Nashville Americana Standout Delivers “Sequel” to Critically Acclaimed “There, I Said It!”
Nashville, TN—Following up a career-defining album release can be a daunting task, as it’s by definition putting oneself behind the proverbial 8-ball from the start. Thankfully, fans of Americana artist/ songwriter/author/producer Tommy Womack are not likely to experience a letdown on Now What! (February 21/Cedar Creek Music), Womack’s fifth solo studio album and a release that he is categorizing as a natural progression following 2007’s aforementioned fourth studio effort, There, I Said It!
“This record is totally a sequel,” said Womack. “Hence the title. The last record was all about being washed up. This one is about what happened when There, I Said It! gave me my career back.”
Indeed, Now What! picks up where There, I Said It! left off. Songs about home and family (“Play That Cheap Trick, Cheap Trick Play”; “It Doesn’t Have to Be That Good”) collide into songs about the perils of road life (“On and Off the Wagon” and the hilarious - if blood-chilling - “90 Miles an Hour Down a Dead-End Street”.) In between, there are songs about old flames in the grocery (“Bye & Bye”), growing old ungracefully (“Over the Hill”) and pondering simple love (“I Love You to Pieces”; “Wishes Do Come True”; and the album closer “Let’s Have Another Cigarette”.)
Ironically, on There, I Said It! Womack sings resignedly about how his better days appeared to be behind him. But the song “Nice Day”, a heart-tugging tale of a father enjoying a day swimming with his son while financial worries swirl in his head, won the “Best Song” award in the 2007 Nashville Scene Critics poll (an award Womack also received in 2004 for the “The Replacements”, an 8+ minute song about the band of the same name). And Womack’s epic tour de force “Alpha Male & The Canine Mystery Blood,” is (another) eight minutes of cathartic musings on life, love and aging that often moves audiences to standing ovations.
An award-winning songwriter, recording artist and a published author, Womack writes songs as honest as anything Hank Williams or Steve Earle ever recorded, and has attracted the attention of the national press while accumulating a loyal following. Womack is omnipresent in Music City, both live and in the studio, whether working with Will Kimbrough in their band DADDY, who have released two records, or being in his harmony vocalist’s band backing Lisa Oliver-Gray (who’s record he co-produced), or simply playing his own show being backed by his own fine band, the Rush to Judgment. He has also had songs recorded by Jimmy Buffett, Todd Snider, Jason Ringenberg, Dan Baird, Scott Kempner and others.
“I like being busy.” Womack says, “It keeps me out of trouble, and I’ve been in enough trouble as it is. I feel lucky getting to do all this. After growing up such a square peg and spending so much time miserable, I like getting near 50 and actually thinking, ‘hey, it’s fun being me.’”
“[Womack is a] Nashville rocker whose best songs are insightful, funny and penetrating.” – USA Today
“Womack leavens searing emotional honesty with observational wit and wry wise-guy charm as he moves among rock, country and blues.” – The Philadelphia Inquirer
For a complete discography, more information and random musings from the artist himself, please visit www.tommywomack.com or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org for an exclusive download code # # #
Gadzooks! How long has it been now, since I last checked in with all of you? Way too long! My sincere apologies! Well, making up for lost time, here it is, my wild and wooly story what’s going on in my world.
My upcoming full-length record NOW WHAT! Is completed and we are looking forward to an October release date. The production team of John Deaderick (ace keyboardist for the Dixie Chicks, Michael McDonald, Patty Griffin, etc.) and I, who brought you my last solo opus, 2007’s award-winning THERE, I SAID IT!, were back at the producing helm this time as well. (If it ain’t broke…)
As the title suggests, NOW WHAT! takes the story of the previous record and carries it forward. 2007’s THERE, I SAID IT! was the story of an aging rocker coming to grips with his failed dreams as a musician, the irony being that that record gave me the very career I’ve always sought. Hence…NOW WHAT! is all about what happens when your dream comes true - getting back out on the road, balancing that with home and family, and tip-toeing through the minefields of temptations that rock and roll road life has to offer.
NOW WHAT! has standout tracks that have already become standards in the Tommy Womack stage repertoire – “On & Off the Wagon”, “Play That Cheap Trick, Cheap Trick Play”, and the drop-dead spoken word piece “90 Miles and Hour Down a Dead-End Street.” Drummers Paul Griffith and Fenner Caster make appearances, as do long-time Womack stalwarts Dan Seymour on bass and Lisa Gray on vocals. Two interesting tidbits are the first appearances of horns on a TW record (Jim Hoke on sax and Bill Huber on trombone and tuba), and I played all the guitars on this record (which the exception of a pedal steel part Jim played). For years I’ve always hired my über-talented plank-spanking friends to do all the hot-doggery. This time I decided to play them all myself, and a fair amount of the bass as well. John Deaderick handled all the keys: the ones you play and the ones you use to get into the studio too.
It’s been a blessedly busy spring by current economic standards. I played the 30-A Songwriter Festival with David Olney, Gretchen Peters and Rodney Crowell, played a couple of shows at South by Southwest in Austin, did a couple of house concert tours withWill Kimbrough (who is now out with Emmylou Harris) and we are toying with concepts for the next DADDY record, centered around the 150th anniversary of the Civil War. I just did a great string of dates in Kentucky that pumped me up.
So, what else up in my world? Well, Nathan wiped out on a scooter and broke his arm last week so we haven’t been able to have guitar-drum jams like we usually do, and there’s been no ball-throwing back and forth, but he’s mending. Kids heal quickly. Beth is fine. I’m fine. I’m taking vitamins, my eyes are clear. I’m excited about my new record. (It’s a good one. I listened to it last night for the first time in a while and it felt nice.) I’m excited every time I get to play a gig. And get to throw off my cloak of normalcy and let my Tommy Freak Flag Fly.
Hope to see you at a show, and if you can’t make one of mine, please go see somebody else’s. We all need your help.
God bless, Tommy
Greetings from Nashville. I just had the wonderful experience of driving around my neighborhood for 45 minutes listening to - for all intents and purposes - my own new record for the first time. It is absolutely one of the pinnacle feelings of this business. Now, later on it'll get mastered and then it'll sound sweet enough to warm a banker's heart and THEN... THEN my brothers and sisters, I shall bestow it upon YOU. But this much of a glimpse I can give you now - the title...
It strikes me as the most spare-sounding record I've ever made. Most of the tracks are just acoustic guitar, drums, John on some keyboard if needed, maybe an electric guitar, Lisa Gray singing harmonies with me. And several tunes are more stripped-down than that, a couple are just me and the acoustic guitar (whether or not that's a good thing I'll leave you to discuss amongst yourselves). To spice things up there are actually some cool funereal Nawlin's type horns on a couple of tracks, and a pedal steel cameo.
THERE, I SAID IT! sort of gave me back my musical career so NOW WHAT! is all about what's happened in the four years since I outed myself as a nervous little man in "Nice Day" and "Alpha Male..." It's about washing dishes and listening to Cheap Trick, it's about driving to Indianapolis drunk, it's about being in love after all this time, it's about wanting what you can't have, it's about substance abuse, it's not about politics at all, but religion comes up, it's about how things don't have to be that good and also don't have to be that bad, and it's about that moment we have right now today because we could go at any time, you never know.
I produced it with John Deaderick again, just like THERE, I SAID IT! (if it ain't broke...) One track, "Pot Head Blues", will be on a promotional CD Bug Music will be giving away at SXSW in March. I don't have a prospective release date yet. It will happen when it's meant to. Oh, the joys of getting older and you don't get your knickers in a twist waiting for the DAY YOUR RECORD COMES OUT. We will sell no wine before it's time.
I've got a new writing project in the works. It's so new I don't want to tell you about it. But I've been writing every day lately, and that's really cool. It's good for my mind, calms me down a bit, to write everyday.
I'll be in Santa Rosa Beach, FL - the 30A Songwriter Fest with Will Kimbrough and David Olney and a slew of others - January 14th thru16th. After that, I'm lplaying in my hometown of Madisonville KY, January 20th at the Glema Mahr Center, then the Rudyard Kipling in Louisville the 21st.
Before I take your leave, thank you copiously if you've shown Government Cheese the love. We've felt a seismic amount of good will about our 2-CD retrospective and we thank you. All five of us are super excited to play again too.
We have two Government Cheese reunion shows scheduled, if you didn't already know. They are Feb. 12th in Bowling Green, KY at the State Street Pub, and Feb. 26th in Nashville at the Rutledge. For more details go to facebook or revernation.com and do a search on Government Cheese.
I've been craving four and five-cheese pizzas the last few weeks. I think I'm going to wrap up this note and go have a couple of more slices. I think I'm craving calcium derived from cheese which will find its way to my digits so I can play all that psycho blazing lead guitar I did when I was 20 years younger and did nothing but play guitar, smoke cigarettes, drink beer and get me some. We will see. We will see.
Here's warm wishes to you for a blessed, happy and prosperous new year,
Yes, folks, the reunion shows you’ve wanted, yearned for, salivated Pavlovianly for, desired, dreamed of and wantonly craved… are booked. Government Cheese will be playing Ellis Place, also known as Ellis Place/The State Street Pub in Bowling Green, Kentucky on February 12th (Abraham Lincoln’s birthday) and The Rutledge in Nashville, Tennessee February 26th (Johnny Cash’s birthday).
Here are the pertinent deets for both venues so that you may purchase tickets…
As for Ellis Place/State Street Pub, (Yes, one place, two names, I don’t know why.) you can find them online at http://www.ellisplacestatestreetpub.com/. You can find them on the phone at 270-846-0210 or 270-202-3418. They take ticket orders by card over the phone. If you get the machine, leave a coherent message and they will call you back. Or you can visit them in person at 700 State Street. You can also get tickets at the Great Escape at 2945 Scottsville Rd, Bowling Green, KY, 270-782-8092. Tickets for Bowling Green are almost gone, by the way, so call now. Stop reading and call.
Tickets for the Rutledge in Nashville have JUST gone on sale. You can get them at the venue at 410 4th Avenue South, Nashville, TN, 615-782-6858. (http://www.therutledgelmv.com/). Or you can visit Grimey’s New and Pre-Loved Music (http://www.grimeys.com/) at 1604 8th Ave. South, Nashville, 615-254-4801. Stop by for Santa’s visit to Grimey’s Saturday December 11th and pick up a copy of the “Government Cheese 1985-1995” and a copy of “Cheese Chronicles: The True Story of a Rock and Roll Band You’ve Never Heard Of”, excellent stocking stuffers for the garage-rock warlords in your family!
Tomorrow (which at this writing happens to BE December 11th) Government Cheese – Me, Skot, Joe, Billy Mack and Viva – will convene at my house for the first rehearsal. It will be loud. Very loud. And we shall shoot video to prove our loudness and show off how much of our sex appeal has survived the ravages of time. Don’t assume there will be other shows in other towns. We all have kids and jobs and it’s a miracle we could nail down these two dates. So don’t miss out! We hope to see you at the show every bit as much as we hope we can remember how to play the songs.
Please visit http://www.reverbnation.com/governmentcheeseofficialbandsite
My apologies for such a long time with no update. I’ve had people e-mailing my manager worried about whether I was all right nor not. Has he gone off the deep end again??!! No, worry not. Things are fine. If you follow me on facebook, you wouldn’t worry so much. I’ve found it to be an efficient daily conduit between me and the world.
Things are really fine. I’ve just been doing my thing, scribbling lyrics into my little notebook I carry around and playing some really great shows lately, been involved in a lot of Leadership Music stuff, been involved in more than a few fierce basketball and whiffleball games with Nathan, been thinking about my next record, been thinking about the Jack the Bunny children’s book, been playing Guitar Hero drums set on ‘Easy’ while Nathan plays guitar set on ‘Expert’, been waking up at 2 in the morning and eating two bowls of Lucky Charms, then going back to sleep happily full on yellow moons and green clovers.
Will Kimbrough and I leave May 17th to go to the UK, then The Netherlands and Germany. I’ve never been to been to Amsterdam and I’m of two minds about it. On one hand I really want to see the Anne Frank house. On the other hand, Amsterdam is a dangerous town. There is the likelihood of me stepping out alone to patronize a hash bar, never to be heard from again. In Germany I want to see the bunker. But I doubt that’s going to happen.
BTW, Will’s new record “Wings” has now spent a month in the Americana Top Ten. None too shabby, that. Lisa Oliver Gray (my longtime harmony companion) contributes as she has with DADDY lately, and has resulted in a few sessions and shows with the likes of Bonnie Bishop and Marshall Chapman. It does my heart good for people, after all this time, are waking up to what I already knew years ago, that she’s a more than special voice and a more than special person.
This weekend I’m at the Southern Kentucky Book Festival with Marshall Chapman, and we’re playing in Bowling Green Friday night at Greener Groundz and appearing at the fest on the WKU campus on Saturday.
The Government Cheese reissues are slated to be released in September, which will be the 25th anniversary of the release of our first record, “Things Are More Like They Are Now Than They’ve Ever Been Before”, produced by Byron House, who is now going out on tour with Robert Plant, bless him.
The Jimmy Buffett cut, “Nobody From Nowhere” (the first track on his latest release, “Buffet Hotel” and also the first track on the most recent DADDY (Will Kimbrough & Tommy Womack) release “For a Second Time”) is getting airplay and moving off the shelves appreciably, thank you Jesus.
The new Jason & The Scorchers release “Halcyon Times” is an absolute masterpiece, and I’m not saying that because I had a hand in co-writing almost half the songs on it. It may indeed be the best record they’ve ever done and yes, I’m serious. Buy it.
I know Will and I are playing in Alabama in a week or two, and we’re going to Vermont when we get back from Europe. I know the capital of North Dakota is Bismarck, and I know I’m going to sign off here in time to post it on all my sites, go to bed, and wake up on Monday morning, ready for another delightful day of being Tommy Womack. It’s hard work – intermittent with long stretches of watching Lockup Marathons on MSNBC – and the pay is not great, but I feel like it will get better over time. I’m positive that one of two things are going to happen: either it will or it wont, and it’s nice to feel that kind of certainty in an uncertain world.
Go do something nice for somebody today, and may the good spirits in the world wrap around you like a soft, warm Snuggie®.
Love & Peas & Hominy,
Come out and support Tommy on his triumphant return to Pennsylvania after slayin' 'em at Muzikfest last August!
TONIGHT, FRI. April 17 - Live On-Air: 3:00 pm WXLV-Radio Schnecksville, PA
TONIGHT, FRI. April 17 - Showtime: 8:00 pm Godfrey Daniels Bethlehem, PA (610) 867-2390 - http://www.godfreydaniels.org
TOMORROW, SAT., April 18 - Showtime: 8:00 pm Landhaven Bed & Breakfast & Antiques Store at the Village of Huff's Church - 1194 Huff's Church Rd. Barto, PA 610-845-3257, venue & info - http://www.landhavenbandb.com
SUNDAY, April 19, 2009 - EARLY SHOW: 5:00 pm The Domes (A Concert in a Dome!) 4344 Aitcheson Road Beltsville, MD RSVP: Call Pat @ 301-237-4097 *Directions on Tommy's Web Sites
Yes, Virginia - I will play PHILLY NEXT WEEK!
How could I have not posted this sooner....in addition to all of my excitement to be on WXLV-Radio in Schnecksville, PA this afternoon at 3:00 pm Eastern Time, I totally forgot to post this JUST CONFIRMED WXPN-Radio on-air and SHOW with the incredible SCOTT McCLATCHY in Philadelphia next Wednesday night!
WEDNESDAY, April 22, 2009 - LIVE On-Air: 4:00 pm Eastern Time WXPN-Radio with Dan Reed Philadelphia, PA LISTEN LIVE: http://www.xpn.org/music-artist/xpn-stream
WEDNESDAY, April 22, 2009 - Showtime: 9:00 pm The Fire w/ SCOTT McCLATCHY (of Cheese Chronicle infamy!) 412 W Girard Ave Philadelphia, PA 19123 (267) 671-9298 www.iourecords.com/thefire/ .. www.myspace.com/liveatthefire ..
Hear me on the radio, See me on the road, Touch me, Feel me...something like that.
Wanna give a memorable holiday gift they'll love for years? Share your love of TOMMY WOMACK by giving the gift of Tommy's music and writing.
Singer-Songwriter, Published Author, Podcaster/Vlogger TOMMY WOMACK is two-time winner (2002 & 2007) of "Best Song" in the Nashville Scene's annual "Best of Nashville" poll – a distinct honor in a town full of hit songwriters. His album - “There, I Said It!” - was awarded “Best Of The Year” and has generated a glowing press & blog reaction in media outlets such as No Depression Magazine's "Critics Poll" and "Readers Poll"; The Philadelphia Inquirer, The Tennessean, USA Today, The Village Voice, The Dallas Observer and others.
Order YOUR Holiday Gifts TODAY! AVAILBLE ONLINE FOR IMMEDIATE SHIPMENT: ----------------------------------------------------- BOOKS: --------- The LAVENDER BOYS AND ELSIE by Tommy Womack Civil War Fiction. He likes men. She likes killing. And then there's the Christmas pageant. This is Tommy's second book and first novel. More online.
CHEESE CHRONICLES: The TRUE STORY OF A ROCK & ROLL BAND YOU NEVER HEARD OF by Tommy Womack Third Printing of his memoir Cult Classic. If you know someone in a band, you need to give them this book.
ANCIENT SINGLES: ---------------------- **SPECIAL - IT'S A ROCK & ROLL PARTY WITH GOVERNMENT CHEESE Single - Copies found in Tommy's music room! $5.00 plus s/h! Send an email to MusicSack (at) comcast.net for special payment instructions.
MUSIC: --------- THERE, I SAID IT! - Tommy Womack Award-winning and Best-of Praiseworthy. Everyone needs to hear "Alpha Male..." at least once in their life.
WASHINGTON, D.C. (Live, Band) - Tommy Womack Recorded LIVE with a full band at XM Studios, before they got Sirius.
At The WOMEN'S CLUB - DADDY (Will Kimbrough & Tommy Womack) - Only a few copies of this kick-ass LIVE recording featuring the boys with John Deaderick, Dave Jacques & Paul Griffith. New studio album in the works for release on Father's Day 2009.
Of course, all of these items except "Washington, D.C." are available online at Amazon.com and most reputable retailers.
See you on the road & Thanks for a great year, Tommy