On 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