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Tommy Womack -- There, I Said It! (Cedar Creek)

By Brian Baker · February 21st, 2007 · Short Takes
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  Tommy Womack -- There, I Said It!
Tommy Womack -- There, I Said It!



Middle-life crises don't come any bigger than Tommy Womack's back in 2003. The former Bis-Quits/Government Cheese guitarist enjoyed a middling Americana solo career (great albums, little acclaim) when he mistook his dwindling opportunities for the end of his gig. To compound matters, Womack's wife lost her job which necessitated his return to the full-time workforce, which he coped with by "eating Xanax like Skittles," and praying to God for the songs to come.

In that context, There, I Said It!, Womack's first new album in five years, is an answer to two prayers -- the one from Womack and the one from his fans. There, I Said It! is Womack's most personal album to date, overflowing with his close-to-the-bone observations about the responsibilities of life and family and the futility of a music career on the fringe. "A Songwriter's Prayer" documents Womack's plea for inspiration, while the loping, edgy Blues grind of "Too Much Month at the End of the Xanax" and the Country/Folk strum of "I'm Never Gonna Be a Rock Star" fairly speak for themselves. Meanwhile, John Prine and Arlo Guthrie are arm wrestling for the right to claim inspiration for "I Want a Cigarette" as Womack peels off some chicken wire roadhouse riffs and vents his workaday spleen on "Fluorescent Light Blues" and "A Cockroach After the Bomb" and does some strolling, talking-Folk magic on "Alpha Male and the Mystery Blood." The past couple of years have been kinder to Womack; he's played hired gun guitar for Todd Snider, started a band called Daddy with old friend/collaborator Will Kimbrough and toured England where he found a rich vein of unexpected adoration. For all of his terrific solo albums, his fantastic book about life in a band, and his beautiful loser outlook, he ought to be getting that love at home. No, he's never gonna be a Rock star ... guess he'll have to settle for being brilliant and loved by a rabid and really intelligent few. (Brian Baker) Grade: A

 
 
 
 

 

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