Fans of Lee Ann Womack have been waiting not-so-patiently since 2008’s Call Me Crazy for new music from the multi-Grammy and multi-CMA Award winner, and on September 23rd they’ll finally get their wish. After years on major labels, Womack has teamed up with renown label Sugar Hill Records (Don Williams, Marty Stuart) to release The Way I’m Livin’ this fall. The record will be produced by Lee Ann’s husband, Frank Liddell.
As exciting as the news is about the new album from a new label, the list of songwriters she’s slated to draw songs from makes the prospects of The Way I’m Livin’ even more enticing. Contributors include Chris Knight, Hayes Carll, Bruce Robison, Buddy Miller, Roger Miller, as well as Neil Young, Mindy Smith, and Mando Saenz.
“I wanted songs that talked about how life really is, the raw spots, the tough places, the meltdowns and messy parts,” says Womack. “Hard, sad, rough”¦ all the stuff people pretend doesn’t exist! Because once you embrace that, you can figure out what to do; or not do! I live to sing great songs that tear holes in life just show living for what it is … And knowing these songs were written to be performed, not pitched, sets a bar! Every songwriter wrote intending to sing’em, to tell these stories, show these postcards, and you can feel the way they built the characters! Bringing that to music was just so incredible for everyone on the sessions.”
“Lee Ann wanted something wide open,” says husband and producer Frank Liddell. “So we immediately tracked the record with a handful of sides, just six people, and the rest of it with four people. So it’s a very sparse record and hopefully her voice is wide open and right in the middle of it. That’s our focus. We didn’t get too worried about songs or what she needed to say. We just took a bunch of great songs we’d amassed over the years and went into the studio. We’ve always gotten along real well song-wise.
The next album from Lee Ann Womack has been a much-rumored process. She released a single called “There Is A God” in October of 2009 that was supposed to be part of an upcoming album, but the album never came. Womack was also said to be working on new music in February of 2010. No word if issues with her previous label Mercury Nashville stalled previous attempts at new albums, but upon signing with Sugar Hill, Womack said, “I was looking for the right home for this record. I knew I wanted a label where passion for music and artistic integrity drive the decision-making.”
Musical contributors to the album include steel guitar player Paul Franklin, Matt Chamberlain on drums, Glen Whorf on bass, guitar player Duke Levine, and acoustic guitarist/pianist Mac McAnally.
After Lee Ann found great commercial and critical success with her signature song “I Hope You Dance”, the Jacksonville, TX native has struck a decidedly more traditional note lately, and considering the label and list of songwriters for The Way I’m Livin’, fans can anticipate more of the same. Lee Ann also recently contributed to Jamey Johnson’s Hank Cochran tribute, singing a duet with Johnson on the song “This Ain’t My First Rodeo”.
From Lee Ann’s previous album: