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Lucinda Williams – Down Where The Spirit Meets The Bone

October 9, 2014

Lucinda Down

Lucinda is some kind of musician – at 61 she has thrown down a masterpiece – a collection that rivals anything on her resume.  I am a long time fan having seen her live at the 7th Street Entry (Minneapolis) in the late 80s when she was touring behind her brilliant 3rd album Lucinda Williams. She was a powerful performer and I can still see her standing alone on the stage in a white tank top and guitar in hand.  1998’s Car Wheels on a Gravel Road is on my all time greatest album list.  I have continued to buy every release since Car Wheels on a Gravel Road, but the lightning never quite struck twice for me – until now.  Down Where the Spirit Meets the Bone is right there with Car Wheels on a Gravel Road.

This is a huge set – 20 songs spread across 2 CDs.  The PR machine says there is a whole another album in the can (featuring guitarist Bill Frisell – I can’t wait).  So clearly Lucinda is bursting in creativity 35 plus years into her career.  This is the definition of “an embarrassment of riches.”

Lucinda’s lugubrious snarl is dressed in several genres on the album, yet it is a unified whole.  There is country, blues, R&B, folk, swamp and rock – each a glass slipper made for Lucinda.  There is not a bad song on the album.  The arrangements are well crafted, yet there is a gritty authenticity that keeps the album from being slick.  Sonically this is one of the best sounding records I have heard in recent memory.

Oh and that voice – it is so unique – so richly flavored.  It has aged exquisitely – it is weary and wise.  It is dripping with life’s experience like an ice-cold beer on a hot humid day.

If you are a fan of Americana roots music – grab Down Where the Spirit Meets the Bone.  It will be like slipping on a well-worn pair of jeans and a soft flannel shirt after a hard day’s work. It is reflective relief – fine bourbon neat.

PS – What about that album title?  It is such a powerful phrase.  It was adapted from Lucinda’s poet father (Miller Williams) poem “Compassion.”

 

 

 

 

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From → Music Reviews

2 Comments
  1. 3 in a row for CB. Some more catching up do do.

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