While musician Tommy Womack has made his home in Nashville — and doesn’t plan on leaving anytime soon — he gets to Louisville a handful times a year. In fact, the Kentucky native was just in town in April with his former band Government Cheese, which played for a crowded house at Headliners.
“The gig sold out and we beat the s#%t out of that audience,” Womack tells Insider. “Great gig.”
On Friday, June 29, Womack returns to town by himself to play a free show for a Blue Sky Kentucky-sponsored event at Old Louisville’s The Pavilion (the former Sunoco station). The nonprofit organization champions for regional music and also helps provide music education to kids at the Cabbage Patch Settlement House.
Since playing with his first band Government Cheese — which formed in Bowling Green, Ky. — Womack has put out seven solo albums; found success behind the scenes as a producer; and even published the book “The Cheese Chronicles: The True Story of a Rock ’n’ Roll Band You’ve Never Heard Of.”
Currently, he’s working on a sequel to “The Cheese Chronicles,” as well as a live album. And he’s looking forward to playing for an Old Louisville crowd on Friday, he says.
“I’m excited about Friday more so than usual, actually,” says Womack, who has already made up the set list. “I’ll do my stuff, some Government Cheese stuff, some songs of mine that Todd Snider’s covered … I’ve been playing electric guitar at solo shows now, in addition to acoustic guitar, and I might do some electric Delta blues slide playing, too, so I’m trying to make it more interesting than just a guy with a wooden guitar for 90 minutes.”
He adds he also has been experimenting with spoken word lately, so you can expect some of that at the show as well.
If you’re hoping Womack will be charmed enough by the neighborhood’s historic mansions to relocate here from Nashville, think again. He’s been there for 26 years now and plans to spend the rest of his life in Tennessee.
“I’ve played a lot of great gigs there and made a lot of records and made a lot of dearly beloved friends. There is no town like it in the world,” he says. “And you know what, among the musicians, everybody’s nice. Nowhere near the egos you might expect. It’s already assumed you play or sing or write great, so all that really matters is are you a jerk or not? So nobody is. We all support each other and go to each other’s shows, and if friends were dollars, I’d be a millionaire. I love that town.”
Womack performs at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, June 29, at The Pavilion, 1484 S. Third St. Local musician JK Mabry opens. Admission is free, and food and drinks will be available for purchase.