Lucinda Williams is turning 70

Don’t Tell Anybody the Secrets I Told You

Lucinda WilliamsOn January 26, musician Lucinda Williams will turn 70. The Associated Press called her “arguably one of the music world’s most articulate and introspective performers.”

I first heard her perform in the mid-1990s in Washington Park in Albany, NY.  The next time I saw her was at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center as part of the 1998 Newport Folk Festival. She had played at least twice in my area in the past decade, but I missed her programs.

She put out one of my Top Ten albums of the 1990s, Car Wheel On A Gravel Road. I’ve subsequently purchased about a dozen of her CDs, including some of the music she put out during the pandemic, covers of the Rolling Stones, Tom Petty, and Christmas songs, among others.

Lucinda Williams experienced a health scare, a stroke, on November 17th, 2020. “Doctors discovered a blood clot in the right side of Lucinda’s brain, which affected the function of the left side of her body. They treated her for the blood clot, and she was transferred to a rehabilitation facility where she spent nearly five weeks, until December 21st, when she was discharged.

“Luckily, Lucinda suffered no aphasia, meaning the stroke did not affect her speech or ability to sing. It has affected her ability to play guitar, and walking is still a little difficult for her.” 

But she was back on the stage by mid-2021. She opened for Jason Isbell in 2021 and Bonnie Raitt in 2022.

In the book

Now she’s about to put out a memoir. “The Grammy-winning singer-songwriter has a deal with Crown for ‘Don’t Tell Anybody the Secrets I Told You,’ scheduled for April 25. Williams… will look back to her wandering childhood, when she lived in 12 different places by age 18, and trace her rise in the music business…

“’For decades now, I’ve shared my innermost thoughts and experiences via my songs,’ Williams said in a statement… ‘After years spent toying with the idea, I’ve decided to finally tell my stories more fully. But this won’t be a sugar-coated memoir; I want people to really see the truth of my life.’” I’ll probably buy it.

I listened to all of her music I had to put together my favorite or her best songs. Nah, Here’s the NPR list, which contains the title song and Joy from that album.  The list from The Boot has those and a couple of songs from World Without End that I was considering. Holler County has a different song list.

Here are just a few covers of her songs. There are a lot of them.

Changed The Locks – Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers

Passionate Kisses – Mary Chapin Carpenter

Joy – Betty Lavette

Something I recently heard again:

You’re Still Standing There –  Steve Earle with Lucinda Williams

W is for Williams

Lucinda Williams became one of the Year’s most overlooked artists.

lucindaMy LP and CD collections are in alphabetical order, regardless of genre, except for the classical ones. This makes for interesting CDs being next to each other, such as jazz band Glenn Miller, country star Roger Miller and rocker Steve Miller. I thought I’d check out my CDs categorized under Williams, which is likely the largest surname in my collection:

Andy Williams (1927-2012): he was a crooner who had a TV show when I was growing up. My friend Fred made me a mixed CD of pop songs from the 1960s and early 1970s. Here’s Moon River, which is his signature song, but which was never released as a single.

Hank Williams (1923–1953) – a country music legend who died way too young. His hit Your Cheatin’ Heart.

Joe Williams (1918 – 1999) was a great jazz singer, who performed with Count Basie. In 1985 took the role of “Grandpa Al” Hanks on the Cosby Show. Here’s Gravy Waltz.

John Williams (b. 1941) – no, not the movie composer, but the guy who is “renowned for his ensemble playing as well as his interpretation and promotion of the modern classical guitar repertoire.” Here’s Fauré: Pavane.

Lucinda Williams (b. 1953) – the eclectic alt-country singer/songwriter/guitarist whose music infuses rock, folk, blues, as well as country. I’ve seen perform twice in the 1990s. One of my favorite albums of 2014: Old, But Not in a New Way: Why Lucinda Williams Became One of the Year’s Most Overlooked Artists; this IS a fine album. Here’s the title song from her 1998 breakthrough album, Car Wheels on a Gravel Road.

Robbie Williams (b. 1974) is an English singer-songwriter, and occasional actor, who was successful as a member of the group Take That, more so as a solo artist. From the only album of his I own, Escapeology, from 2002, listen to Feel.

abc 17 (1)
ABC Wednesday – Round 17

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