Lee Ann Womack ‘Crazy’ About Keeping It Country
When Lee Ann Womack released 'Call Me Crazy' last fall, she wasn't sure what kind of reaction to expect from the country music industry. "This record has a lot of things that you might not be able to put in a box or classify as one thing," the singer tells The Boot. "There's my straight ahead traditional country stuff that I write, and then there's a few songs that I got from outside writers, like 'Solitary Thinkin',' which was written by Waylon Payne, and 'The Bees,' written by Natalie Hemby and Daniel Tashian. I tried to give each song the treatment that I felt like it needed."
That treatment certainly worked. Lee Ann has received praise from fans and critics alike, and scored a Grammy nomination for the album's first single, 'Last Call.' "The industry reaction means so much to me, more than anything probably, since I came to town 20 years ago from East Texas," Lee Ann admits. "When we put out this record and the industry embraced it the way they did, I couldn't have asked for anything better."
Lee Ann loves traditional country music, a style she grew up listening to with her father in Texas. It wasn't until she moved to Nashville that she realized the genre has a much broader realm. "When I first moved here I didn't know anybody, didn't know what to do. I just knew that country music was my life, that's all I cared about. So I went to work interning at a record label and went to school at Belmont College, and it was incredible. But after I had been in town awhile, I realized that everybody's idea of country music is not the same as mine. That's true today too, you know -- you have the more traditional and the more contemporary."
While Lee Ann may feel a little lonely on the traditional side of country, she is thrilled that Jamey Johnson is here to keep her company. "When he came along I was like, 'Thank you God' because sometimes I do feel like I'm floating around out there on my own. When he opens his mouth you can hear what he listened to when he was growing up. I love singing with him. We're talking about recording something together when we can write the right song."
The songstress goes on to say she's open to doing a duets album one day. "I've been lucky to sing with Willie Nelson and George Strait, but there are a lot of people I'd love to sing with so I would love to do a duets record."
As for her own music, Lee Ann just keeps pushing the bar higher and higher. "I know now that I put more expectations, higher expectations, on myself than anybody else, and I just know that I just need to make the best music I can and not try to judge according to anybody else or my own expectations."