February 16

The first Lucinda Williams song I heard was Sweet Old World covered by Emmylou Harris on her awesome album, Wrecking Ball. (Please, vinyl gods, let me find a copy of Wrecking Ball someday, thank you!)

Like many of my favorite artists, I backed into them because of some other artist covering their material or taking them out on tour or proclaiming them influences. In this case Williams had released several really good records before I found her there on Wrecking Ball. And then she released Car Wheels On A Gravel Road… I’ve bought every record since.

Last Saturday, Valentines’ Day, Williams played the beautiful Bing Crosby Theater in Spokane. I had tickets the minute after I heard the announcement. What a perfect date night opportunity!

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The day of the show, my wife surprised me with a vinyl copy of Williams’ latest… the massive, three disk, 20 song, double gatefold Down Where The Spirit Meets The Bone.

Released in 2014 on Williams’ own record label, it is not any departure from her other recent albums. Solid songwriting all around and great musicians made the record a pleasure to listen to. Even though no new ground was broken here, there is still no other artist I know that has an ache in her voice like Lucinda Williams. The standout opening track, Compassion, is comprised of a poem written by Williams’ father Miller, set to Lucinda’s acoustic guitar accompaniment.

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