“A Little Past Little Rock”
Lee Ann Womack
Written by Jess Brown, Brett Jones, and Tony Lane
Radio & Records
#1 (1 week)
November 20, 1998
Lee Ann Womack launches her second album with her second No. 1 hit.
The Road to No. 1
After going to No. 1 with her second single, “The Fool,” Lee Ann Womack produced two more hits from her self-titled debut album: the top five “You’ve Got to Talk to Me” and the top thirty “Buckaroo.” The album went platinum, and powered Womack to New Artist wins at the American Music Awards and the Academy of Country Music Awards. Her sophomore album, Some Things I Know, kept her momentum going, with both of its first two singles going to No. 1.
The No. 1
Lee Ann Womack was hailed as a retro traditionalist in the vein of Loretta Lynn and George Jones when she first arrived on the scene, but her most prominent spiritual influence has always been Willie Nelson.
Womack can do pure country as well as anyone to come along in the last three decades can do pure country. But she’s never limited herself to it, and has skillfully incorporated pop, rock, and even jazz into her records, changing styles effortlessly whenever the inspiration strikes her.
“A Little Past Little Rock” could have been a simply arranged country song like her breakthrough hit, “Never Again, Again,” but rather than repeat herself, she chose to accentuate traditional country elements with a sophisticated pop melancholy. It makes for a dark, haunting record, with the ghosts she’s trying to outrun never losing sight of her, no matter how far she goes or how hard she steps on the gas.
It’s a significant artistic step forward for a woman who was emerging as one of the defining voices of country music as the century turned.
The Road From No. 1
Womack returned to the top with the second single from Some Things I Know. We’ll cover it in 1999.
“A Little Past Little Rock” gets an A.
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