A little past country

Country legend Lee Ann Womack is just as heartfelt and genuine in person as in her music. Surprisingly, she speaks with a soft southern lilt for such a commanding songstress, but her message, like her talent, is strong and clear. Walking away from the glitz and glam of mainstream country music, Grammy-winning Womack is seeking humbler stages and reaching out to newer audiences – thankfully, because now Womack will be coming to Key West for the first time and playing one night only at The Key West Theater on Monday, April 10.

Womack gushed with excitement, “Florida has true country music fans. I have never been to Key West but I can’t wait; who knows, maybe I won’t leave, like the rest of you.” She is touring with Alan Jackson right now, but also is venturing out solo. “I’ve spent many years in the spotlight; I’ve earned the right to do it differently. I really want to play in smaller venues, not where they play basketball or hockey.”

With mega-hits like “I Hope You Dance,” “I’ll Think of a Reason Later” and “A Little Past Little Rock,” Womack can certainly call the shots. Her career has earned her multiple Country Music Awards and Grammy nods, one win, but she’s been in the business long enough to say, “There is not much of a country music scene any more.” Womack is a Dolly Parton/Loretta Lynn type of old-school country singer. Her latest album “The Way I’m Livin’” is a soulful blend of poignant ballads and passionate songs chosen by her and released on a smaller label. She puts herself now among peers such as Alison Krauss and Patty Griffin and shuns the big business of country hits.

“Writing or listening, I don’t go for the party feel,” said Womack. “I want to fill the void for people who want serious music. It’s American roots music with a mixture of old-fashioned bluegrass.” She likened her career to a race between the tortoise and the hare: slow and steady wins by focusing mostly on the quality of the music.

Opening act will be Key West’s own Nick Norman making it a show not to be missed and most assuredly will be sold out. Go to www.thekeywesttheater.com for tickets.

Lee Ann Womack

Key West Theater

April 10, 8 p.m.

“Now, I play a more honest version of my hits.    Lee Ann Womack

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