Lee Ann Womack On World Cafe

Studio Sessions Lee Ann Womack On World Cafe 34:06 Toggle more options Embed Embed <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/582102931/582120537" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player"> Facebook Twitter Flipboard Email Enlarge this image Lee Ann Womack Ebru Yildiz/Courtesy of the artist hide caption toggle caption Ebru Yildiz/Courtesy of the artist Lee Ann Womack Ebru Yildiz/Courtesy of the artist Set List "All the Trouble" "The Lonely, The Lonesome & The Gone" "Mama Lost Her Smile" Lee Ann Womack could choose to sing anything in the world. She could sing the periodic table or the label on a can of baked beans or an essay about the various ways paint dries and it would sound thrilling. On her latest album, Lee Ann has chosen to use her voice and songwriting chops for a specific purpose. Lee Ann told me she doesn't hear Nashville artists making real country music anymore. She wanted to fill that void with a classic country record, the kind that captures heartbreak the way Hank Williams used to do — songs for the lonely, the lonesome and the gone — which is the fitting title of her latest work. Although you might know Lee Ann best for her 2000 pop crossover hit "I Hope You Dance," country music is what got Lee Ann excited about singing in the first place and what she set out to do as a young artist, dating all the way back to her debut 1997 single "Never Again, Again." We'll talk about the moment Lee Ann realized the industry was pushing her in a musical direction she didn't truly want to go in and about breaking free. Lee Ann's album, The Lonely, the Lonesome & the Gone, is the second she's released since parting ways with her longtime label, MCA Nashville. Lee Ann kicks off this session with a live performance of the first song off The Lonely, the Lonesome & the Continue Reading

Country music great Lee Ann Womack performs 2 Bay Area concerts

By Jim Harrington | [email protected] | Bay Area News Group PUBLISHED: February 14, 2018 at 10:00 am | UPDATED: February 14, 2018 at 10:05 am Lee Ann Womack is one of country music’s best artists. And that’s been true, really, for a couple of decades now. Her very first album, a self-titled affair released in 1997, was a platinum-selling smash that produced four Top 40 hits — including the high-lonesome lament “Never Again, Again.” A few years later, Womack delivered her greatest commercial triumph — 2000’s “I Hope You Dance” — which topped the country album charts on its way to triple-platinum sales. The title track was also a platinum-selling single, which nabbed several big awards and nominations. Womack is out on the road in support of her ninth studio effort, 2017’s “The Lonely, the Lonesome & the Gone,” and performs Feb. 19 at the Bankhead Theater in Livermore and Feb. 22 at the Chapel in San Francisco. Having seen Womack twice in recent years, we highly recommend that country fans check out one (or both) of these shows. Details: 7:30 p.m. Feb. 19; $30-$60, lvpac.org; 9 p.m. Feb. 22; $28-$32, www.ticketfly.com. Continue Reading

For her latest country album, Lee Ann Womack had to get out of Nashville

Lee Ann Womack still lives in Nashville, Tenn., but if there is a case to be made that country music — real country music — can originate and reside elsewhere, that argument can be found in the grooves of the veteran singer-songwriter’s latest album, “The Lonely, the Lonesome & the Gone.” The album was recorded in Womack’s native East Texas and released last year by New York-based independent label ATO. “I thought it would be a good idea to get out of the Music Row mindset,” Womack says. “Everything is made here; it’s like a factory or something. I just wanted to go back where I’m from to make music.” Womack repaired to Houston’s SugarHill Studios, which, in its previous incarnation as Gold Star, played host to many East Texas artists whose work she considers touchstones. Among them are Willie Nelson, who recorded “Night Life” there, and George Jones, who cut “Please Take the Devil Out of Me” — a song Womack covers in an impromptu version sung on the same spot where Jones once stood. “I just feel like, East Texas, there’s so much soul to it,” she says. “Whether it’s George Jones, Lefty Frizzell, Willie Nelson, or whether it’s Janis Joplin, Lightnin’ Hopkins, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Townes Van Zandt — all these people have a lot of soul. It gives country music an extra flavor.” That spirit is reflected on “The Lonely, the Lonesome & the Gone” in songs such as the bluesy opener “All the Trouble” and a funky take on Harlan Howard’s “He Called Me Baby,” among others. Womack co-wrote seven of the album’s 14 tracks — more than she ever has on any of her previous efforts. “I had more time,” she says. “My kids are older now, and I had time off the road and more time to write. More time for my mind not to be occupied with a lot of the Continue Reading

KC concerts Jan. 18-23: Boosie Badazz, 2Cellos, Lee Ann Womack, Red Fang

Thursday, Jan. 18, at Knuckleheads Lee Ann Womack is making a mockery of the country music establishment’s standard operating procedure. Female vocalists have long been treated as disposable commodities with rigid sell-by dates. Even after earning big hits including the 2000 smash “I Hope You Dance,” Womack was callously shunned by radio programmers and major record label executives soon after she turned 40. Womack exposed their misguided cynicism with her independent release “The Lonely, the Lonesome & the Gone,” one of the most powerful albums of 2017. With Kelsey Waldon. 8 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 18. Knuckleheads. 816-483-6407. Tickets are $35 through knuckleheadskc.com . Thursday, Jan. 18, at Riot Room More than a decade before memes became a formalized concept, Paul Wall startled the rap world with a barrage of pithy lyrics and hilarious antics. Proclaiming that “I’m the people’s champ,” the Houston rapper asserted that “I got the internet going nuts” on Mike Jones’ 2004 hit “Still Tippin’.” Wall’s sideline as a dealer of the flashy dental fashion accessories known as grills once threatened to overshadow his music. Wall documented the craze on “Grillz,” his 2005 collaboration with Nelly. 8 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 18. Riot Room. 816-442-8179. Tickets are $25 through theriotroom.com . Friday, Jan. 19, at the Truman The angular 2007 hit “Let’s Dance to Joy Division” indicates that the members of the Wombats are well aware of their place in the Britpop continuum. Simultaneously ironic and affectionate, the frantic song secured the trio a permanent place in the pantheon of Beatles-influenced bands that includes like-minded groups Oasis and Arctic Monkeys. With lyrical zingers like “I want to get college girl drunk tonight,” the Wombats’ delirious new single, “Turn,” reveals that the band is improving Continue Reading

Review: Lee Ann Womack returns to Texas for rewarding album

Lee Ann Womack, "The Lonely, The Lonesome & The Gone" (ATO Records) After a long sojourn, Lee Ann Womack got her mojo back on 2014's "The Way I'm Living," and now she's returned to her native East Texas to make "The Lonely, The Lonesome & The Gone," as good an album as she's ever done. Produced again by her husband, Frank Liddell, the set relies more on Womack's songwriting than before. She co-wrote six of the 14 tunes, including down-on-your-luck opener "All the Trouble" and the desolate "Hollywood," portraying a relationship (barely) going through the motions. The magnificent "He Called Me Baby" comes down somewhere between Charlie Rich's version, a country chart-topper, and Candi Staton's soulful reading, while her take on popular murder ballad "Long Black Veil" emphatically transmits its needless tragedy. On "Mama Lost Her Smile," she searches in vain through a box of photographs only to find that "you don't take pictures/of the bad times/we only want to remember all the sunshine." During "Somebody Else's Heartache," another Womack co-write, she makes a convincing case that the misery is still hers, too. The album was recorded mostly at Houston's SugarHill Studios, where Womack got to sing fellow Texan George Jones' redemptive "Take the Devil Out of Me," who cut his original version nearly 60 years ago. Once a stalwart of contemporary country, Womack's career has darted between categories. She scored a huge crossover hit with "I Hope You Dance" in 2000 and now you'll find her in the Americana section of music magazines. Whatever the label, she's achieved a natural blend of styles bonded together by her country roots and her flair for evolving outside the box. "The Lonely, The Lonesome & The Gone" offers ample rewards to unprejudiced listeners. Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Continue Reading

18 things to do in October in East Tennessee

The Museum of Appalachia will present its Tennessee Fall Homecoming with country star Lee Ann Womack, bluegrass groups The Steeldrivers and Earls of Leicester headlining the music and folk festival. The event will go from Friday, Oct. 6-Sunday, Oct. 8, at the Museum of Appalachia, 2819 Andersonville Highway, Clinton. Three-day, one-day and evening passes are available, and prices range from $10-$80. Friday, Oct. 6, will be Student Heritage Day, and Sunday, Oct. 8, will be family day. For more information and tickets, visit http://museumofappalachia.org/."A Very Sordid Wedding," the sequel to Del Shores' 2000 film "Sordid Lives," will screen at 8:05 p.m. Friday, Oct. 6, in the Natalie L. Haslam Music Center's auditorium on the University of Tennessee campus. Shores will attend the screening along with the film's producer Emerson Collins and the stars of the film: Knoxville native and actress Dale Dickey, Oliver Springs resident and actor Levi Kreis and Somerset, Kentucky, resident and actor Scott Presley.The event will serve as a fundraiser for Positively Living. A VIP reception will precede the screening from 6-7:45 p.m., and a Q&A session will follow the film. VIP tickets are $100, and general admission tickets are $20. Tickets online at https://positively-living.org/Jonesborough's three-day National Storytelling Festival is Friday, Oct. 6-Sunday, Oct. 8 at the historic town. More than 11,000 people are expected to listen to more than two dozen storytellers and musicians during the festival. The core programs are 10 a.m.-10 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 10 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Sunday. Tickets vary by performances, and frankly, they're not cheap. An adult daily ticket is $120, but there also are combined multiple-day prices and lower prices for children and senior citizens. Prices and a schedule are at www.storytellingcenter.net.University of Tennessee graduates Sue Conley and Peggy Smith, owners/operators of Cowgirl Continue Reading


'American Idol" maestro Simon Cowell doesn't have much advice for the contestants on his latest reality show, Fox's "Celebrity Duets. " On "Idol," said Cowell during a conference call with reporters yesterday, "we normally say to [the contestants], 'Be unique. Be original. ' On 'Celebrity Duets,' it's 'Shut your eyes. Hold your breath. And hope for the best. '" The show - which kicks off next Tuesday at 8 p. m. on Fox - pairs professional singers - including Macy Gray, Lee Ann Womack, Gladys Knight, Smokey Robinson and Aaron Neville - with celebrities not generally known for their singing chops, including Lucy Lawless, Leah Thompson and Cheech Marin. "The fact that we're teaming them up with some of the best singers in the world, Patti LaBelle and Smokey Robinson, that's a nightmare," he continued. "So there's not much advice I could give them. " He does expect the celebrity contestants to have a lot more to say to the judges critiquing them than the shrinking violets on "American Idol. " "My experience of working with celebrities," he said, "is they'll be a lot more lippy. " Music producer David Foster and Little Richard are among the judges, with a third judge to be named in the coming days. (According to Cowell, No. 3 will be a female and will be a recording artist.) Cowell said he expects Foster, who has worked with many of the professional singers who will be appearing on the show, to be the linchpin, much like he is on "Idol. " Meanwhile, Little Richard was chosen for his off-the-wall persona. "Somebody said, 'Little Richard. ' And I said, 'Book him,'" said Cowell. "He's interesting. I've seen so many of these shows where the panelists are so dull. " Cowell has somewhat of a Midas touch when it comes to formatted reality. "American Inventor" was a modest performer and "America's Got Talent" did so well for NBC, the network ordered a second season. But Cowell's contract with Fox precludes him from appearing on shows Continue Reading


Singing in the shower is one thing. Singing with the likes of Aaron Neville or Patti LaBelle is another. But Lucy Lawless, Cheech Marin, Lea Thompson and wrestler Chris Jericho will give it a try, all for your entertainment pleasure. They have been chosen to perform with the pros in Fox's "Celebrity Duets," a musical version of "Dancing With the Stars," produced by "American Idol's" Simon Cowell. Other contestants are gymnast Carly Patterson (a 2004 Olympic gold medalist), Alfonso Ribeiro (who played Will Smith's uptight cousin in "The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air"), "Queer Eye" style guru Jai Rodriguez and Hal Sparks ("Queer as Folk"). Each week they'll perform a duet with a rotating roster of singing stars including LaBelle and Neville as well as Clint Black, Michael Bolton, Belinda Carlisle, Taylor Dayne, Peter Frampton, Macy Gray, James Ingram, Wynonna Judd, Chaka Khan, Kenny Loggins, Richard Marx, Brian McKnight, Smokey Robinson, Randy Travis, Dionne Warwick and Lee Ann Womack. Viewers will vote to send one contestant packing each week. The winning celebrity will get $100,000 - to give to his or her favorite charity, of course. Producer David Foster, who is looking for a new singing star with NBC's online series StarTomorrow (www.star tomorrow.com), is one of the "Duets" judges, with two others still to be named. Comedian Wayne Brady will host. "Duets" bows Aug. 29 at 8 p.m. with a two-hour installment before settling into its regular time slot, Thursday night at 9, on Sept. 7. A weekly results show begins Sept. 8 at 9 p.m. All of the celebrities participating in "Duets" can carry a tune, promised Peter Liguori, Fox's head of entertainment, and some of them may surprise you. "I can't tell you what they're going to do under pressure, but as a public service," he said, "I make you a solid commitment that we will do everything humanly possible to present high-quality singers in the competition because I think that's where the 'wow' factor is Continue Reading


CELEBRITY DUETSTonight at 8, Fox. 3 StarsThe two-hour premiere of "Celebrity Duets," broadcast live Tuesday night on Fox, is being repeated tonight at 8 in the show's regular time slot. It's the third reality competition series this year from "American Idol" judge Simon Cowell, who already in 2006 has inflicted on us his "American Inventor" and "America's Got Talent." Apparently, though, the third time's the charm. "Celebrity Duets" has all the right ingredients - good premise, likable host, well-selected talent and judges - and should get even more enjoyable quickly as participants and judges find their rhythms and sea legs. Like VH1's "But Can They Sing?," the show's concept is simple: Gather a bunch of celebrities not known for singing skills and have them compete to hear how good they are. The difference with "Celebrity Duets," and what makes it different enough from "Idol" to work, is that these celebrities aren't asked to sing solo. They're paired with actual recording artists - a concept that actually makes things interesting. Host Wayne Brady, who sings better than most of the contestants, is here just to think quickly and act nicely, which fits his resume perfectly. And the panel of judges is a very good fit. David Foster, who always speaks last and most cogently and candidly, is the Cowell of the group. Marie Osmond is a less wacky Paula Abdul, but has a lot more to say. And Little Richard, the wild card, is wild indeed. More on that later. The premiere episode's "real" singers - Smokey Robinson, Gladys Knight, Michael Bolton, Randy Travis, James Ingram, Lee Ann Womack, Peter Frampton and Michelle Williams - were paired randomly with contestants, who sang duets with two different performers per show. Former "Talk Soup" host Hal Sparks hit the soul gold mine, drawing both Robinson and Knight. Cheech Marin may have had the toughest draw, straining to fit his vocal style with Frampton and then Travis. Lucy Lawless, former "Xena: Warrior Continue Reading

HOLIDAY SALUTETO VALOR. Plus, summer starts to roll

Memorial Day, when we honor the men and women who have given their lives in the service of our country, is also the kickoff to summer. But that doesn't mean it's tumbleweed time on television. And thank goodness we have 500 channels. Here's a sampling of what's on today: The signature TV event of Memorial Day, PBS' "National Memorial Day Concert," took place yesterday on the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol. But WLIW/Ch. 21 reruns the doings tonight at 8. Lee Ann Womack, Big & Rich and opera singers Frederica von Stade and Daniel Rodriguez perform. Actors Gary Sinise and Joe Mantegna are masters of ceremonies. This year's show gives special recognition to "citizen soldiers" of the National Guard. The Military Channel's "Salute to Heroes" marathon begins at noon and includes installments about World War II (including the iconic image of the flag raising on Iwo Jima) and about Vietnam. There's also a walk through Arlington National Cemetery with Sen. John McCain. National Geographic Channel offers a summer amusement park primer with "Supercoasters," at 8 p.m., examining the biggest, baddest, fastest coasters in the country and science behind the screams. PBS' "Antiques Roadshow" packs up the treasure chest - for now. The final episode of the 10th season, at 8 p.m. on WNET/Ch. 13, includes photos of Marilyn Monroe, Ramones paraphernalia and the first Lone Ranger mask worn by actor Clayton Moore. IFC's "Wanderlust," at 9 p.m., examines the road trip through the movie lens. The documentary includes interviews with actors Dennis Hopper, Alfonso Cuarón ("Y tu mamá también"), director Mira Nair ("Mississippi Masala") and writer Callie Khouri ("Thelma & Louise"). WE attempts to take the blah! out of bathing suit season. "Swimsuit Secrets Revealed," at 10 p.m., doesn't offer crash diet tips, but advice on finding the right swimsuit to fit your body type. Missed Bravo's utterly addictive docu-soap "The Real Housewives of Continue Reading