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Lucinda Williams Has A Rock N Roll Heart

Lucinda Williams Has A Rock N Roll Heart And More Stories To Tell

by Debbie Brautman

Not letting a stroke, in 2020, keep this three-time Grammy winner down for long, acclaimed singer-songwriter Williams returns with a dynamite new album, STORIES FROM A ROCK N ROLL HEART. She is known as one of the best songwriters of our time. Since her 1999 Grammy Award for Best Contemporary Folk Album, Car Wheels On A Gravel Road, she also won a Grammy Award for Best Country Song with “Passionate Kisses” and Best Female Rock Vocal for “Be Right With God.” Her vocal delivery is distinctive, and like Bob Dylan, she is a true artist. Post-stroke limitations include her being unable to play her trusty guitar but luckily her stroke did not affect her singing or songwriting. Although generally classified as Americana, folk, country, and blues, she has always had an underlining rock n roll heart. And does she have stories to tell? You betcha. Her stories all rock. She also has friends in high places like Bruce Springsteen and Patti Scialfa on “NEW YORK COMEBACK,” and “ROCK N ROLL HEART.” Bruce’s singing is immediately recognizable and really adds to those songs. His voice seems to keep improving with age. The ever-talented Margo Price guests on “This Is Not My Town,” and “Let’s Get the Band Back Together.” “Hum’s Liquor” is in memory of Bob Stinson, who had been a founding member and lead guitarist of the rock band The Replacements. His brother, The Replacements’ Tommy Stinson, sings backing vocals on this song, making it more touching.

“Stolen Moments” was written with her husband, Tom Overby, after Williams opened for Tom Petty’s final concerts right before his tragic death in 2017. She summed it up best, “Tom was a down-to-earth, sweet, loving person, and I miss his music but I miss him more. I wrote this song after he passed away. I was just heartbroken, and I’m still reeling.” This song is so addictive, with a combination of superb guitar work by Stuart Mathis and Doug Pettibone, expert drumming by Steve Ferrone (Tom Petty), and those unmistakable Williams’ vocals. It’s the way she sings it that makes the words come to life. She emotionally sings, “Driving down sunset/I’m stuck in traffic/ With the sun coming in from the west/ So I cover my eyes and I wait for the light to change/And I think about you/And it’s kinda strange/But I think about you.” It is worth the album just for this brilliant song alone. The song is up there with her classic hit song “Changed the Locks” that Tom Petty had once covered. She knows how to write them and knows how to sing them. The entire album is memorable and enjoyable. Kudos to her for carrying on despite her new limitations. Having a rock ‘n’ roll heart sure helps!

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