Much devalued by overuse, the term legend applies at full force to Louisiana-born Lucinda Williams. Her gumbo of country, gospel, rock and blues carries themes of desire, often sexual desire, and loss. Raw and truthful her vivid and finely crafted lyrics are delivered in an increasingly rich voice of exquisite imperfection.
For decades she battled with the music industry and its desire to pigeonhole artists into genres; in the process she became an undisputed pioneer of what became Americana. The multi-Grammy award winner’s songs have been covered by Tom Petty, Mary Chapin Carpenter and Emmylou Harris among others.
Forty years of making music haven’t dulled her edge: Down Where the Spirit Meets the Bone (2014) and The Ghosts of Highway 20 (2016), both double albums recorded in the same sessions and released on her own label, are among her best. As she put it recently: “I still got that sense of wonder. I’d say my voice is the best it’s ever been. I have more stories to tell. I’m more confident as a writer in the studio and everything. [But] deep down inside, I’m the same girl I always was.”