(Photo by Jacqueline Justice)
On August 13th, Austin, TX and Music City-based singer-songwriter Grace Womack released her debut EP, “Yellow Cowboy Hat.” Don’t let the imagery of that title fool you! Grace is no more of a cowboy (or “cowgirl”) than are Lake Street Dive and Kacey Musgraves to whom her delightful “Pop meets R&B” sound has been compared to.
Give a listen to Grace’s super smooth vocals glide through the piano driven “Pity the Fool” which was the first single from the EP. This is such a fun tune and one that sounds more like the cover of a 70s classic than a newly written song. Its cheery tone will also fool you until you hear the telling line “Pity the fool who fell in love with you.”
Thanks, Grace, for visiting 11 Questions and we hope you play this way soon. For now, we will just keep enjoying the new EP.
Where are you from originally, when did you move to Nashville and why?
I’m originally from Houston, more specifically Cypress (just a classic little suburb). I’ve probably moved around more than your average 20-year-old, but I eventually landed in Nashville to put this EP together! I had planned to stay in Nashville for maybe four to six months, but I ended up falling in love with the city and the people that I met so I stayed as long as I could. I knew Nashville was the place to be if I wanted to make this EP the best I possibly could, and I’m truly so happy that I made the move.
What are the first and the last records you bought, and where did you buy them? Were they CD, vinyl or digital?
I think the first record I ever bought was probably Hannah Montana 2: Meet Miley Cyrus which is, to me, just as good now as it was when I was eight years old. I forced my mom to take me to the rodeo to see her in concert, so I had to prepare down to the very last lyric. (The Jonas Brothers opened for her; it was absolutely impossible to beat.) I’m pretty sure my mom bought it for me on my little iPod Nano or whichever one was all the rage at the time. I vividly remember employing my iDog to play “” on repeat. I’m still tryin’ to make it rock, Miss Montana.
Most recently, I shelled out the cash for Lake Street Dive’s Obviously on vinyl and am currently contemplating John Mayer’s new Sob Rock. Obviously is very much a no-skip album for me, so I knew it was worth the purchase. I could literally not shut up about Lake Street Dive if I tried. I mean, “Hypotheticals” is probably in my top three songs of all time. If you haven’t listened, you must. And as for John, Sob Rock is, of course, insanely good, so I think that’s gonna have to be the next. The guitar is just on a whole ‘nother level.
First and last live concerts that you’ve seen?
Believe it or not, the first concert I saw was Robert Plant with my dad at the Woodlands Pavilion when I was far too little to understand what I was watching. I made my dad buy me the American Apparel merch t-shirt and everything. He has seen quite literally EVERYONE in concert like four times each (Elton John!! Rolling Stones!! Fleetwood Mac!!), so I’m not surprised I became the guest of honor when my mom started refusing to go with him after about 3,000 times. Most recently, I saw one of my favorite artists, Dodie, perform at Marathon Music Works in Nashville, and it absolutely changed my life. She was the reason I bought a ukulele and started writing little songs in the first place, so to see her live and sing every word along with her was just so insane. I was absolutely bawling the whole time.
Whose star should be added to the Music City Walk of Fame?
I really think Nashville would be mistaken if they didn’t add Miss Kacey Musgraves to the Walk of Fame. She really has brought in a whole new generation of country music lovers who didn’t even know they liked country music in the first place!
Where do you go in Nashville for coffee and pizza?
I’m not much of a coffee drinker myself (my friends say I just haven’t hit that stage of life yet), but the real ones know I spend a whopping $5.42 almost daily on the mango dragon fruit lemonade from Starbucks. It’s somewhat of an addiction. For pizza, though, I have to put you on to my friends’ and my favorite restaurant in the city that just happens to be pizza: Emmy Squared. I’m sure everyone and their mom knows about this place already, but if you don’t, it’s truly the most incredible pizza I have ever had the pleasure of eating. The Vodka is my favorite and my friends love the Nashville Hot Chicken one. We order it at LEAST biweekly for lunch breaks at work.
What’s your favorite record to ever come out of Nashville?
That’s a very hard question but my gut is telling me to say Golden Hour by Kacey Musgraves. Yet another no-skips record with the most insane ability to somehow convert me to a country fan in mere seconds. Also, Miss Swift’s Speak Now is certifiably flawless so that’ll have to be runner-up.
Where’s the best place to eat late night after a show?
My friends and I have talked about how we think Nashville has room for improvement in this area (hoping the new Whataburger in Hermitage might fill the void where Cook Out has fallen short), but if I had to choose, I think I would say Mafiaoza’s on 12 South really does hit the spot when you’re looking for a good cheap slice of pizza and a fun place to relax. I remember being a freshman at Belmont and seeing Jordy Searcy there and absolutely freaking out (silently of course, don’t worry).
The Bluebird calls and asks you to host an “In the Round.” Pick three local songwriters to join you.
Oooh, this is a tough one. I think I would invite Annie DiRusso, whose music I LOVE and need more of so badly. I would be remiss if I didn’t invite Stephen Day, whose music literally shaped so much of my time in Nashville. And finally, I’m gonna go with Emma Klein because I have gone through several periods of time where I play her song “Call It What It Is” for days on repeat, so I would love to hear that up close and personal.
What are your favorite music venues to play in town?
I’ve actually never played a live show here in Nashville because of the pandemic, but I can give you my top three that I’d love to play someday soon! I’d love to play the Basement East, Mercy Lounge, and Marathon Music Works. I am genuinely so excited at the chance to perform live so soon after a year or two of not being given that option. I really cannot wait!!
Name a musician who you’d like to see move here?
I’m gonna have to say the brother-sister duo band Lawrence. Their sound is so unique and cool, and I just know the people of Nashville would looooovveee them. Not only that, but they seem to be extraordinarily cool people and I would simply love to run into one or both of them on a Trader Joe’s run. I can’t wait to see them live post-pandemic!
Finally, what’s in your musical future?
I’ve got lots of stuff coming! I’m most excited to start playing live shows as often as I possibly can. I think that’s really gonna change the game for me as a new artist. Now that this EP is out on August 13 for everyone to hear, I’m really hoping I’ll have one or two people who scream the lyrics back at me (just a lifelong dream of mine, no biggie).
I also have some cool video stuff in the works and, of course, have been writing new songs since the second I finished the ones that are on Yellow Cowboy Hat. I am so excited for this whole music career thing I’ve gotten myself into and really think it’s only up from here.