Lee Ann Womack & Roger Pistole Head To Texas —
New Braunfels To Anchor Vid for Hayes Carll’s “Chances Are”
New Braunfels, TX: When Lee Ann Womack returned with The Way I’m Livin’, the only country album onEsquire‘s Top 10 Albums of 2014, she was committed to re-grounding her music in the things that mattered: classic country with a progressive lean, smart songs about life’s tough spots and great playing. One of the other things the Grammy-winning vocalist wanted to focus on were her roots growing up in a small Texas town.
With a Grammy nomination for Best Country Album, a pair of Americana Music Association nominations for Artist and Album of the Year, as well as two CMT Video Music Awards nominations for CMT Performance for “Crossroads” with John Legend and Female Video of the Year for “The Way I’m Livin’,” Womack has built a foundation for her kind of post modern country. But there were still things Womack wanted to accomplish.
So she called award-winning director Roger Pistole, the man behind the snakes in her “The Way I’m Livin'” video, and suggested they re-team for another video. With Hayes Carll’s vintage Wurlitzer country song of heartbreak and hope “Chances Are,” the pair set on New Braunfels as the place to capture the song’s lonesome and innocence.
“The thing about this song,” Womack says, “in a lot of ways, the singer is a total disaster, but she’s owning that she’s made her own mistakes. She’s taking responsibility. But what I love even more: she’s still hopeful, still willing to try. Even with all of that, even in heaven knows what kind of mess, she wants to believe in love.
“So when I was feeling the feeling, I think there’s a lot of that in the wide open of Texas when you get beyond the city… Roger got that, too, when we were talking. So then it’s a matter of ‘where?’ That’s what makes New Braunfels perfect: it’s still a small enough Texas town, it reminds me of where I grew up… That feeling of you can know everybody, people are still nice… and yet it’s got the room for your lonesome to really spread out.
“And there’s Gruene Hall!” she says, laughing about the legendary Texas dance hall.” The video is designed to show the devastation and grasp of loneliness. But it is being set in a place that is so natural, warm and inviting, the juxtaposition is heightened. For Womack, who will be on the only person in the video, the clip will serve as a metaphor for even in the best places we can become trapped in our own prisons, yet as the song suggests we are also the ones who hold the key to unlocking what constrains us.
“Roger is genius,” she enthuses. “New Braunfels embodies that innocence and hope. It’s a matter of moving through various settings, considering sadness and moving forward. I’m fired up to see what he shoots – because I know it’ll evoke as many things as the song.”
Having seen massive critical response, including a ***** out of **** review in USA Today, Rolling Stone proclaiming Livin’ “feels like something Merle Haggard or Waylon Jennings would have crafted back in the Seventies,” Spin deeming it “the best of her career” and Garden & Gun offering, “Nashville is filled with artists making ‘the record they were born to make.’ With Livin’, Womack is one of the few who actually deliver,” she knew she had the goods. Almost one year after release, she’s still celebrating this music.