Archive for the Lucinda Williams Category

Friday Notes: Grammy Nominees, Lucinda, and a Little Blog Love

Posted in Jill Andrews, Lucinda Williams, Rosanne Cash, The Steeldrivers on December 3, 2010 by AmericanaPulse

*First off… I want to say how excited I am to have my blog featured in The Metro Pulse this week.  The Metro Pulse is Knoxville’s weekly free news magazine focusing on local news and issues with a strong focus on arts and entertainment in our city.  This week’s cover story is about local blogs and bloggers.  I was fortunate enough that A Fifty Cent Lighter & A Whiskey Buzz was one of the blogs mentioned.

Those of you in Knoxville know where to pick up a copy, but since the biggest portion of you aren’t from here… you can read my interview here and check out the other featured blogs.

*Grammy nominees were announced yesterday, and (as usual) the nominees are mostly mainstream acts that I don’t particularly care about.  However, there are several Americana and Roots categories work checking out as well as a handful of Americana acts nominated in other categories.  Patty Griffin is nominated for “Best Traditional Gospel Album” for Downtown Church, and The Steeldrivers are up for “Best Bluegrass Album” and “Best Country Performance by a Duo of Group with Vocals.”  Marty Stuart, Ryan Bingham, Steve Earle, and Lucinda Williams & Elvis Costello are also nominated in various categories.

This is year two of the “Best Americana Album” category, and the nominees are fairly solid.  Rosanne Cash won Album of the Year at the Americana Music Awards for her album The List.  She’s nominated here along side Robert Plant’s Band of Joy, Willie Nelson’s Country Music, Los Lobos’ Tin Can Trust, and Mavis Staples’ You Are Not Alone.  My money is on Cash or Plant.

Rosanne Cash: Motherless Children (Buy Album)
The Steeldrivers: Where Rainbows Never Die (Buy Album)

*Lucinda Williams is working on a new album.  Blessed is produced by Don Was and should be out in March.

*Knoxville’s Jill Andrews is working on a new one as well.  The former member of the everybodyfields is asking for help from her fans to fund the release of her first full length solo album The Mirror.  You can find out how to help here.

Super Bowl: Crescent City

Posted in Lucinda Williams on February 8, 2010 by AmericanaPulse

No disrespect to any Colts fans out there… but how great was it to see the New Orleans Saints win the Super Bowl last night. The game was well played on both sides, competitive late, and full of big plays. In the end though… Sean Payton made some gutsy calls, Drew Brees tied a SB record for most pass completions, and Tracy Porter sealed the deal with a pick-six in the 4th quarter.

Congratulations to the Saints and the Crescent City of New Orleans. Here’s one from Louisiana native Lucinda Williams… an ode to New Orleans.
Lucinda Williams: Crescent City (Buy Album)

News and Notes: New Truckers, Lucinda’s Birthday

Posted in Drive-By Truckers, Lucinda Williams, The Salty Dogs on January 26, 2010 by AmericanaPulse

It’s been a while since I’ve banged out a full-fledged news and notes column… so here we go.

***The Drive-By Truckers have a new album set for release this March, and the first song has been released on Stereogum’s website. Patterson Hood says The Big To-Do is “very much a rock album,” and this new track seems to confirm that.
Thanks to The Gobbler’s Knob for the tip. You can listen to “This Fucking Job” from the Drive-By Truckers at Stereogum. I can’t say I haven’t felt this way about my day job sometimes. The new album drops March 16. The Truckers are in Knoxville to play the Bijou Theatre February 14.
***My first ever CD review for the Country Standard Time online magazine has been published. I reviewed the new release from The Salty Dogs… a four piece Americana outfit from Little Rock, Arkansas. The album sounds at times like Reckless Kelly and at times like BR-549. The track I’m sharing here sounds like neither, but is still a great little song. You can read my full review here.
The Salty Dogs: Rock & Roll Will Never Stay (Buy Album)
***It’s another fine week for live music at WDVX this week. Tennessee Shines takes place again Wednesday night with some great bluegrass from Blue Highway and Adam Steffey & The Boxcars. We’ll also be joined by the phenomenal guitar duo Frank Vignola & Tommy Emmanuel as well as local songwriter Robinella. Jim Lauderdale will host as always.
As for the rest of the week… Justin Townes Earle will stop by the studio Thursday at 5:00 for a live interview and performance with Tony Lawson. Justin will play later that night at Barley’s Taproom in Knoxville with Dawn Landes. Finally, R.B Morris will rock the WDVX Blue Plate Special Friday at Noon along with The Black Lillies. These are two of the finest acts Knoxville has to offer, and you can hear them both in one place on Friday.
All of these performances will stream live on WDVX.
***Finally, today is the birthday of Lucinda Williams. Lucinda is one of the most beloved and respected artists working in Americana music today, and she was born on this day in 1953 in Lake Charles, Louisiana.
We’ll close things out today with my favorite Lucinda Williams song. This is “Pineola” from the 1988 release Sweet Old World.
Lucinda Williams: Pineola (Buy Album)

I Bet You They Won’t Play This Song on the Radio

Posted in Kathleen Edwards, Lucinda Williams, Monty Python, Ryan Adams on November 3, 2009 by AmericanaPulse

Monty Python’s Flying Circus: I Bet You They Won’t Play This Song on the Radio (Buy Album)

I often find myself listening to new music with my “DJ ears.” That is, any time I hear something new, I ask myself if it passes the radio test. Is this really something that I envision myself playing on the air?
Most of the time the answer is obvious. The song is immediately catchy and passes the test, or it inspires the opposite reaction and gets tossed on the scrap pile.
What makes things tough is when a song that passes the test has to be thrown in the scrap heap due to an unfortunate word or phrase that makes the song run afoul of the FCC guidelines for decency. One four letter word can ruin a four minute song for radio play.
I’ve struggled with this for a while now as many of my favorite artists have one (or more) of those songs that would likely get me fined or fired if they ever showed up on my playlist. Luckily, I have a blog now.
Here are three songs that rank among my all-time favorites but have never gotten one single spin on the air. I already wrote about Lucinda Williams’ “Essence” over at Star Maker Machine. “Come Pick Me Up” is my favorite Ryan Adams song, and Kathleen Edwards’ “What Are You Waiting For” contains my single favorite delivery of a naughty word in song.
I’m not particularly proud of what this post says about me as a person… but I hope you enjoy it nonetheless.
Lucinda Williams: Essence (Buy Album)
Ryan Adams: Come Pick Me Up (Buy Album)
Kathleen Edwards: What Are You Waiting For (Buy Album)

Congrats to Lucinda

Posted in Lucinda Williams on September 22, 2009 by AmericanaPulse

Congrats to Lucinda Williams and her new husband Tom Overby. The couple got married on stage Friday night in Minneapolis during one of her shows. You can read all about it in the Minneapolis Star-Tribune.

Lucinda Williams: Passionate Kisses (Buy Album)
And… don’t forget about the Porterdavis CD giveaway contest.

Essential Albums: Car Wheels on a Gravel Road by Lucinda Williams

Posted in Essential Albums, Lucinda Williams on January 28, 2009 by AmericanaPulse

Lucinda Williams celebrated a birthday earlier this week. I didn’t have time to properly acknowledge it then, but I’m going to do so now by paying tribute to her finest work, 1998’s Car Wheels on a Gravel Road.

I’ve been thinking about this album quite a bit here lately. I knew it was time to put up another Essential Albums post, and I knew Lucinda’s birthday was approaching (She turned 56 on Monday)… but it was a comment from Paul on last week’s Sarah Borges post that cemented things. The consensus on Sarah’s new song is that she may have allowed her record label to smooth the rough edges of her sound in an effort to appeal to a larger audience. Paul noted that this was a fight that Lucinda had also fought (and won) many times in her career.

The evidence of her victories may be most visibly apparent on Car Wheels on a Gravel Road. This is an album that was nearly six years in the making due in large part to label friction and Lucinda’s own dissatisfaction with the album’s sound. The album, as it was released, actually marked the third time many of the songs had been recorded. Sessions with Gurf Morlix were scrapped. Ditto sessions with Steve Earle and Ray Kennedy. Finally, Lucinda was able to get the sound she was looking for with E-Street pianist Roy Bittan helming the recording.

The results speak for themselves. Car Wheels was Lucinda’s first gold album, it was voted album of the year in the Village Voice’s annual Pazz & Jop Critics Poll, and it won a Grammy for Best Contemporary Folk Album. The album’s reputation as one of the best ever released in the Americana genre has only grown since then.

The opening track, “Right in Time,” is a song full of private yearnings for an absent lover. The title track follows with a semi-autobiographical account of Lucinda’s childhood spent moving from town to town throughout the south with her family. The shuffling “2 Kool 2 Be 4-Gotten” was inspired by a book of photographs of old southern juke joints and was born, in part, after Lucinda spent a wild New Year’s Eve in Knoxville. I can always count on her to break this one out when she comes to town.

Of course, “2 Kool 2 Be 4-Gotten” doesn’t mention Knoxville by name. It does, however, mention a few other southern locales and truly evokes a feeling of a specific region and place. In fact, the South is all over this album. Specific towns are referenced in several songs, and several others are named for southern cities. In “Greenville,” “Jackson,” and “Lake Charles” (Lucinda’s hometown in Louisiana) the titular towns are all destinations of some sort… places from the past that need to be revisited for some reason. Whether the character in the song is leaving a love gone wrong or returning to loves lost, it always seems as though a return to southern roots will solve all problems.

The most powerful song on the album, “Joy,” is also one of those destination songs. In it, Lucinda has been hurt and abandoned. She must return to the South to reclaim what has been taken from her. She does so over top of a screeching slide guitar and a driving drum beat. The fury and growl in her voice suggests she will stop at nothing to achieve her goal and may God have mercy on anyone that stands in her way.

Car Wheels on a Gravel Road still holds me in rapt attention from beginning to end with well constructed songs that tell captivating stories and leave me tapping my foot the whole way through. The hardest part about this is deciding which two songs to share… I think I’ve played them all on the air at some point along the way. They’re all worthy.

Well… when in doubt… pick the two with the loudest guitars.

Lucinda Williams: Joy (Buy Album)
Lucinda Williams: I Lost it (Buy Album)

P.S.: Don’t forget to listen to Tennessee Shines tonight at 7:00 Eastern on WDVX for live music from Alejandro Escovedo, The Duhks, and more.