The camaraderie between singer/songwriters Patty Griffin and Lee Ann Womack onstage is real - they are good friends offstage, too.
On July 29 at the Lucas Theatre, they will present "An Acoustic Evening with Patty Griffin & Lee Ann Womack." The Savannah appearance is part of a tour the two have been planning for some time.
"We're doing a very, very tiny tour," Griffin says. "There's no reason to do this tour for either one of us other than going to have fun and because we love each other's music."
"We really wanted to do this," Womack says. "We were on a cruise together and drinking Bloody Marys and decided it had to happen this year."
The concert is somewhat unusual.
"We're winging it," Griffin says. "We've never done this together before.
"It's the combination of artists that is unusual. Lee Ann comes from a strong country music background and I'm from a folk background.
"I love that we're doing it," Griffin says. "I'm a huge, huge Lee Ann Womack fan. I feel she's like what would happen if Tammy and Dolly had a baby together and George taught the baby to sing. She's an otherworldly singer."
Between them, Womack and Griffin have won several awards, including a Grammy apiece.
A Country Music Association Female Vocalist of the Year in 2002, Womack won a Grammy for collaborating with Willie Nelson on his single "Mendocino County Line."
She's also won Album of the Year for "There's More Where That Came From," plus Single of the Year for "I May Hate Myself in the Morning" and "I Hope You Dance," which sold over 6 million albums.
Womack has done duets with Willie Nelson, Alan Jackson, Dr. John, Ralph Stanley, Buddy Miller, George Strait, Jim Lauderdale and Willie Nelson.
"George Jones has always been my favorite singer," Womack says. "People don't realize what a great vocalist he is. I compare him to Aretha Franklin."
Currently married to record producer Frank Liddell, Womack was first married to songwriter and musician Jason Sellers. Their daughter, Aubrie Sellers, is a country music artist.
Griffin won a Grammy for her gospel album "Downtown Church" in 2010. Born in Maine, she lives in Austin, Texas.
In 2007, Griffin won Best Album and Best Artist at the Americana Music Awards. Her songs have been covered by Emmylou Harris, the Dixie Chicks, Joan Baez, Bette Midler and many more.
Womack has been singing so long she doesn't remember when she started.
"I was a little girl at a Baptist church in Jacksonville, Texas," she says. "I do remember getting a report card in kindergarten, and the teacher wrote 'Lee Ann shows a particular interest in music.'
"My dad worked in radio, playing country songs. My mom is a great singer and that's where I learned to sing harmony.
"When I was little and going to the radio station, I remember realizing someone was making records somewhere," Womack says. "I knew that when I grew up, I wanted to make records."
Griffin also learned to sing at home.
"I learned to sing from my mom in the most traditional, oldest way to get drawn into music," Griffin says. "I would hear her sing when doing housework. She learned from her mom.
"I think I probably recognized singing as something I could do for a living when I was pretty young," she says. "I was probably 12 years old."
Womack loved music enough to study it in college.
"My parents paid for me to go to school," she says. "How much studying I did is another story altogether."
After graduating from high school, Womack attended South Plains Junior College in Levelland, Texas, where she became a member of the college band Country Caravan.
"The music department had a bluegrass and country division," Womack says. "I studied there and went to Belmont University in Tennessee. It was just an excuse to go to Nashville."
At Belmont, Womack studied the business side of the music business. She interned at MCA Records before leaving school a year before graduation to launch her career.
When success came, it happened quickly.
"However, I had been in Nashville for years before that," Womack says. "Success wasn't easy, but when it did come, it came fast."
There have been numerous highlights along the way. Womack has sung for some high-class audiences.
"I've sung for presidents - Obama, Clinton and both Bushes," she says. "That's not nearly as stressful as having Alan Jackson and George Strait looking back at you.
"I remember winning the Grammy with Willie Nelson. Having grown up in Texas and worked at the radio station, that stands out.
"To have that experience with an artist of his caliber, that's priceless," Womack says. "That really stands out for me. To listen while my dad played his records and to think I would grow up and win a Grammy is a big deal to me," Womack says.
Many artists have influenced Womack.
"Certainly Ricky Skaggs, who I'm a huge fan of," she says. "Also, Vince Gill and Alan Jackson. Alan's one of the greatest songwriters that we have, an American treasure.
"And Patty Griffin, who I've gotten to hang out with," Womack says. "She is one of the greatest female singers ever."
Griffin always wanted to sing, but at first, didn't want to work as a singer.
"I knew I loved to sing more than anything, and I had to figure out how to do that in a way that would really work for me," Griffin says. "That's a process."
It took Griffin a while to understand she had extraordinary talent.
"I still don't know that I do," she says. "Music is the thing I go back to over and over.
"It's a way to communicate things to people from the heart," Griffin says. "It's a great job to have."
Womack won't have much time for sightseeing in Savannah.
"I have children and a home and pets I need to get back to," she says. "It's very obvious when I've been gone and there's a lot of guilt associated with that.
"I do get tired of it," Womack says. "If it weren't for that, I'd probably stay on the road all the time. I do like moving around."
But being a country star and having a private life is hard.
"It's almost impossible to do it well," Womack says. "Home life and performing - there's no place to go to learn how to do it. I rely on a lot of people."
In addition to singing, Griffin plays guitar and piano. Her songs have been covered by the likes of Emmylou Harris, Ellis Paul, Rory Block, Dave Hause and the Dixie Chicks..
In 2007, Griffin received both the Artist of the Year and Best Album awards from the American Music Association. In 2011, her album "Downtown Church" won the Grammy Award for Best Traditional Gospel Album.
"The Grammys are such a strange thing," Griffin says. "With music in general, it's very hard for me to determine what is better than another thing.
"When a record I love gets Record of the Year, it makes me happy because I love the artist," she says. "But I don't think I'm motivated by awards."
Songs can be inspired by emotions or events.
"It varies," Griffin says. "It depends on what I'm doing in my life.
"I just feel that process is my own process. I try to keep it under wraps.
"I tried to start writing songs somewhere in my teens when I was able to put things together with my guitar," Griffin says. "I wrote a little song when I was 16. It wasn't bad. I still remember it."
The love of music may be genetic.
"My older daughter is doing the same thing I am," Womack says. "She's going in a different direction. Both daughters and my husband are in music, so it is sort of a family business for us."
IF YOU GO
What: "An Acoustic Evening with Patty Griffin & Lee Ann Womack"
When: 8 p.m. July 29
Where: Lucas Theatre, 32 Abercorn St.
Cost: $25 to $50
Info: savannahboxoffice.com, 912-525-5050