NEPA Scene Staff

Country star Lee Ann Womack sings at Mohegan Sun Pocono in Wilkes-Barre on Aug. 18

Country star Lee Ann Womack sings at Mohegan Sun Pocono in Wilkes-Barre on Aug. 18
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From a press release:

Grammy Award-winning country singer/songwriter Lee Ann Womack, known for hits like “I Hope You Dance,” “The Fool,” and “You’ve Got to Talk to Me,” will perform in the Keystone Grand Ballroom of Mohegan Sun Pocono in Wilkes-Barre on Saturday, Aug. 18 at 8 p.m.

Ticket prices, which start at $39, go on sale this Friday, June 15 at 10 a.m. through ticketmaster.com, all Ticketmaster outlets, and by-phone at 1-800-745-3000. Tickets are also available, free of service fees, at the Mohegan Sun Pocono box office (1280 Highway 315, Wilkes-Barre).

NPR Music says Lee Ann Womack “occupies rare terrain in country music.” Her latest album, “The Lonely, the Lonesome & The Gone,” on ATO Records has “some of the most immediate and deeply felt vocal performances” of her career and taps “into the emotional core of country” (NPR). Praised by everyone from the New York Times to the Wall Street Journal to the New Yorker, Womack has sung for multiple presidents and performed award-winning duets with everyone from Willie Nelson to John Prine to John Legend.

She has built a career on songs that slice life wide open to let the pain and desire pour out; her music is the ultimate form of connection, unvarnished and true. With six albums and international chart-topping singles to her credit, Womack has earned six Country Music Association Awards (including Single and Album of the Year), five Academy of Country Music Awards, a Grammy, and many other awards.

Artists don’t really make albums like 2017’s “The Lonely, the Lonesome & The Gone” anymore. Albums that seem to exist separate and apart from any external pressures. Albums that possess both a profound sense of history and a clear-eyed vision for the future. Albums that transcend genres while embracing their roots. Albums that evoke a sense of place and of personality so vivid they make listeners feel more like participants in the songs than simply admirers of them.

Anybody who has paid attention to Womack for the past decade or so could see she was headed in this direction. A breathtaking hybrid of country, soul, gospel, and blues, the album comes from Womack’s core. “I could never shake my center of who I was,” says the East Texas native. “I’m drawn to rootsy music. It’s what moves me.”

Recorded at Houston’s historic SugarHill Recording Studios and produced by Womack’s husband and fellow Texan Frank Liddell (fresh off a 2017 ACM Album of the Year win for Miranda Lambert’s “The Weight of These Wings”), “The Lonely, the Lonesome & The Gone” marks the culmination of a journey that began with Womack’s 2005 CMA Album of the Year, “There’s More Where That Came From,” moving her toward authentic American music that celebrates her roots and adds to the canon. It also underscores the emergence of Womack’s songwriting voice; she has more writing credits among this album’s 14 tracks than on all her previous albums combined.

Womack had made the majority of her previous albums in Nashville, where the studio system is so entrenched it’s almost impossible to avoid. Seeking to free herself of that mindset, Womack says, “I wanted to get out of Nashville and tap into what deep East Texas offers musically and vibe-wise.”

“I got everybody out of their comfort zone and into a new element,” she adds. “And it was funky there. This place was not in the least bit slick. Everybody there, all they think about is making music for the love of making music. Everyone comes in with huge smiles and positive attitudes. It was much different than what we were used to.”

Capturing the reality of East Texas music isn’t always easy. Being in Houston and at SugarHill helped make that happen, inspiring an approach to the recording process that everyone embraced from the first note played. “Music down there – including Houston, Beaumont, Port Arthur, and all the way through Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama – is this huge melting pot,” Womack says. “I love that, and I wanted that in this record. I wanted to make sure it had a lot of soul in it because real country music has soul, and I wanted to remind people of that.”