Her first release in more than six years, Womack worked with her husband, award-winning producer Frank Liddell, and says she felt free to stay true to her musical roots.
“Luke Lewis is the one at my label who said, ‘I want you to get in the studio with Frank, and I want y’all to make a record and not worry about anything else — just about songs that you love and that you think are great songs,’” Womack told CMT Hot 20 Countdown. “I mean, how often does a label head tell you that? And I know how great Frank is at that, so I was on cloud nine. I was so excited to get in there and make this record.”
What she came up with reintroduces listeners to Womack’s traditional country sound.
“I enjoy music in so many different ways,” she explained about returning to the studio. “Like, I enjoy just sitting around the house listening to music or just sitting and playing my guitar and singing. And all of that satisfies a part of me, so I think that’s sometimes why I’m able to sit out a little longer.”
Like the release of anything truly personal, Womack was a bit anxious about how the project would be received, but Friday’s (Dec. 5) Grammy nomination for best country album underscores her confidence that she recorded something exceptional.
“Looking back over my career, I’ve known when I had something that was extra special,” she admitted. “I have that feeling now about this record, and I’ve put a lot of work into it. We all have. They’re all important to you, but every once in a while, one stands up a little bit, and I feel like that about this record.”
Don’t miss the exclusive launch of Live @ CMT: Lee Ann Womack Tuesday (Dec. 9) on CMT.com. For more on The Way I’m Livin’, tune into CMT Hot 20 Countdown Saturday and Sunday (Dec. 13-14) at 11 a.m. ET/PT.