Lee Ann Womack Gives Up Country Radio for ‘Hardcore Country Music’
"Being in the commercial game ... you have people coming to you going, 'We gotta have that hit, you've got to be commercial.' All of those things," she tells the Republic. "It can be very frustrating because you have music inside you that you want to make."
For 'The Way I'm Livin,' Womack tapped a group of artists that aren't always found on Nashville's Music Row, including Buddy Miller, Hayes Carll, Chris Knight, Bruce Robison, Mindy Smith and Neil Young. Womack has been working on the album for years, but wasn't free to fully pursue the project until the completion of her contract with MCA Nashville.
"Boy, when I fulfilled my contract with the major label, I was like ...," she says as she lets out a sigh. "I had all this music for so long I had been wanting to make. I would look around me and ... be surrounded by all my peers, but then look over there and see Buddy Miller and go, 'Some day.' Now this is that day."
The country music heard on the radio is different today than it was when Womack released her last album, 'Call Me Crazy,' in 2008. With more pop influence in what is played on country radio now, Womack fits more into the Americana genre.
"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."