Lucinda Williams: Yes, No, or Meh-Be?

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    Lucinda Williams: Yes, No, or Meh-Be?

    For some of us, Lucinda Williams has emerged in recent years, despite the date of her breakthrough album, "Car Wheels in a Gravel Road", released in 1998.  The first media attention she received was a good 10 years earlier, with her self-titled album featuring the song, "Passionate Kisses", the song Mary Chapin Carpenter later released in 1993, turning it into a monster hit single.  I'm not sure how well-known it is (or was) that Williams wrote that song, but Williams picked up a Grammy Award for it thanks to Chapin Carpenter's delivery; "alt-country" was coming of age during that timeframe.  

    As for Lucinda Wililiams, she made it the old-fashioned (read: not the easy) way, through the slow process of song-writing, recording, performing and establishing herself as a credible musician; despite her recognized talent by critics and fellow (primarily country) artists, and perhaps because she straddled the lines of several genres, her commercial success was luke warm.  There were also lengthy time lapses between album releases, which may have contributed to her lack of visibility.

    Her 1998 breakthrough album, mentioned above, was placed in the folk genre (the music industry insists on categorizing, whether we like it or not); she's now comfortably called a "cross-over" artist combining all of her talents the way she sees fit, and doing so in a fashion that's put her on the musical map.

    Any fans of Lucinda Williams?   Recommendations for albums?   

    Thoughts, anyone?  
     
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    Re: Lucinda Williams: Yes, No, or Meh-Be?

    In Response to Re: Lucinda Williams: Yes, No, or Meh-Be?:
    [QUOTE]I have the two albums you mentioned, which I love.  And I have another early one, 'Happy Blues' that I can take or leave.  I listened to the follow-up to 'Car Wheels' all the way through and didn't like it.  Have only heard a clip or two off of everything that followed and none of it stood out to me.  Maybe I'm just missing the newer good stuff.  Gurf Morlix was an essential part of her sound, and she alienated him.  And that's about when I lost interest. She seems to do that.  I saw her up in Lowell a couple of years ago and she actually swore at a guy in the audience and flipped him off.  I'm still not sure what he did, rumor had it he just yelled 'Freebird' or something banal like that.   She was sleep walking through the show up to that point, but whatever happened did wake her up a bit.  Still, it didn't make me want to run out and buy more Lucinda Williams albums.  The two you mentioned though, are both great, and that's about the most you can expect from most artists.
    Posted by SlimPickensIII[/QUOTE]

    Thanks, Slim.  You seem to agree with DWL re: her earlier material is more robust than the material that has followed, and while that's your opinion, it does seem to mirror what often happens for some artists, re: a strong debut.  Very difficult to follow-up and in some cases, near impossible.  

    Have no idea about her personality, but she may have built up some toughness over the years as she did not have instant success.   A live show is so hard to guage -- but that's her doing (or undoing); at least you got to see her live, and it was memorable  (nothing like flipping off someone in the audience to leave a lasting impression - ha).  

     
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    Re: Lucinda Williams: Yes, No, or Meh-Be?

    In Response to Re: Lucinda Williams: Yes, No, or Meh-Be?:
    [QUOTE]Love her. I;ve seen her many times. She always has a great band, too. Car Wheels is definitley the best record, but her self titled album from 1988 (with passionate kisses on it) is out of print now, but also very good.  Side of the Road is a killer track. Mean Old World from 1992 is also very good.  I have a nice bootleg from her, a very nice SBD recording from the Orpheum that was in circulation for years, from Nov 1999 on that Car Wheels tour. It took her years to break in, and really, no one acknowledges her much. Her last album was a little awkward, I thought.  Overall, she's always one to follow.  If she was more attractive and came out in the late 1990s, she'd be as popular and rich as Shania Twain, except a much, much better songwriter. It would have been cool to see a Lucinda/Neil Young tour.   
    Posted by CliffordWasHere[/QUOTE]
    The self-titled album is out of print?  Interesting.  Guess it can still be found used.  
    Nothing wrong with stating the truth re: the attractiveness-meter on a female musician, especially if the music veers into the country genre.   The prototype of the female country singers today are cut out of the Faith Hill, Shania, Martina McBride, Carrie Underwood, etc., fabric.  Does Lucinda fit in with that pack?  Doesn't seem like she does, and hasn't tried (that's to her credit, IMO) but yeah, it may have played into her inability to be that type of fast-rising star.
     
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    Re: Lucinda Williams: Yes, No, or Meh-Be?

    In Response to Re: Lucinda Williams: Yes, No, or Meh-Be?:
    [QUOTE]She was very 'girly' sounding - pardon the expression - in her early years.  Something I don't like to listen to myself, which is why I'm not a huge fan of Nancy Griffin.  But Lucinda Williams turned into a pretty tough cookie over the years.  I assume it's that long list of failed personal relationships that hardened her.  For a while it made for some great music, but it didn't look like it made her personally very happy.  And the music got whiny and bitter.  Thought I read somewhere recently that she just got engaged, so maybe things are looking up for her again. Edit:  Just found a review of that Lowell Show. 2008, yowza, I could've sworn it was only 2 years back. http://www.bostonmusicspotlight.com/reviews-lucinda-williams-boarding-house-park-lowell-summer-music-series-july-12-2008/
    Posted by SlimPickensIII[/QUOTE]

    Excellent review / article.  Mirrors, in more detail, concisely what you said.    Tough is one thing ... bitter, quite another.   Writing lyrics to fit the autobiographical trail is a matter of choice, but doesn't always work. 

    The Pink Floyd comment was pretty funny.   At least she apologized; being self-aware in that instance was a good thing.  :)

    "Before the show closer Williams apologized for her earlier outburst, saying, “Okay y’all, sorry about the little meltdown earlier. Sometimes that happens, but this song will help explain it. It’s the quintessential rock and roll song.” That song was not hers, but instead AC/DC’s “It’s A Long Way to the Top” done with a small rootsy tinge, an excellent choice to end the night."



     
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    Re: Lucinda Williams: Yes, No, or Meh-Be?

    In Response to Re: Lucinda Williams: Yes, No, or Meh-Be?:
    [QUOTE] Townes was from royalty. Texas royalty.  His ancestors were all founding fathers of the State back in the 1800's.  He drank himself to death in the mid 90's, passing at the age of 52.  Nobody was surprised. His friend Guy Clark was only surprised that he lasted that long. 
    Posted by SlimPickensIII[/QUOTE]

    See, my suspicion re: Townes' name was correct.  He sure lived a different life than his family may have had in mind.  Very interesting character.  Sad, but probably typical of that era as a musician, that he drank himself to death.  

    More nice storytelling, too. 

     

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