Albums that seem to exist separate and apart from any external pressures. Albums that possess both a profound sense of history and a clear-eyed vision for the future. Albums that transcend genres while embracing their roots. Albums that evoke a sense of place and of personality so vivid they make listeners feel more like participants in the songs than simply admirers of them. Anybody who has paid attention to Womack for the past decade or so could see she was headed in this direction. Womack found the lure of East Texas irresistible. It was small, so I spent a lot of time dreaming, and about getting out. Womack and Liddell found a perfect complement of musicians, players who clicked right away and became a one-headed band. Engineer and co-producer Michael McCarthy, known for his production work with Spoon, brought vintage gear from his Austin studio and help capture a sharper sound for sessions recorded entirely to analog tape.
Lee Ann Womack is a rarity in modern Nashville--an authentic honky-tonk debut album. Producer Mark Wright has refused to bury Womack's small-town, East Texas drawl under the Hollywood soft-rock cloaking that Music Row favors these days. As a result, the young singer's soprano projects an attitude too unsophisticated to hide any emotion. On the first single, "Never Again, Again," you can hear in quivering high notes the dilemma of a woman who keeps breaking her own promise to never take her ex-lover back. Not every song is that sharply focused, and the obligatory boot-scootin' dance numbers and string-smothered ballads dilute the album's impact. But you can hear Womack's potential when she assumes the persona of a hardened waitress explaining the facts of life to an ex-boyfriend in "Montgomery to Memphis.
Lee Ann Womack songs are some of the most traditional-sounding in contemporary country music. Since her debut in , Womack has fought to keep traditional elements in her music, blending those influences with more contemporary productions to create songs that are both modern and classic. Her penchant for finding some of the best-written, most substantial material to work with, as well as her signature vocal delivery, differentiates her from any other commercially successful country singer of her generation. Womack scored one of her biggest early hits with "I'll Think of a Reason Later," the second single from her second album. Written by Tony Martin and Tim Nichols, the song portrays Womack as a feisty woman scorned, expressing her disdain for her ex's new woman. It reached No. Womack returned to country music after a long absence with "The Way I'm Livin'," earning universal critical acclaim. The third single from Womack's self-titled debut album was a change of pace.
When Womack emerged as a contemporary country artist in , her material resembled that of Dolly Parton and Tammy Wynette ,  except for the way Womack's music mixed an old-fashioned style with contemporary elements. Her album I Hope You Dance had an entirely different sound, using pop music elements instead of traditional country. After a hiatus in , Womack returned in with a new album The Way I'm Livin' and a new sound which blended country and Americana. Womack has released a total of nine studio albums and two compilations. Four of her studio albums have received a Gold certification or higher by the Recording Industry Association of America. She has sold over 6 million albums worldwide. Womack was born and raised in Jacksonville, Texas. At an early age she was interested in country music. Her father, a disc jockey, often took his daughter to work with him to help choose records to play on the air. Her mother was a schoolteacher and her father was also a high school principal.