October 26, 2008
Call Me Crazy, the latest addition to the exquisite Lee Ann Womack catalog, is a slow-burning stunner, ripe with the rich, textured lyrical and musical concepts that comprise the best of country music. But although its a strong embodiment of the genre’s most treasured elements, Womack herself is wary of proclaiming her “country-ness.” CMT’s Craig Shelburne stumbles upon an interesting tidbit in his recent interview with the six-time CMA award winner:
…But there is one thing you’ll probably never hear from her — and that’s a generic “I’m country and here’s why” song. Asked how often she hears that type of song in the demo pile, she replies, “Too often. To me, country is not something you can tell people you are. Country is not something you can put on or take off. It’s not a certain way you dress. And if you have to tell people in a song, ‘I’m country,’ then I start wondering. You should be able to hear it.”
I’m inclined to agree with Womack here. Although her every artistic decision hasn’t been perfect, I believe she appreciates and understands the genre’s deepest truths better than most contemporary acts. She’s willing to stretch country music’s boundaries without abandoning its basic musical and lyrical concepts. I trust her judgment. I really do. Stories about the farm (Trisha Yearwood’s “Dreaming Fields”), a family’s rural living (Loretta Lynn’s “Coal Miner’s Daughter”) and fishing (Brad Paisley’s “I’m Gonna Miss Her/The Fishing Song”) are fine. But the laundry-list songs about country life are tiresome.
So, it’s a two-part question this evening: What’s your favorite (or least favorite) country song about being country? And what’s your opinion on Womack’s comment?