Playing with house money.
I am sometimes bandy that about when chatting with (or about) people who have had near brushes with death. Folks and friends who, just maybe, missed that trip through the long black veil by sheer luck, happenstance, or divine intervention.
We all know someone like that.
Tommy Womack sure fits the bill. Having once defied the odds by kicking addiction in 2012, Womack was involved in a horrifying car crash in June of last year when his Nissan Sentra was t-boned by a tractor trailer truck while on tour in Kentucky.
By all accounts, Womack shouldn’t be here. But he battled back (again) and – thankfully – the stark and witty songwriting that has won him a loyal and fervent fan base continues on his new record, Namaste.
Tommy Womack recently took the time to chat with me about the new record, giving thanks, and good coffee.
BRO – Considering the year you have had, the power of your album cover is not lost on me. For what are you giving thanks each day?
TW – I’m giving thanks for a lot, but here’s one specific thing. I’ve driven thousands of miles in every state of mind imaginable. Never wrecked. I’ve been sober for four years. So if I had to have a wreck, I’m thankful it happened NOW, when there wasn’t a joint in the ashtray and no half-empty bottle rolling around on the floorboard.
BRO – In truth, I had no idea what “namaste” meant when I got your record. I had to look it up. Knowing what it means now, it seems like we could all use an extra dose of that spirit.
TW – The whole world needs a dose of that spirit. I’m religious but I’m not religious about it. I do believe in spirit, and I believe in people.
BRO – How did songwriting help in your recovery?
TW – Well, you know, I don’t know if it did specifically. It’s just something I do now and then and when I’ve done enough, I go into the studio and make a record. I try not to question why I do it anymore, or how. Probably, buying a good new La-Z Boy helped my recovery as much as anything.
BRO – I really enjoy your Monday Morning Cup of Coffee feature, which I follow on Youtube. What makes for your favorite cup of coffee?
TW – Coffee’s like the last best drug. I actually go to bed feeling excited about waking up and having that first cup. The brain jump-starts and it’s a new day. Everything is fresh. That’s the best cup.
BRO – We are featuring “End Of The Line” on this month’s Trail Mix. If I may speak for fans of yours everywhere, we sure hope Namaste isn’t yours.
TW – Thank you. Every record I make, I promise myself it’s the last one. No more of this foolishness. But it never sticks. John Prine says if you think breaking into show business is hard, try breaking out! And, as Billy Joe Shaver says, there’s nobody quit to.
Tommy Womack heads back to the stage in early August with shows in Nashville and Chattanooga. For more information on Tommy Womack, the new record, or when he will be coming to a stage near you, check out his website. And, for you fans of coffee and witticism out there, make sure you follow Tommy’s Monday Morning Cup of Coffee.
Also, be sure to check out “End Of The Line” on this month’s Trail Mix.
Photo by Stacie Huckeba.
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