By Stuart Munro GLOBE CORRESPONDENT JUNE 27, 2015
By her own characterization, Lee Ann Womack’s latest record, “The Way I’m Livin’,” is an overt, intentional move away from the compromises that she often felt called upon to make when she was part of the commercial country-music world. It is also, perhaps not unrelated, completely devoid of the poppier elements that were present, to varying degrees, on all of her six preceding records.
But the harder country sounds that are full-blown throughout “The Way I’m Livin’ ” were always an element of those earlier records as well, an element that was often rooted in the singer’s predilection for drawing upon songwriters such as Bruce Robison and, especially, Buddy and Julie Miller.
During an 80-minute set Thursday night at Johnny D’s, with a taut four-piece band before a sold-out audience, Womack served up a little bit of both worlds, but leaned to her harder side. “We’re going to play y’all some country music — I mean, some real country music,” she exclaimed early on, and that’s exactly what she did with a performance that drew on the new record for five songs, but also surveyed the entirety of her catalog.
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