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Tommy Womack

Namaste – 2016 ( Self-released)

Reviewed by Lee Zimmerman

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CDs by Tommy Womack

Although little known among the masses, Tommy Womack has a storied career that encompasses any number of solo excursions as well as work with earlier bands like the Government Cheese, Bis-Quits and Daddy. "Namaste," however, is clearly his best work by far, not only due to its supple sway and Dylan-eque delivery (check out "It's Been All Over Before," a song that not only sounds eerily like the Bobster, but which, on first hearing - and subsequent listens as well - absolutely resembles an early outtake from "Blood on the Tracks"), but also because of the bigger subjects Womack ambitiously tackles throughout.

The most dramatic of those themes comes across in his observations on the most overreaching arc of all, life and death. "Namaste" is his first musical outing since two near-death experiences that came through a near fatal automobile accident in 2015 and the near-tragic results compounded through his struggles with drug addiction. He details these circumstances in two songs in particular - the straight-forward ramble "I Almost Died" and the deceptively sweet "End of the Line."

Happily though, Womack doesn't get bogged in melancholia; his diatribes about male pattern baldness ("Combover Blues"), menopause ("Hot Flash Woman"), religion ("God, Part III"), '70s classic rock fixations ("Darling Let Your Freebird Fly") and image versus authenticity on Nashville's Music Row Music Row ("When Country Singers Were Ugly"), all add up to a knowing and insightful statement about how the world works from an individual with an especially knowing point of view.

Ultimately, "Namaste" says a lot about both the singer and his subjects. Few albums are as rich in detail and description, and few artists are as knowing in the ability to traverse those topics so masterfully...and magnificently as well.