Vintage Album Review – Lee Ann Womack’s “There’s More Where That Came From”
What is so groundbreaking about a ragingly-traditional country record released in the dead middle of an artist’s career that has gone mostly overlooked by time? When its 2005, and the artist is Lee Ann Womack, just about everything. It’s not that There’s More Where That Came From deserves to be enshrined on the very top row of country music’s landmark records in history. But it might be the best effort from one of modern country music’s best singers, and at the time it was such a bold, unabashed expression from someone reasserting her own voice, it works as a great lesson of what to do, and what not to do in country music.
Womack was still very much residing in the shadow of her landmark, signature single “I Hope You Dance” in 2005 when There’s More Where That Came From first graced the shelves, even though it had been a good five years since the song’s release. Though the output from Lee Ann’s first couple of records was quite traditional in nature (go back and listen to a song like “Am I The Only Thing That You’ve Done Wrong”), the success of “I Hope You Dance” had MCA Nashville, and perhaps Womack herself seeing dollar signs, or maybe willing to stretch the limits to see just how far the franchise could go, and had Womack both looking and sounding like something not completely herself.
Lee Ann’s 2002 record Something Worth Leaving Behind was all over the place. It was partly rock, partly who knows what to call it, where you hear a song like “I Need You” with it’s muffled drum intro almost like a drum machine chased by braying guitars, and it sounds like a precursor to some of the worst music of modern country today. That said, “He’ll Be Back” from that record might be one of the best gems of Womack’s entire career—if you made it that far into the tack list to hear it. Something Worth Leaving Behind didn’t produce a Top 10 hit, and so whatever experiment was going on there was ultimately deemed unsuccessful, and for good reason.
So why not press the reset button, start over, and go back to what you do best, which is making traditional country? For so many that still hear Womack’s name, they instantly think of “I Hope You Dance,” and don’t give a second thought of giving her music a shot. Recently when she called out the modern sound of country radio, calls of hypocrisy came raining back on her. And that’s one of the many reasons a re-evalution of There’s More Where That Came From is in order for anyone who believes the Womack name is synonymous with country pop.
From the very beginning with the title track’s twin fiddle intro, until the very end with Lee Ann covering the Jack Clement-penned “Someone I Used to Know,” There’s More Where That Came From is a hands down, knockout, hardcore traditional country record full of heartbreak, cheating, fiddle and steel guitar, with not a damn bit of let up in how it comes at you with one tearjerker after another.
One great thing about a great vintage record is pouring through the liner notes to see all the great names who contributed to the effort, who may have seemed rather commonplace or maybe even unknown at the time, but turned out to be quite significant later. Chris Stapleton was a co-writer on the title track, a good decade before he would release his first solo record and become a superstar.
Odie Blackmon writes the excellent song, “I May Hate Myself in the Morning,” bottling up all those emotions of not being able to leave a past lover behind and putting them into rhyme and verse, and giving Lee Ann the Top 10 hit her previous record failed to deliver. And even though Womack has never been considered a prolific songwriter, her name is on some of her most signature tunes, including the tear-jerking “Twenty Years and Two Husbands Ago,” co-authored by Dean Dillon.
Musicians who appear include steel guitar player Robby Turner of Waylon Jennings and The Highwaymen fame, fellow steel player Paul Franklin, Stuart Duncan on mandolin, Randy Scruggs and Bryan Sutton on guitar, along with a host of other of Nashville’s top session musicians that in the 12 years since have virtually disappeared from the mainstream sound, but give this record those warm, familiar tones that grace all great timeless projects.
After the failure of her previous record, There’s More Where That Came From became both a creative and commercial success. It won the CMA for Album of the Year in 2005, and “I May Hate Myself in the Morning” was named Single of the Year.
With how notorious Music Row is for taking the true voices and styles of artists, and either hiding them, leading them astray, or stifling them completely, no artist should be forced to answer for any one song or album they may release that seems less than themselves. Lee Ann Womack’s career will forever be defined by “I Hope You Dance,” and the reason is because it was an iconic song that resonated so far and wide it went beyond the boundaries of country, and became the perfect sentiment for some people’s most important moments in their lives, regardless of how “country” it was.
But when you dig deep into the career of Lee Ann Womack, and when the true listeners take stock, Lee Ann will also be remembered as one of traditional country’s most staunchest champions, and during an era when pop was encroaching on country like never before. A record like There’s More Where That Came From proves this unarguably.
– – – – – – – – –
November 10, 2017 @ 10:07 am
A great CD.I have it.
November 10, 2017 @ 10:26 am
Most definitely. This record – and an accompanying live stripped-down performance she gave on CMT shortly after its release – blew me away. She’s an awesome talent. I think the new record is pretty dang good, too.
November 10, 2017 @ 10:50 am
I’ve been wishing you would vintage review this album for years! Nailed it!
November 10, 2017 @ 11:04 am
November 10, 2017 @ 11:01 am
Excellent. She is amazing.
November 10, 2017 @ 11:07 am
somenene I used to now is on of my faverrrite songses but I feel like it was done ebst on the Don Rich signs George Jones albybbm that turned up in bakerssfields in 2013 or maybe by porert and dolly on thir old viynyl I rememer from years aho womamamck can sign really well even tho I never liked her much or jody messina nither and its so cool to know she convereed thatsogn pleas e keep my fridnd in your prayers she mght move soon and it’s a hard thing so handle my favorite vintage country albm is Kenny price happy tracks or haggard my love affaaar with trains my fabvorite alum from the Womack era when country was changing befororore taylrer swif ruined it was strait’s somewhere down in texas or maybe dierks Bentley long trip alone I don’t think womach is whtyyypacriticlala when she said counry isn’t contry because even thohg she sounded po at times it was still country music and even if she gt away ffrom it for an album she still put in the effort to record real country music for the other albums I don’t have this one but seeing someone I used to kow on it makes me want to buy it
November 10, 2017 @ 1:11 pm
Holy cow this must have taken a long time to write
November 10, 2017 @ 11:09 am
Alan Jackson and I and don’t have much in common, except we both think Lee Anne Womack is the best female country singer ever. This was the record that got me as a fan. After my first impression of her was “I Hope You Dance” the shitty soccer mom era of country music, every song was overly sappy.
November 10, 2017 @ 11:09 am
Really enjoying these vintage album reviews, Trigger. I’m glad to see this one featured. I heard “I May Hate Myself In the Morning,” and knew I had to have the album; it was a Day One buy for me, and when I heard the twin-fiddle opening of the title track, I knew I was in for something really special. Killer album from start to finish. If I had to pick a least favorite track it’d probably be “What I Miss About Heaven,” but I still don’t ever skip it. I also really liked her covers of “Waitin’ for the Sun to Shine” and “Just Someone I Used To Know.” The latter, of course, was a hidden track; I remember hearing the end of “Psalm 151” and the cd still going, wondering what was next, and BAM! More twin fiddles. “Oh, I know this song!” Gorgeous, gorgeous ending to a gorgeous album. Lee Ann has done great stuff since, but There’s More Where That Came From remains her masterpiece.
November 10, 2017 @ 11:25 am
Yeah this was back in the days when I would actually go buy records very close to release day and I remember doing that with this one. Kind of sad that really nobody or no record can get me that excited and motivated anymore. Combination of old, cynical and a lack of quality music I think.
November 10, 2017 @ 1:13 pm
Yeah, I try to keep up with release dates the best I can for my favorite artists. Ever since I discovered the joys of pre-ordering, I can sometimes get them sooner. I do still get excited, but I definitely see where you’re coming from. Good music’s out there; it’s just depressing that no one’s paying attention to it.
November 10, 2017 @ 11:16 am
I guess “Something Worth Leaving Behind” really put me off of her for a long time, because even after having read rave reviews of both this album and 2008’s ‘Call Me Crazy’ in Entertainment Weekly, it wasn’t until after ‘The Way I’m Livin” in 2014 that I was inspired to go back and reconsider her earlier work — I ended up getting both TMWTCF and the ‘Greatest Hits’ CD for Christmas that year. 🙂
November 10, 2017 @ 11:20 am
Let’s not forget that this album won the CMA Album of the Year and ‘I May Hate Myself In The Morning’ won the CMA Single of the Year so this was a pretty big deal at the time. It also was an example of great packaging with the CD/record. Also the video for ‘Hate Myself’ with Jack Ingram in a solely acting role was perfect for the song and record.
This truly an example of an artist absolutely nailing a project on every level.
November 10, 2017 @ 12:26 pm
Yes, thanks for the reminder. Meant to mention that here.
November 10, 2017 @ 12:07 pm
This is one of my favorite albums ever. 😊😊
November 10, 2017 @ 12:14 pm
Beautiful record all the way around. Masterpiece.
November 10, 2017 @ 12:23 pm
Best voice in country.
November 10, 2017 @ 12:36 pm
I remember being in college and in a writing class everyone had to bring in a song that had amazing writing. I picked the song Painless from There’s More Where That Came From. The song just hit me when I heard it and I took the class when the CD came out. Everybody in my college class looked at me weird. Not a lot of traditional country fans in the class. I don’t care, even the deep tracks on that CD were amazing.
November 10, 2017 @ 1:12 pm
Master Spleen…..put down the bottle.
November 10, 2017 @ 2:06 pm
Love this album!
The Goddess of Country Rock
November 10, 2017 @ 2:32 pm
As someone who is a sucker for a pretty album cover, I have to say that I LOVE this one. This looks like an album cover from the 60’s or 70’s.
I only know one or two songs from this album. I’ll have to listen to it in full.
November 10, 2017 @ 4:06 pm
Brilliant album every song a gem. Agree with the pistolero discovering the hidden track was great. Lee Ann is a true country singer.
November 10, 2017 @ 4:06 pm
This record ( and yes ….SOMETHING WORTH LEAVING BEHIND) is why I find it so difficult to get on board with her new one . IMHMITM is a classic , indeed . But I also listen to SWLB as the songwriting , IMHO , is superb .
This is , as always , a smart , fair and informed review by yourself , Trigger . These kinds of reminders help to keep us aware of our ‘ mission ‘ and hopefully introduce some folks to some great music . These kinds of records do indeed make COUNTRY music worth saving
November 10, 2017 @ 4:48 pm
I own every cd she’s ever released and have never been disappointed but this one is her crowning achievement. Brilliant on every level and timeless, it could have come from any era. Coincidentally Wednesday night while the CMA’s (who once treated Lee Ann like the goddess she is) were airing, I was lucky enough to be attending a real country event, Lee Ann in concert. Masterful.
November 10, 2017 @ 6:57 pm
Yeah, Lee Ann …
The guitar figure in this tune comes from Hag’s “Sing Me Back Home.”
Ponder that in light of what Lee Ann’s singing.
This is stone cold country, for the city.
November 10, 2017 @ 7:39 pm
This is such a great album and also has great album art. Good album art seems to be hard to come by in Nashville. So many look like a Sears portrait.
Also, I’ve always liked the song “Something Worth Leaving Behind”. I never listened to the whole album, but as far as pop country goes it doesn’t get much better than that song.
November 10, 2017 @ 8:17 pm
Vintage album reviews are a great idea. More please. And don’t be afraid to go back several decades, there are great treasures from the past waiting to be discovered by new generations.
And this is the kind of thing I think about when pondering the concept of saving country music. I do this all the time, discover the grandeur of great and forgotten country records. I could recommend many but that would only start the predictable arguments so we’ll leave it to you. Nice stuff and Leann is one of the greats.
November 10, 2017 @ 9:59 pm
Any old gems you would recommend? I love discovering old music.
November 10, 2017 @ 10:05 pm
Mine would be touch my heart-ray price, Johnny paychecks first 2 little darling records, I’m a lonesome fugitive- Merle’s best record in my opinion, and bobby bares cowboys and daddy’s. Those are my favorites.
November 11, 2017 @ 1:43 am
…….not sure how old you are Justin but if you don’t have it in your collection you need STORMS OF LIFE …Randy Travis’ first album . I revisit it for songwriting inspiration with great regularity . But also because of that voice …that amazing voice and the way it was made for a country song .
November 11, 2017 @ 6:02 am
Albert,Im 21 and storms of life is defentily in my collection. The title track is one of my favorite songs, the first track on the Other Hand is the definition of a country song in my opinion. They’re good versions of that song by Keith Whitley and George Jones that I love to.
November 12, 2017 @ 3:41 pm
Well Justin, here are a few discoveries I have made. Johnny Horton’s Honky Tonk Man album and his first Album The Spectacular Johnny Horton. Both have that classic Honky Tonk sound and feature Grady Martin on lead guitar. Listen to these and you will discover the roots of Dwight Yoakam. Also, the first Album by Br549 also known as the telephone cover, its a terrific honky tonk, rockabilly, hillbilly record. A great overlooked obscure gem for instrumental guitar picking is a long lost album by Merle Travis and Joe Maphis. It was on the Capitol label and features two guys just shredding killer country licks.
Then there’s a pair of great Emmylou Harris albums, Elite Hotel and Pieces of The Sky. Both feature her with a bakersfield honky tonk sound and are full of great songs and hot picking with numerous legendary players.
Another random one , Jerry Reeds Texas Bound and Flyin album. Killer songwriting and killer playing from one of the true legends and its got East Bound and Down as well as the sequel tune Texas Bound and Flyin. Great truckin music all around.
And of course theres Willie and Waylons first album, its an outlaw masterpiece. In another vain, try The Desert Rose bands first album, self titled. Impressive picking from John Jorgenson, great vocal harmonies from Chris Hillman and Herb Peterson and great songs in the bakersfield style with a touch of Burrito Brothers to it. Recently I’ve been rocking Whitey Morgans first album titled Whitey Morgan and the 78’s. Great stuff. Hope you find something there you like!
November 12, 2017 @ 3:55 pm
I loved BR549. They have been sort of lost to time for whatever reason. Their debut album is definitely their best.
November 14, 2017 @ 6:48 pm
Backyard beat show was my favorite. Not a bad tune on the whole thing
November 13, 2017 @ 2:10 pm
Thanks for the response kevin. Whitey Morgans first record is really great, and if you haven’t checked out his 3rd album sonic ranch its a lot different, but its great. Also if you haven’t seen Whitey live do yourself favor and go see him the band is on fire. i’ll be sure to check out the rest.
November 15, 2017 @ 12:08 pm
I came back to re-read this review, so that’s why I’m jumping in on this comment thread several days behind…
If you’re into his style, listen to David Wills album – ‘From Barrooms To Bedrooms.’ Title track on there, as well as ‘There’s A Song On The Jukebox’ – Great honky-tonk barroom country music, lots of good cuts on there.
November 10, 2017 @ 10:38 pm
Didn’t appreciate her music at the time. So glad Trigger prompted me to revisit!
November 11, 2017 @ 4:25 am
Brilliant album that stills sound fresh and relevant today. Her last two albums have seen her back to her best. The hidden track is a gem.
November 11, 2017 @ 5:39 am
A much better album review than you’ve given many others including Miranda Lambert’s TWOTW (thought that review was spot on btw – I may have gone 6/10 actually). I know I’ve heard songs from this one but I’ll give it a whole play-through now. Thanks.
November 11, 2017 @ 3:20 pm
Thanks for doing this. Such a great album and I feel like LAW does’t get the respect she deserves. I remember hearing her cameo on Cross Canadian Ragweed’s “Sick and Tired” and knew something strange was afoot. She seems to really support red dirt musicians (she has sung with Stoney Larue among others), which shows she decided to leave the Nashville scene and get back to the roots of the music. “I May Hate Myself in the Morning” is a case study in how country music should sound. I think Miranda should take a page from LAW’s book and release an album of “To Learn Her” style country songs.
November 12, 2017 @ 5:07 pm
She seems to really support red dirt musicians
Yup, that’s another critical facet of her career that seems to go overlooked when people call her pop-country trash.
November 14, 2017 @ 6:34 am
This is album sets the bar for everything since. Masterpiece of country music.
November 14, 2017 @ 6:46 pm
She is one dead sexy country vixen, always was IMHO. This was a superb album and I also love the idea of occasional retro-reviews. Perhaps some early 90s gems from the likes of mark Chesnut or maybe go back a bit more and hit up some Ricky Van Shelton……
January 27, 2018 @ 7:23 am
Saw her last night and wondering if you will review her latest album. The songs she played live were really excellent.
January 27, 2018 @ 7:56 am
Yes, I reviewed it a couple of weeks before reviewing this one: