It felt quite significant this week when Miranda Lambert revealed that she’s doing something that she hasn’t done over the 14 years and six major studio albums of her career, which is switch producers. A long time collaborator with Frank Liddell, Miranda has let it be known she’s now going with well-known mainstream country producer Jay Joyce.
It’s funny. You mention Lee Ann Womack to certain segments of traditional country music fans, and you’re liable to get a sideways glance, or downright gruff. Little do they know the leadership Lee Ann has exhibited over the last decade plus in keeping the roots of country music alive.
Lee Ann Womack is readying the release of her 9th studio album The Lonely, The Lonesome, and The Gone via ATO records. It will be Womack’s first on the ATO label, and feature her husband Frank Liddell once again in the producer seat. The 14 tracks were mostly co-written by Womack.
Whether one may ultimately settle upon ‘The Weight of These Wings’ with a more positive or negative take, what is next to indisputable is that it is a significant release. ‘The Weight of These Wing’s is the symbolic entry of Miranda Lambert—the biggest female country star for the last six or so years—into the Americana/independent/east Nashville mindset
It takes more than a few really good songs to make a great album. David Nail’s ‘Fighter’ has some really good songs. I’d even be willing to go on the record saying it’s got some really great songs. But it also has some of the usual suspects of mainstream songwriting tropes that you have to sift through to get to those great songs.
Flying low over the country music masses to survey the landscape, it’s patently clear that in the 48-hour aftermath of Miranda Lambert releasing her first single in over a year, how you feel about it has a lot to do with how you feel about Miranda Lambert, or Blake Shelton. The fact that “Vice” has become so polarizing proves that music is no longer about music, but personality.
Watch out ladies and gentlemen because the female revolution overtaking country in the aftermath of tomato-gate is about to get some fresh and young reinforcements in the coming months with major debuts from some promising young artists, and first up to bat is the ravenesque and hungry Aubrie Sellers. Aubrie starts off with a proven musical pedigree that’s nothing to smirk at. She’s the daughter of Lee Ann Womack…
“That news hit me pretty hard in the heart,” Lee Ann says about the nomination. She was driving to her mother’s house in east Texas when she received the call. “I am and always will be a country music singer. It’s what I do… It’s what I love… and it’s the thing that truly makes me feel alive. Having the CMA recognize that after the year I’ve had since ‘The Way I’m Livin” came out really does my heart good.”
When Lee Ann Womack set out to construct her 2014 album The Way I’m Livin’, she went looking for songs that weren’t written by committee as is the norm in Nashville these days, but songs that originated from one person going through a human experience who then shared that experience through song. Such a search if it was to be thorough and prudent would almost invariably involve Chris Knight.
Adam Hood is not a native of Texas or Oklahoma, but he is an honorary member of the Texas country scene if there ever was one. And now that he’s officially called Frank Liddel’s Carnival Records quits, he’s back releasing his music independently and calling his own shots. Only appropriate then that he would release an album that is strikingly personal in a very palpable and meaningful manner.
Adam Hood, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, Frank Liddell, Jason Eady, Lee Ann Womack, Leon Russell, Miranda Lambert, Ray Wylie Hubbard, Review, Roots and Branches, Stoney LaRue, Sunny Sweeney, Tavern In The Gruene, Welcome to the Big World, Will Hoge, Willie Nelson
Aviator isn’t one of those albums you cherry pick through to the best songs. That would be like choosing a favorite child, because all of these songs are great and work so well together and in succession. This is one of those albums you put on for a long road trip or a restful backyard barbecue and then press repeat when you get to the end. It is the embodiment of that laid back Texoma flavor.
This isn’t just your average album release, or even your average album release from Lee Ann Womack. This one has a little more special meaning for Womack since it is her first release without a major label, and a release that helps rate of progress for both women and traditional country artists looking to revitalize their place to a wider audience.
Brennen Leigh, Bruce Robison, Chris Knight, Eli Young Band, Emmylou Harris, Frank Liddell, Hayes Carll, Julie Miller, Lee Ann Womack, Mando Saenz, Miranda Lambert, Nash Icons, Review, Sugar Hill Records, The Way I'm Livin'
Kellie Pickler’s 2012 album 100 Proof was like its own little country music revolution. This set the table for Kellie Pickler’s 2013 offering The Woman I Am to be one of the most anticipated releases this year. Kellie, willing to focus less on the commercial flop of 100 Proof and more on its critical success, kept much of the same personnel and approach in place for The Woman I Am, including the same producer Frank Liddell.