Lee Ann Womack Says Country Has Lost Its Cool Factor
For her first album in seven years, Lee Ann Womack decided not to worry about how her songs would do on country radio. The singer says that she laments that "bro-country" is dominating the charts, and she strives to stay true to what she believes country music should be.
"I'd laugh at it if it weren't so sad!" she tells Rolling Stone about the shift in the genre. "It's true, trucks are a part of a lot of people's lives. My first car was a Ford pickup. But it's like we've gone from making music to making something else.
"The things that make country unique are what make it cool. But no one's interested in doing that anymore," Womack adds. "It seems like people don't give two s--ts about country music, but they move [to Nashville] and make what they want to make."
For 'The Way I'm Livin,' Womack and her husband and producer Frank Liddell wanted to keep production minimal to help maintain focus on the lyrics, which they believe is the most important aspect of country music.
"Nowadays everybody's making everything so big and bombastic, with tons of players," she says. "Frank put me in a lounge, and the musicians sat around to hear me sing acoustic, just really raw. And then instead of listening to the demo, they'd just listen to me sing it and build from there."
Womack maintains that she doesn't have anything against the artists making what's heard on current country radio, but the sound isn't for her.
“I don’t think country music has changed,” she says. “I think what’s called country music, what’s marketed as country music, has definitely changed. Nothing wrong with that. There’s a lot of people that want to hear that. I am a lover of real country music, what I think is hardcore country music. And I miss that. And I see people all the time that also miss it. So I put a lot of that on this record.”