If the time away from touring worried anyone, you can’t tell from the response to Lee Ann Womack’s first real shows since the release of her Grammy-nominated The Way I’m Livin’. After topping critics lists, including Esquire’s Top 10 Albums of 2014, the East Texan has wowed the British press as part of the CMA’s C2C Festival and watched her two snowed out Nashville City Winery shows turn into three on April 6, 7 and 8.
With her May 7 date at Dallas’ Kessler Theater also selling out upon the tickets being put on sale, Womack is making it a double! Working with the venue to add a show on May 6, the woman who begins an East Coast run April 18 at Ridgefield, CT’s Ridgefield Playhouse couldn’t be happier.
“I’ve been dying to take this new music out to the fans – and the people who love this music,” Womack says. “It’s been so long, and you want to do it right. Finding great listening rooms, finding places where it’s about the music just thrills me. That the response in Texas is so strong? That fires me up! I’m so glad that the Kessler folks were able to make the night before happen.”
Certainly the British press, notoriously opinionated about their kind of country, couldn’t have been more celebratory following the 6-time Country Music Association Award winner’s appearance at the C2C Festival’s O2 Arena show. The woman The Guardian called a “Nashville legend” was singled out as “a magnetic presence who has a pealing, sad voice and the fervor of a street preacher. She effortlessly switches from the quotidian to the mystic; indeed, real-life circumstances – ‘solitary thinkin’ and ‘lonesome drinkin’, as she puts it – seem to necessitate her encounters with the devil and God.”
The Guardian also notes. “Womack, with her bleak, beautiful songs that circle around themes of alcoholism, religion and self-loathing, has positioned herself firmly on the traditionalist side of the divide,” while The Times offered, “Lee Ann Womack spun a set of pure gold from a succession of songs that summed up the human condition in a way that only a good country music narrative can… With her tumbling blond hair and a strong, aching soprano, Womack had something of Dolly Parton’s mixture of humour, sincerity and guile as she reminisced with a wry smile about a time that was Twenty Years and Two Husbands Ago.”
“The fans have been terrific over here,” Womack says. “In Dublin (also at the C2C Festival), they sang back to us. As someone who wants their music to hold people’s lives, that’s the greatest gift you can have. And I can’t wait to come back to the States and play all this music for the people back home. Knowing they’re responding to these shows in the listening rooms, which is different, tells me we’re going in the right direction.”
Having just announced the release of a vinyl-only 3 song EP Trouble In Mind – recorded with iconic guitarist Richard Bennett (Mark Knopfler, Emmylou Harris, Steve Earle) – for Record Store Day April 18, the Grammy-winning vocalist is gearing up for a big spring. In addition to the triple play at Nashville’s City Winery, Womack has a string of spring dates to bring her to fans of roots music along the Eastern seaboard.
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