There are times when pop just won’t do. You need a raw sound to swoon, cry, or slow-dance in the kitchen to. You need a song that expresses the emotions you can’t seem to sort out on your own. Guitars and vocals that bleed, slow the pulse, and furrow the brow because yeah, I’ve been there. Grammy-award-winning artist Lucinda Williams has mastered these intense, bluesy, chest-clutching songs. She is an artist in every essence of the word--transcending us to naked emotion, stripping us of the spinning world and encouraging us to just feel.
Louisville can witness the energy of this artist that Times Magazine hailed as “America’s Best Songwriter” this Friday, April 22 at the Brown Theater.
Williams began her career in 1978 and continues to belt out these heartbreakers with an iconic, raspy, seasoned voice punctuated by her languid Louisianna accent. Sure, she’s had some rockers over the years, “Rock Star” and “Real Live Bleeding Fingers and Broken Guitar Strings” and more recently, “Seeing Black” on the new album to name a few, but the real winners are the slow songs. They’ve helped me through break-ups and disappointments or even just to keep things into perspective. Armed with the gift of impeccable song-writing, Williams’ call to art began with her upbringing--thanks in part to her award-winning poet father Miller Williams.
The new album, Blessed, produced and recorded by Don Was features many glimpses into this Americana raw emotion with ballads capable of soliciting a few tears. Many of the songs vary in their perspectives; stories told through many voices, their messages carried in the chords of their creator. “Soldier’s Song” a poignant elegy narrated by a fallen soldier, is an especially moving track on the album.
According to a Lost Highway press release, Williams has not lost her connection to the darker emotions despite her maturity and recent contentment.
“Being married and feeling comfortable in my life, I’ve been able to go outside myself and write about other things. I feel like this album, as a whole, is positive, but it’s not my so-called ‘happy’ album. Yes, I’m in love and I’m happy in my personal life. But my personal life isn’t the only focus. There aren’t all those unrequited love, ‘I’ve been shot down by a bad boy songs’ … well, there’s one of those … but there are songs about all sorts of things. It’s just a lot easier to stretch these days.”
Many of the songs from Blessed will be performed this Friday, April 22, 8:00 p.m. at the Brown Theater. Tickets are still available to see Lucinda at the KY Center Box Office ($35.00-50.00). See you there.