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There I Said It!

Tommy Womack

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Album Review

It's convenient, but only somewhat accurate, to compare Tommy Womack to his friends and slightly better-known musical cohorts Todd Snider and Will Kimbrough. The singer/songwriter's fifth solo release comes four years and a nervous breakdown after his last disc, and that sobering experience, along with joining the eight-to-five rat race to make ends meet after assuming his music career was finished, informs the tone and especially the lyrics on this comeback. "I'm 43 now, my hair is going, I've got a shaky sense of self esteem," laments Womack on the folk ballad "Nice Day," and that pretty much sums up this renewed chapter in his career. Thankfully, Womack is too smart, self-deprecating, and witty to wallow in self-pity. His words define and refine a dry humor that balances depression, sometimes literally as in "Too Much Month at the End of the Xanex," and a somewhat shaky belief that life will work out all right. It's a tricky tightrope act, but Womack pulls it off through good to excellent country-folk-rockers and an everyman voice that hits the right emotional notes. Few singer/songwriters could pull off a stream-of-consciousness-styled life story such as "Alpha Male & the Canine Mystery Blood" — which mixes a post-9/11 world-view, a discussion of weird band names, religion, and his life — with such casual honesty and unpretentious irony. Credit some of this album's success to producer John Deaderick, who frames these songs with the perfect mixture of bluesy, shambling folk, rock, and country. He keeps the focus on Womack's lyrics while surrounding him with a rootsy Americana that seems effortless. These tunes shimmer with songwriting so sharp, lyrically full, and intelligent that the logical response is to play the album over again to catch what you might have missed before. And each time you learn a little more about Womack as a human being and an artist, to the point that you seem to have read his diary. There aren't many performers who can write music with that kind of integrity while keeping the listener involved — and even riveted — in someone else's experiences. Maybe it's because listeners see a bit of themselves in Tommy Womack's reflection.

Customer Reviews

One of the best of the year...

Through this last year I've been incredibly luck to work with both Will Kimbrough and Tommy Womack. Both guys have been like big brothers for me sharing their insights and travails as they navigate the murky waters of releasing indie albums. This is my disclaimer--I like their music but think highly of them personally. That said, Tommy's latest disc, There I Said It is absolutely beautiful for more reasons than seeing my own name in the liner notes. Tommy has a well-documented past that included a period of time when he thought his time in music was over. At times it was evident to even Tommy that his chances of "making it" were, in short, kaput. Then something magical happened--Tommy wrote an album with which many of us in our middle years can identify. Trapped somewhere between respected, albeit grizzly veteran songwriter and struggling-to-make-it songwriter, Tommy turned his angst outward. The result is a brutally honest disc that at times made even me cringe from realizing how trying this business can be. Like Tommy's previous work, There I Said It features much guitar--an extra helping if you will. What sets it apart from his earlier work is the emotional range exhibited in his songwriting. From the tenderness of sharing an imperfectly perfect day swimming with his family to the somewhat rambling account of an old-timer's view of an edgy band with a funny name, Womack superbly conveys the range of emotion most of us office rats which we could muster. In fact, his command over this frustrating experience of life is summed up in the title track's tongue-in-cheek admission that he'll never be a rock star. Despite my connections to Mr. Womack, please visit his website and buy this record!. Doing so just may make him a liar and a star.

Long time coming!

Tommy's 5th solo effort is a definite 5 star success! The new release from Cedar Creek Music is a roller coaster ride from the opening prayer to the closing answer recalling a nice day with the family. The "song of the year" is the nearly seven minute "Alpha Male...". Buy this disc! If, after listening to it, it doesn't make you laugh and cry (and think!), go to Tommy's web site and buy his book, read it...then listen again! Trust me on this. I'm proud to wear my "Tommy Womack is a personal friend of mine" T-shirt and tell everybody, about what makes him unique. Great job Tommy!

Coming of Age and taking us with him

I've been a fan of Tommy's since the old Government Cheese days and have been waiting for this a long time. I own pretty much everything he's ever recorded since college and I'm blown away. Way to go Tommy! You make riding the subways here in NYC a nicer place to be! Saved myself some time this weekend and just left the Ipod on repeat....Thanks for putting this out in the world, so many people need these songs. Come play in NYC! Hope all is well pal- Darron West

Biography

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '90s, '00s

A onetime member of the post-punk unit Government Cheese, singer/songwriter Tommy Womack later resurfaced in the roots-rock band the Bis-quits, finally going solo in 1998 with the LP Positively Na-Na. Stubborn followed two years later. As an author, he also won acclaim for his...
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There I Said It!, Tommy Womack
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