NPR logo Lee Ann Womack, 'The Way I'm Livin" (Live)

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Lee Ann Womack, 'The Way I'm Livin" (Live)

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Like Brandy Clark, Ashley Monroe and Kacey Musgraves, Lee Ann Womack makes country music with an eye toward pushing the genre's boundaries, both in style and in subject matter.

The title track from The Way I'm Livin' feels like the natural heart of the set: It tells the story of a tortured soul who's made a deal with the devil in the form of a bottle. It's far from a typical good-time drinking song.

To support the twinge and twang of Womack's sympathetic but potent vocal testimony, her producer and husband, Frank Liddell, lays her words atop an arrangement that feels just urgent enough to demand attention. By the last verse of the song, Womack sounds resolved, if not necessarily redeemed.