“Country Music Traditionalist Lee Ann Womack visits Danville”
By Christian F. Scalise
Award-winning country music star, Sugar Hill Recording artist Lee Ann Womack made a one night only stop in the small town of Danville, Kentucky to perform at the gorgeous 300 seat Norton Center for the Arts located at Centre College on Saturday January 17th, 2015.
Touring in support of her latest album, The Way I’m Livin’, Lee Ann has made her long-awaited return to the concert stage by performing a few dates early this year which will hopefully result in many more to be added as the year progresses.
Taking the stage shortly after 8pm, Lee Ann opened the show with one of her greatest hits “Never Again, Again.” Dressed casually, Lee Ann wore a black t-shirt, pair of fitted black leggings and her signature high heeled suede boots. The atmosphere of the venue, the subdued lighting, retro feel to the stage and Lee Ann’s laid back demeanor, made one feel as if they were in her living room for their very own personal concert.
I’ve been privileged to see Lee Ann perform for the past 15 years and every time that I have seen her, she’s given exceptionally memorable concerts. I must say, this new show and unique approach to bringing the songs of her latest album to life has me convinced that this new venture showcases Lee Ann in a way that fans have never seen her before.
Having seen Lee Ann perform in much larger theaters, casinos and venues in the past, it was quite apparent that she seemed to be far more content in the intimate setting which permitted her to fully engage with fans.
More than ever before, Lee Ann shared stories behind her songs, interacted with the audience and even joked about forgetting one of the words to her songs by saying, “It wouldn’t be a Lee Ann show if I didn’t forget the lyrics,” to which the audience replied in laughter.
The rawness of the emotion that bled through the songs, the powerful vibrancy of Lee Ann’s impressive vocal range and her multi-talented four piece band have addressed a large gap that is in desperate need of being filled; performing REAL country music!
Country music wasn’t the only genre of music performed, but also other styles such as folk-influenced songs like sensational covers of Emmylou Harris’ “Wayfaring Stranger,” and Neil Young’s “Out On The Weekend.” The band was stripped down and almost each musician played multiple instruments during the course of the show. The glorious sounds of various types of fiddles, upright Bass and Dobro (Resonator Guitar) were just a few of the instruments heard. Lee Ann’s rare talent of being able to constantly cross boundaries by singing any form or style of music is truly a wonder within itself.
It comes as no surprise that Womack has been and always will be a traditionalist to the authenticity of the roots that give life to the foundation of country music, but unfortunately mainstream radio doesn’t pay much attention to these highly qualified ambassadors of country music.
During the course of the evening, Lee Ann took fans on a musical journey into the vast catalogue of hits from her storied career. She effortlessly breezed through “Twenty Years and Two Husbands Ago,” “You’ve Got To Talk To Me,” her first #1 “The Fool,” “I May Hate Myself In The Morning” and even the rarely performed “Buckaroo.” She also incorporated a handful of songs from the new album, “Chances Are,” “Send It On Down” and a stripped down performance of the delicately crafted ballad, “Fly,” which sent chills throughout the theater.
Lee Ann closed her 90 minute set with a trio of smash hits and fan favorites, “A Little Past Little Rock,” “I Hope You Dance,” and “Ashes By Now.”
Before all was said and done, Lee Ann returned to the stage once more to perform an encore of “Last Call.” What a fitting choice to close out a beautiful evening of solid entertainment by one of the industry’s finest vocalists.
On a side note… we’d like to congratulate Lee Ann on being nominated for a Grammy for “Best Country Album.” What an honor and very well deserved!
1. Never Again, Again
2. All His Saints
3. Twenty Years and Two Husbands Ago
4. Don’t Listen To The Wind
5. Sleeping With The Devil
6. Solitary Thinkin’
7. You’ve Got To Talk To Me
8. The Fool
12. Chances Are
13. I’ll Think Of A Reason Later
14. Wayfaring Stranger
15. Out On The Weekend
16. I May Hate Myself in the Morning
17. The Way I’m Livin’
18. Send It On Down
19. A Little Past Little Rock
20. I Hope You Dance
21. Ashes By Now
22. Last Call
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