Archive for January, 2015

the intimate newcomer

carrie newcomer.

carrie newcomer.

One of the words Carrie Newcomer continually returns to when discussing the songs, themes, even cover art of her recent A Permeable Life album is “intimate.”

Granted, that might seem an obvious term in describing the lightness and immediacy of the folk inspirations that have long been key to the music of this Michigan-born songsmith. But intimacy also extends to the poetic and often spiritual nature of the songs she has penned and recorded over the last 25 years, as well as to the collaborative artistic relationships she has forged with numerous authors and activists (Parker J. Palmer, Barbara Kingsolver and Philip Gulley, among them). But on A Permeable Life, intimacy… well… permeates the music as well as the inspirations behind it.

“This is probably one of the most intimate recordings I’ve ever done,” who performs tonight at the EKU Center for the Arts. “The idea behind this album was to feel as if I was sitting across the kitchen table from you instead of singing from a stage.”

What is perhaps most striking about the recording is how pervasive the intimacy is within the arrangements and production. On one of A Permeable Life’s most infectious songs, Room at the Table, a sunny, percussive and chant-like melody brings out the deep, resonating calm of Newcomer’s singing. During Abide, a tune she co-wrote with Palmer, the vocals glide gracefully on cushions of cello and guitar.

“Every album I record generally has a theme,” Newcomer said. “Often a collection of songs will have some kind of question or theme running through it, so you want to create a musical space that really works with those ideas. The themes on this album deal with things like finding something really extraordinary in an ordinary day because there is something really honorable about our daily lives. There is a lot on this album about presence. We’re not really encouraged in our culture to actually show up for our lives. We’re so busy. So when we’re actually here and present in our lives, that’s when you see amazing and wondrous things. Every day, when we pay attention, there is always the miraculous.

“So the music, the arrangements and the production were intended to hold those ideas in a way that makes sense and the songs in a way that makes sense. The artists who played on this record were just wonderful, elegant musicians that could play you a whole lot of notes if that is what the song needed. But if all it needs is a few notes and a pause, that is all they will do. So it’s a very egoless kind of camaraderie. It’s all about creating something very elegant. Simple is not easy. It is elegant.”

Intimacy will also surround tonight’s concert. With longtime pianist Gary Walters as her only bandmate, Newcomer will perform with the audience seated alongside her on the EKU Center’s stage. Finally, she finds additional intimacy in another striking but perhaps underappreciated aspect of A Permeable Life’s design – its cover art. The album jacket depicts a lone boatman floating on calm waters near shore while being approached by two non-threatening but decidedly non-aquatic creatures – giraffes.

“The designer’s name is Hugh Syme,” Newcomer said. “He has designed the last nine of my albums. I sent him the collection of songs, then we started talking about the image that would go along with the album. What he sent me… there was beauty to it, there was intimacy to it and there was also this sense of wonder and whimsy. When I opened it up to see it on my computer, I just said, ‘This is perfect.’”

Carrie Newcomer with Gary Walters perform at 7:30 pm tonight at the EKU Center for the Arts, 1 Hall Drive in Richmond. Tickets: $20. Call (859) 622-7469 or go to

in performance: keb’ mo’

keb' mo'

keb’ mo’

“Put your clothes back on, baby. We’re going to the mall.”

That delicious little no sequitur spilled out of Keb’ Mo’ last night at the Lexington Opera House in the middle of Dangerous Mood, the one tune in the two hour program that approximated traditional blues. But even that was sung with a knowing wink. If it summoned the blues inspirations that defined a portion of the Grammy winning song stylist’s musical persona, it also reflected considerably more of his mood – relaxed, whimsical and a little fearless.

While Mo’ and his three member band stressed new material with a generous sampling of songs from his 2014 album BLUESAmericana, the performance very much played to the Mo’ we know. What he played wasn’t blues by any strict definition, nor was that the intention. It was a sleek meshing of pop and soul that could have passed as an Americana version of Steely Dan. From the warm, hopeful cast of For Better or Worse and Do It Right (both BLUESAmericana songs) to the modest urban R&B flow of 1996’s More Than One Way Home to the very suburban slant of 2004’s Shave Yo’ Legs, Mo’ was very much the pop soul everyman. He seemed to revel playing the part, too.

There were a few instances that weren’t so much an exception to the show’s amiable but precise feel as an extension of it. For instance, The Old Me Better, an amusing BLUESAmericana yarn about marital metamorphosis previewed as an acoustic yarn at Mo’s 2014 Opera House outing, was playfully beefed up last night by drummer Casey Wasner’s double duty turns on kazoo. The results turned the song into a sort of jugband shuffle. There were also several fine guitar solos from Mo’ throughout the performance, including one during The Whole Enchilada that nicely complimented his band’s cool, exact groove.

The encore segment was a bit odd, though. After She Just Wants to Dance brought more than a few engaged patrons to their feet, the wheels came off during a few unplanned tunes of Mo’s choosing that ground to a halt with BLUESAmericana’s finale song So Long Goodbye.

Mo’ admitted the concert technically ended She Just Wants to Dance and that the final skirmishes constituted a rehearsal. Okay. But are songs full of botched lyrics and cues really how you want to take a show home? Rehearsal or not, it was a surprisingly deflating end to a show that seemed to pride itself on its balance of precision and feel.

edgar froese, 1944-2015

edgar froese.

edgar froese.

If you appreciate electronic music in any of its permutations, then you owe a debt of thanks to Edgar Froese.

The pioneering keyboardist, guitarist and composer, who died last week at age 70 from a pulmonary embolism in Vienna, spent the last 48 years at the helm of Tangerine Dream. The German ensemble helped redefine the use of synthesizers in contemporary music by initially crafting an orchestrated keyboard sound of its own and then adhering it to the times.

Members came and went – roughly 20 players in all, including the keyboardist’s son Jerome Froese – with the elder Froese remaining the band’s only mainstay member.

Initially, though, Tangerine Dream was viewed as a by-product of the German-born, industrial-tinged progressive music known as krautrock. But it was in the ‘70s and early ‘80s that Froese’s finest works were created – 1974’s majestically serene Phaedra, 1975’s wildly tense soundtrack to Sorcerer, 1981’s sleek but darkly percolating Exit and 1985’s globally inspired Le Parc.

A personal favorite remains 1988’s Livemiles, a pairing of two 20 minute concert suites that stand as some of the most exact, emotive and exquisitely textured music the band ever created. It also marked the end of an era. From that point on, Tangerine Dream became a streamlined enterprise that catered more to the beats, grooves and rhythmic designs that would be fleshed out further by a new generation of artists that ushered in ambient, trance and a wholly redefined electronic soundscape. That music, however, aimed less for the mind and imagination and more for the dance floor.

So would there be a Daft Punk today without the music Froese devoted nearly five decades to? Possibly. But its sense of modern pop pageantry would be far less captivating without the synthesized roads first paved by one of electronic music’s foremost dreamers.

critic’s pick 259: king crimson, ‘live at the orpheum’

King-Crimson-Live-At-The-OrpheumOn the back cover of Live at the Orpheum, the seven members of prog mainstay King Crimson that convened for a fall 2014 tour appear in black suits and ties, looking more like a hip corporate board than a pack of learned rock vets.

Inside, of course, is where the newly reconstituted Crimson gets down to serious business. With a front line of three drummers and a back line led by guitarist/founder Robert Fripp, the band discovers astonishing new life within vintage compositions, some of which no Crimson lineup has played live in over 42 years. But a nostalgia ride Live at the Orpheum is not.

The current band roster boasts returnees from Crimson lineups spanning each of the past five decades, along with one fresh recruit. Although the songs, aside from two brief instrumentals, aren’t new, the playing is ripe with reinvention.

Take the one-two punch of The Letters and A Sailor’s Tale, originally from 1971’s Islands but absent from the band’s performance repertoire since 1972.

The return of ‘70s saxophonist/flutist Mel Collins and the advent of the drum trio (Pat Mastelotto, Bill Rieflin and Gavin Harrison) on The Letters sets up a feel that falls between operatic and psychedelic. The mood is completed by new guitarist/vocalist (but longtime Crimson ally) Jakko Jakszyk, whose singing adds an almost Gothic drama to the piece.

A Sailor’s Tale is a revelation. Initiated by the drummers with shimmering and eventually propulsive percussion, the tune’s fuse is lit by Collins’ free-jazz accents on sax along with the dual guitar melodies of Fripp and Jakszyk. The music later swells to a thundering crescendo piloted by longtime Crimson bassist/stick player Tony Levin.

From a comparatively newer court of this Crimson king comes the title tune to 2000’s The ConstruKction of Light, retooled as a mischievous instrumental distinguished by flute and sax runs from Collins and the continually playful groove of the drum team.

Completing the setlist for this sadly brief 41 minute live document are two works from 1974’s Red cut after Collins left the band even though he contributed greatly to the record. One More Red Nightmare, which Crimson never played live prior to this tour, leaps to life with plump guitar riffs and percussive bounce. The album-closing Starless, again with remarkable coloring by Collins and grounding by Levin, is a requiem that opens with icy calm before building, layer by layer, into rhythmic frenzy.

How permanent will this Crimson be? Hard to say. The joyous aspect of such wonder, though, is that even if the band disappears, we have this volcanic document of when the King shook the world again.

King Crimson bassist Tony Levin will perform with the California Guitar Trio on Jan. 31 at the St. Xavier Performance Center, 600 West North Bend St in Cincinnati (7:30 p.m.; $36, $41). Call (513) 484-0157 or go to

keb’ mo’ on joe cocker

keb' mo'

keb’ mo’

During my recent interview with Keb’ Mo’, viewable elsewhere on The Musical Box as a preview story for his Jan. 28 concert at the Lexington Opera House, I asked about Joe Cocker. The late vocalist, who died Dec. 22, befriended Mo’ early in his career and eventually invited him on the road as an opening act. Mo’ replied with a detailed tribute of Cocker that deserves to be shared in its entirety.

Here is a glimpse of the Joe Cocker that Keb Mo’ knew.

“Joe Cocker was amazing to me. The first time I met him was in the early ‘70s – probably ’73 – backstage at the Troubadour in Los Angeles. He opened the door and fell down drunk right in front of me. Really. Literally. I’m like, ‘Holy (expletive). Here I am, 22 years old and Joe Cocker has fallen on the floor drunk right in front of me.’

“Now I had been listening to Mad Dogs and Englishmen and to all of his earlier stuff for at least a couple of years. I was a huge fan of Joe Cocker, so what I saw didn’t bother me. A few years later You Are So Beautiful came out. He came back again and I started listening to him all over again. Then early on in my career, he let me open for him. We did a whole tour and he took very good care of me.

joe cocker.

joe cocker.

“One of the last times I saw Joe Cocker was in Aspen. He shouted out, ‘Hey Keb. How are you doing there?’ I was playing a solo show, so he said, ‘Still can’t afford a band, eh?’ There he was ragging on me. His wife was great, too – the sweetest woman and such a supporter of him.

“I’ve been listening to Joe Cocker my whole life, and every time I saw him sing, he sounded better. He was not declining. He just sang better every time. Listening to him, I would just be like, ‘Whoa.’

“Joe Cocker, to me… I mean, what a life. What a musical treasure for the world. What a life well lived. When I first met him, he was not a man without problems. He was an inebriated man who had fallen on the floor in front of me. But who had actually fallen was a giant, a genius, an icon. Throughout my life, he was one of the folks that showed me that you don’t judge people. You don’t judge people based on where they are at any moment in their life. You look at what they do and how they are. Joe Cocker, Dr. John and Charlie Musselwhite, people like that, have taught me that lesson in a huge way.

“I was never into drugs or anything like that. That was ever a problem for me so I never understood how it was a problem for anyone else. But I do understand what it means to be human, about what it means to fail and to get back up and be who you are despite the demons.

“So I thank Joe Cocker and I’m so grateful for him being in my life.”

ozzy, mavis, pryor and the blues

keb' mo'.

keb’ mo’.

At the onset his recent BLUESAmericana album, Keb’ Mo’ offers his latest assessment of the blues.

Admittedly, the song stylist born Kevin Moore has spent much of his career refining a musical voice where the blues goes hand-in-hand with pop, soul and, yes, Americana. It’s a sound that has established Mo’ as one of the most popular and visible faces of contemporary blues music. Such a voice has won three Grammys and, come Feb. 8, could earn three more for BLUESAmericana alone.

But on the album-opening The Worst is Yet to Come, the blues turn traditional – at least, in terms of narrative. The storyline details a hapless man who loses his job, car, wife and dog in quick succession.

“Even the bedbugs up and run,” he sings over a churchy, country groove.

“Pretty much I talked to these songs,” said Mo’, who returns to Lexington for an Opera House performance on Wednesday. “I sort of had conversations with them. It was like,                                                                                                                                                                                                     ‘Alright, songs. What you want to do? Where do you want to go? Who are you? What do you want to say and how do you want to say it?’ And what is interesting is I worked backwards on this record.

“Normally you go in and make a track for the record, then you sing on top of it. But on this one, I sang first and got the tempo. The vocal was always the first piece. That way the song was the thing that was always key. I didn’t want anything to get in the way of it. I monitored everything on it so as not to compromise the story in any kind of way.”

But there is also curious inspiration at work on the song, one that borrows the blues from an unobvious source. The verse about losing the wife and dog? That was triggered by a recording from the landmark comedian Richard Pryor.

“One of his albums has a skit where his woman is leaving him and Richard is begging, ‘Baby, please don’t go.’ Then after she’s gone, the dog starts talking to him. He says, ‘Richard, I love you but I’m going with her. She feeds me three square meals a day but you’re a little tardy with the food. But I’m going to leave you a little something on the floor to remember me by.’ So that’s a song where I worked backwards so I could start a story of my own. I just love that skit so much.”

Already a bluesman with considerable crossover appeal, Mo’ found himself part of numerous tribute projects in 2014. Some were grounded in the blues, others sent him to an entirely different stylistic world.

Among the latter was MusiCares benefit honoring Ozzy Osbourne and longtime pal Jeff Greenberg in May. The event placed him onstage not with one of his blues/soul contemporaries, but with Metallica.

“I was the quietest guy there,” Mo’ said with a laugh. “The event was all about recovery from substance abuse and those kinds of things. I resonate so much with all of the spiritual concepts that come through the 12 step program. I just tend to gravitate toward those people from the spiritual side, not necessarily from the substance side. I come from the side where sometimes there is nothing you can do but to lean on the spirits to get through the things you can’t control in your life.”

More recently – and, perhaps, more expectedly – was an all-star November tribute celebrating the 75th birthday of gospel/blues empress Mavis Staples that placed Mo’ in the company of Bonnie Raitt, Taj Mahal and Gregg Allman, among many others.

“Oh, that was a blast. That was a super blast. When Mavis calls on you… man, that’s like going to the White House. It was during one of those times of the year that I would have rather been at home. But they said, ‘This is for Mavis.’ So I said, ‘Yes. I’m coming.’

“I mean, there is no other answer. I don’t care who you are. There is no other answer but ‘yes’ when people ask you to come out for Mavis Staples.”

Keb’ Mo’ performs at 7:30 p.m. Jan. 28 at the Lexington Opera House, 401 W. Short. Tickets are $45.50. Call (859) 233-3535, (800) 745-3000 or go to

in performance: ken vandermark

ken vandermark.

ken vandermark.

Ken Vandermark wound up a five day, four city Kentucky residency last night at the University of Kentucky’s John Jacob Niles Center for American Music armed with only three instruments. There were no collaborators to shoot ideas off of and no rhythm section to serve as a backdrop (or safety net). The performance simply presented the veteran Chicago composer, bandleader and reed specialist playing in a totally improvised (“that means I don’t know what I’m going to do”) and unamplified environment. Alone.

If that suggests a sterile concert environment or, in the opposite extreme, an opportunity for very capable improvisational skills to become a weighty indulgence, rest assured that neither surfaced. Performing two untitled improvised pieces each on tenor saxophone, baritone saxophone and B-flat clarinet, Vandermark conjured music that sounded predominantly composed (it wasn’t) and soloed with an exactness that revealed remarkable variance and unexpected harmony. In doing so, the openly free passages sounded all the more volcanic.

Opening on tenor, Vandermark discovered a cyclical riff that he interspersed with short jabs of boppish counterpoint that created, in effect, a solo conversation. A brief turn of classically hued clarinet followed before Vandermark turned to the beastly baritone.

Initially, he brought the instrument to life with puncturing, shotgun-like blasts played so briskly and with such respiratory-like voicing that the resulting music sounded like funk. Vandermark hardly came up for air during the improv, as well, making his playing sound as fluid as it was playful.

Returning to clarinet for a longer improv on clarinet that was dedicated to Pee Wee Russell, Vandermark unfurled the tune with torchy echoes of the blues. The music’s introspective nature soon gave way to potent wails and sweeps that strayed purposely from the blues without ever forsaking them.

A second baritone adventure opened with a suitably rustic drone but soon reached for registers far above the earthy tones usually associated with the instrument. The program then concluded where it began – on tenor sax. But this time the playing took off with galloping clusters of scorched riffs repeated like a mantra. Eventually, the music burst open with fractured runs, some almost melodic, bouncing madly as if they were ricocheting off each other.

Such was the vocabulary of three instruments and an improviser possessing the cunning to make each sing with immediacy and invention.

in performance: lee ann womack

Lee Ann Womack .

Lee Ann Womack .

“I don’t know if you’re in my living room or if I’m in yours,” remarked Lee Ann Womack last night as she took in the intimate but still sold out confines of the Norton Center for the Arts’ Weisiger Theatre.

It was an understandable estimation as the majority of the country star’s Central Kentucky concerts over the years have been relegated to show opening sets at Rupp Arena. Here, she was able to carry on in a more conversational manner. For instance, the living room comment earned a quick reply of “Yours” from an audience member, to which Womack answered back, “In that case, welcome.” Just try that kind of bonding at Rupp and see how far you get.

The intimacy of the Weisiger environment also suited the largely traditional aspects of Womack’s music, especially the Americana slant of her 2014 Grammy-nominated album, The Way I’m Livin’.

Easily her best reviewed recording in a decade, The Way I’m Livin’ was featured prominently during the 1 ¾ hour performance. Specifically, that translated into a setlist that boasted 9 of the record’s 13 tunes. Highlights included electric and sleekly spiritual readings of Mindy Smith’s All His Saints, Julie Miller’s Don’t Listen to the Wind and Western Kentucky native Chris Knight’s Send It on Down along with the equally light but decidedly more earthbound tone of Bruce Robison’s Nightwind and the Neil Young Harvest heartbreaker Out on the Weekend.

But the Livin’ song that set off the biggest spark proved to be Hayes Carll’s Chances Are, a quietly solemn country wailer that showcased the vivid sadness, clarity and strength of Womack’s still-effortless singing.

There were also loads of career defining hits that predated the selections from The Way I’m Livin’, including the Dolly Parton-esque show opener Never Again, Again and a slice of honky tonk despair with a sense of weariness sewn right into its title: Twenty Years and Two Husbands Ago.

But it was the newer material that provided a sense of subtle urgency, if not complete reinforcement, to Womack’s traditionalist roots while enhancing an overall performance intimacy that seemed to delight audience and artist alike.

in performance: miranda lambert/justin moore/raelynn

miranda lambert performing last night at rupp arena. herald-leader staff photo by rich copley.

miranda lambert performing last night at rupp arena. herald-leader staff photo by rich copley.

There were three clear instances last night at Rupp Arena that nicely defined the lasting crossover appeal of Miranda Lambert.

Probably a lot more bubbled within and briefly out pf the refreshingly steamlined show the newly-dirty blonde country singer put on for a hearty crowd of 13,500. There were rugged electric rockers like Kerosene and Baggage Claim that reflected much of the concert’s tempo as well as broad melodic strokes within songs like Over You that had more in common with the ‘80s pop of Phil Collins than anything that even today could pass for country music. But three times during the course of the night, the distinction and depth of Lambert’s performance became startlingly clear.

One instance came midway through her 90 minute set via the 2011 tune Mama’s Broken Heart. The title suggested country tradition. But last night’s performance presented Lambert’s seven-member band constructing a neo-reggae groove that simmered until the singer delivered a suckerpunch chorus full of comparatively punkish vigor. The resulting music wasn’t country, but the mash-up certainly rattled the concert’s anthemic country-pop core.

Another surfaced with the 2009 hit The House That Built Me, a slice of domestic and reflective pathos that would have turned shallow and sentimental in less capable hands. While Lambert is far from the most technically dazzling singer in the world, she proved a powerfully intuitive one here by conjuring a sense of very credible country drama with vocals full of torchy reserve and elegance.

Opening acts Justin Moore and RaeLynn preceded Lambert with sets that differed remarkably. Moore was the traditionalist of the evening, able to turn what could have been an audience pandering cover of Home Sweet Home (by that classic country outfit Motley Crue) into a slice of rural solace that, stylistically, sounded unexpectedly honest. The power ballad If Heaven Weren’t So Far Away was similarly winning. But the more amped up the set got, the more generic and shopworn Moore sounded.

RaeLynn was all about chirpy Disney-style pop, right down to her version of All About the Bass. The set was proficient but innocuous – a perhaps fine G-rated outing for kids attending their first concert, but strictly empty calorie pop to most anyone else. But country? This? Forget it.

That brings us to the evening’s other point of clarity. Three songs into RaeLynn’s set, a family arriving late to my left took in roughly five minutes of the sugary songs on display, turned my way and asked, ‘Where’s Miranda?’ Without waiting for a reply, the entourage left and returned five minutes before Lambert’s set began. Now that’s star power.

(To view Rich Copley’s photo gallery of the concert, click here.)

lee ann and livin’

lee ann Womack.

lee ann womack.

A few indicators had already surfaced suggesting Lee Ann Womack’s country music career was up to speed.

There was the huge 2000 crossover single I Hope You Dance, for starters, which now stands as a signature hit for the Texas-born singer. There have also been blooming artistic relationships with such Americana mavericks as Buddy Miller that expanded her stylistic appeal beyond conventional country confines. Finally, there was the matter of Womack’s 2014 album, The Way I’m Livin’, a record that broke ranks with commercial Nashville strategies but still wound up with a Grammy nomination for Best Country Album.

But it was last weekend that Womack received a serious reality check regarding just how far her career had come. She found herself swapping verses of Poncho and Lefty with Steve Earle at an all-star tribute to Emmylou Harris. Among the other participants: Alison Krauss, Lucinda Williams, Sheryl Crow, Mavis Staples and a few dozen other notables.

“When I looked over onstage the day before yesterday and Steve was singing a Townes Van Zandt song and I knew that the next verse was mine, it was such a thrill,” Womack says. “I couldn’t even believe it was happening. I mean, I feel like I’ve been given a second chance at the career I should have had.”

Womack isn’t exactly knocking the career she wound up with over the past two decades. After all, a lengthy stay at Decca/MCA/Universal yielded five consecutive Top 5 country albums that led up to 2008’s Call Me Crazy. But for a singer reared on staunchly traditional music, addressing the commercial demands of the day’s contemporary country star presented more than a little conflict.

“I grew up in East Texas listening to real country music like Buck Owens and George Jones, Lefty Frizzell and Bob Wills, which is more swing, and Hank Thompson — all that kind of stuff,” Womack says. “So I kind of had an idea of what country music was and what I wanted to do when I grew up. But when I grew up, a lot of that stuff was no longer being made in Nashville.

“I followed through on my dream to go to Nashville, get a record deal and all that. But the state of things sort of dictated the direction I went. I signed a deal, I committed to making commercial records and I did the best I could. I went as far as I could. But now I’m in a place where I can do what I was born to do. This is kind of a whole new thing for me. It just makes me so happy.”

Womack’s “whole new thing” is The Way I’m Livin’, a record her new label, the bluegrass/Americana-leaning Sugar Hill calls the work of a “progressive traditionalist.” What that translates into is a set of sterling songs penned or popularized by Neil Young, Buddy Miller, Roger Miller, Hayes Carll, Mindy Smith and Kentucky’s own Chris Knight.

“Chris’ song (Send It On Down) is so amazing, Womack says. “I fell in love with it right when I heard it. You know, there are songs that really tear you up when you hear them or take you out of where you are to another place. Then there are songs that just kind of fly by and become hits on radio that don’t really have an impact on you. But Send It On Down is just one of those songs where if somebody just sits and listens to it, as I did, it just really moves you. I thought it was one of the greatest songs I ever heard.”

The surprise surrounding the Grammy nomination of The Way I’m Livin’ isn’t so much how such an outsider recording is now up for best country album, but rather the company and competition Womack shares within the category.

Among the artists also nominated are Miranda Lambert, who is performing Friday at Rupp Arena, and her recent album Platinum. Here is where things get strange. Both The Way I’m Livin’ and Platinum share the same producer, Frank Liddell. If you think that’s wild, try this. Liddell is Womack’s husband.

“I’m up for one Grammy for Album of the Year, but Frank is up for two,” Womack says. “You can’t help but be thrilled about that.”

Lee Ann Womack performs at 8 p.m. Jan. 17 at the Weisiger Theatre of the Norton Center for the Arts, 600 W. Walnut in Danville. Tickets: $38, $49. Call: (877) 448-7469 or go to

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