene Center – Vienna, VA
August 17 – Bank of NH Pavilion – Gilford, NH*
Sept. 21 – Ponte Vedra Concert Hall – Ponte Vedra Beach, FL
*denotes shows with Alan Jackson
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