In 2014, after years as a chart-topping country star, Lee Ann Womack released The Way I'm Livin' on an independent label. Having parted ways with MCA Nashville in 2012, Womack's move to Sugar Hill Records signaled a musical transition. Critically hailed as one of her best albums, it reflected a more rootsy and traditionalist approach to music-making, and sounded more like new-school Americana than old-school Nashville country. Nominated twice at this year's Americana Music Honors & Awards, Womack was embraced by a music community that she had respected for a long time, but rarely resembled.
This past May, Womack was interviewed on World Cafe and performed songs from The Way I'm Livin'. "I'm making more of the kind of music that I really love," Womack told host David Dye, referring to the inspiration she'd found in the work of Americana singer-songwriters such as Jim Lauderdale, Lucinda Williams and Buddy and Julie Miller.
Sounding far removed from the crossover country-pop of her huge 2000 hit "I Hope You Dance," Womack performed the shimmering "Don't Listen To The Wind," a song written by Julie Miller, at the 2015 Americana Music Honors & Awards ceremony.