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As the old cliché goes, Tommy Womack has paid his dues in full. The singer/songwriter spent the better part of the '80s in the infamous rock outfit Government Cheese, later telling the tale in the excellent book Cheese Chronicles: The True Story of a Band You Never Heard Of. He fronted the roots-rock Bis-Quits and his first solo release, Positively Na Na, was an incredible collection of smartly written songs, biting commentary and clever character sketches.

The undiscovered treasure of the singer/songwriter set returns with Stubborn, another excellent collection of heartbroken heroes and lovable losers. With the same dry wit Dylan flashed on Highway 61 Revisited, Womack deconstructs blues and songwriter forms with a self-depreciating humor and melancholic twinge. Like he did on Positively Na Na, Womack fires off emotions like a .30-06, from rage ("I Don't Have a Gun") to crippling desperation ("The Urge to Call") to warning ("Tellin' You What You Want to Hear"). Again, the excellent character sketches of everyday people populate Stubborn's "Willie Perdue" and "For the Battered." The songs don't judge or condemn either the individual or society; they simply tell the tale with a sense of detachment reminiscent of Tom T. Hall's best work.

Cap it off with an excellent Kinks cover, "Berkeley Mews," and collaboration with Jason of the Scorchers, "Going Nowhere" (originally on the Scorchers' Clear Impetuous Morning), and Stubborn is a fantastic listen, front-to-back. Like running partner Todd Snider, Womack is a much-under-appreciated talent and one of the brightest lights of the nuevo-singer/songwriter scene.

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