Feb. 26, 2018 | Lyndsey McKenna — Lee Ann Womack occupies rare terrain in country music. Though massively popular singles led to commercial success and widespread recognition, these days, she’s working on the fringes of the genre. Her 2017 record, The Lonely, The Lonesome & The Gone, evokes the country music of Womack’s Texas upbringing as the daughter of a country radio DJ, name-checking Hank Williams and covering George Jones.
At the Tiny Desk, the emotional storytelling and unparalleled vocal ability that anchor the album are all the more immediate. No bystander was impervious to the stormy and soaring “All The Trouble,” and the affecting lyrics of “Mama Lost Her Smile” felt even more intimate and unguarded when performed just feet from the audience. “That’s just good old country music story songs,” she explained.
Steeped in tradition but singular in its expression, Womack’s timeless performance tapped into the emotional core of country, and transcended our cluttered office space in the process.
“All the Trouble”
“Mama Lost Her Smile”
Lee Ann Womack (vocals), Luke Bulla (fiddle and background vocals), Dave Dunseath (drums and background vocals), Jonathan Trebing (guitar), Lex Price (bass)
Producers: Bob Boilen, Morgan Noelle Smith; Creative Director: Bob Boilen; Audio Engineer: Josh Rogosin; Videographers: Morgan Noelle Smith, Beck Harlan, Maia Stern; Production Assistant: Joshua Bote; Photo: Claire Harbage/NPR.