Posts Tagged ‘Songwriter’

Womack Returns!

Wednesday, July 25th, 2012

Drew Womack, one of country music’s most notable singer-songwriters, returns from a prolonged hiatus with his first album in nearly ten years.

The singer-songwriter, who recorded for Sony/Epic and MCA Records (1997-2001) and also collaborated with Lee Ann Womack on her blockbuster hit, “I Hope You Dance,” (2000) was forced to take an extended hiatus beginning in 2003 after major surgery to completely rebuild a vertebrae in his spine.

“It was debilitating and the timing was terrible,” says Womack. “I had just released my first solo album and finished a tour of Australia when the doctors told me I either had to have the surgery or I could have permanent damage that would make walking difficult. Anyway, it feels great to be back!”

Sunshine To Rain will be released on July 24 (Blue Lightning Records) and is a collection of twelve new songs that represent an intimate snapshot of Womack’s life over the last decade.

Several songs reflect the singer’s personal struggles with his health and having to step away from the spotlight for an extended period to recover. “Rescue Me,” looks at being at one’s lowest point and reaching out for someone to pull them out, while “Through the Night” is about trying to get through an incredibly painful moment that feels inescapable.

“It’s been a long road back,” he says, “and there was a point where I just didn’t know how I would return to performing. So, naturally, this inspired much of my songwriting.”

The album’s powerful title track is inspired by a woman that Womack encountered at a liquor store – a victim of alcoholism, ironically packing all her belongings into boxes bearing the labels of the very thing that ruined her life in the first place. Grammy nominated songwriter Radney Foster and singer-songwriter Jess Klein add harmonies to this chilling song.

Lighter moments on Sunshine to Rain include “I Know Love,” a fun, Lyle Lovett-esque song featuring a horn section and gospel singers, inspired by post-operative pain medication.  Womack started writing the song “Butterfly” with his young son, however the boy lost interest and Womack took it in a different direction. “It’s about a conflicted frog stalking a butterfly,” he says. “The Way Love Rolls” is a lighthearted biography of the singer-songwriter’s life and his starting a family.

Sunshine To Rain also marks a significant musical departure for Womack, now free from the rigor of tailoring his music to meet the demands of country radio. This is evident in the album’s hip Austin sound, which he calls “Gangsta Folk,” and unique instrumentation (sitar, horns) on many of the songs.

“One good thing that came from my experience was that it afforded me the time and space to realize I needed to write and make music the way that I truly wanted to, not how I thought others expected or wanted me to write. There was no country label rep in the recording studio saying, ‘No, a sitar won’t fly on country radio.’ Sunshine To Rain is the album I always wanted to make, and I believe that there is something for all listeners here.”

To complement the new sound, Womack and his producer Clayton Corn brought in notable Austin-based musicians including Rami Antoun (Seal) on drums and percussion, Lonnie Travino, Jr. (South Austin Moonlighters) on bass, David Grissom (John Mellencamp, Joe Ely, Dixie Chicks) on guitar, a local horn section and “a few other special guests,” as well. In addition to serving as producer, Clayton Corn (Pat Green, Jack Ingram) also plays piano/organ on the recording. Sunshine To Rain was recorded at Bismeaux Studios, owned by Austin icon, Ray Benson.