After penning work for others as a professional songwriter, Lee Ann Womack burst onto the country scene with the release of her self-titled debut (stream it below) in 1997. She became a crossover sensation with the arrival of I Hope You Dance (stream it below) in 2000, knocking ’NSync off the charts in the process, before embracing traditional Americana, which makes up the majority of her newest studio album, produced by her husband, Frank Liddell, The Lonely, the Lonesome & the Gone (stream it below), which came out two weeks ago. “Womack is in terrific voice throughout, the songs—including her co-writes—are top notch and with Liddell’s sympathetic backing and production, it’s hard to imagine how anything could be improved. It’s a late-breaking short list nominee for 2017’s album of the year,” raves American Songwriter. “She may have danced with the devil in Nashville to become a big success, but now she’s asking for salvation by getting back to her roots in Texas. Why the hell not, as the former Lone Star gubernatorial candidate Kinky Friedman used to ask. She really doesn’t have anything to be forgiven for, and her new album redeems her from the curse of being overly popular by being so damn good,” adds PopMatters. In support of her new material, Womack (above, performing “All the Trouble”) puts on a very intimate perfromance tomorrow night at Rough Trade NYC. Local country singer-songwriter Zephaniah OHora opens the show.
Tag Archives: Lee Ann Womack
Aubrie Sellers – Rough Trade NYC – May 17, 2016
Aubrie Sellers has described what she does as “garage country,” and that’s on point. It’s not that her music sounds bashed out or particularly raw, but it’s clear from the first notes—and even in her tenderest songs—that we’re not dealing with the side of Nashville that favors slickness, polish and a packaged sound. No, in Sellers’ hands, country songs get nice and scuffed, sometimes with a honky-tonk bent, sometimes with an infusion of indie rock, sometimes with punk’s burnt edges, sometimes mindful of ’70s AM rock and sounding perhaps a few clicks over from Fleetwood Mac. She’s part of a six-piece band, but there isn’t a keyboard, or a fiddle, in sight, and a whole lot of guitars kicking up some principled racket. There’s a steel player—used to great effect during last night’s set at Rough Trade NYC—but he’s just as likely to blow harp through a tricked-out microphone made from what appears to be an old telephone receiver. Cool.
These distinctions are important because Sellers, who’ll be described here and probably in every profile, feature and review for years as the daughter of Lee Ann Womack and Jason Sellers, knowingly put extra pressure on herself by following her parents into the biz. But she’s neither a Nashville country supplicant nor a rebel. The songs on her debut album, New City Blues, walk the line between both of these poles. Over the course of an hour’s headlining set, Sellers tried them out on us: winking blues rock in “Sit Here and Cry,” sweet yearning in “Something Special,” moody country angst in “Light of Day,” cautioned romance in “Just to Be with You.”
Sellers explained that most of her set is usually sad or sarcastic songs but then sneaked in some reservedly happy ones. She pulled in a few covers, some obvious (Buck Owens’ “My Heart Skips a Beat”) and some far less so, but well chosen, including the Beach Boys’ “In My Room,” which the band turned into a misty-morning electric-folk song while Sellers mined its sensitive beauty. Throughout, and in any of those modes, she displayed able command of a big-sound band, knowing when to keep a tight rein so her vocals could be the main focus and when to let those gnarly guitars overwhelm her singing a bit. The confidence in that balance is working for her. —Chad Berndtson | @Cberndtson
Tags: Aubrie Sellers, Beach Boys, Brooklyn, Buck Owens, Chad Berndtson, Fleetwood Mac, Jason Sellers, Lee Ann Womack, New City Blues, New York City, Review, Rough Trade NYC, Williamsburg
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As the daughter of country star Lee Ann Womack and songwriter Jason Sellers, Nashville garage-country singer Aubrie Sellers—inspired equally by the likes of Led Zeppelin and Ralph Stanley—grew up surrounded by music. And despite her famous parents, Sellers is making a name for herself with her own songs. Sellers’ debut album, New City Blues (stream it here), comes out on Friday. NPR Music proclaims, “It’s plainly the work of an artist who’s determined to construct a riveting identity for herself.” AbsolutePunk dubs the LP “an early Album of the Year candidate” and mentions that “this record is an edgy twist on the normal Nashville fare.” And to celebrate the album’s release, Sellers (above, performing “Liar Liar” in studio for KOKE FM) plays Mercury Lounge tonight.