Lee Ann Womack

In a nifty bit of yin/yang, Lee Ann Womack both embodies and dispels the simplistic Nashville saw about "three chords and the truth." Sure, the song is the heart of it all, something this East Texas gal learned early on from her disc jockey father, musical schooling in the well-regarded program at Levelland's South Plains College and time as a Music Row songwriter before landing a deal as a singer. It gave her an impeccable song sense--covering folks like Bruce Robison and Buddy & Julie Miller, for example--that raises her albums well above the usual Music City "three chords and a string of clichés" dross. Her time laboring in the music industry mines also imbued her with a canny sense of balance between modern pop appeal and the bedrock of tradition. But ultimately it's the way her singing conveys the truth in the songs--which takes soul, personality, character and a fluent set of pipes--that separates her from the Barbie dolls of today's country and marks Womack as a resonant and lasting musical talent.

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