~Portraits in Blues~



Lucinda Williams 5/22/2011

Park West / Chicago


A Night of Blues and Ballads

Every song has a history, and it is evident by her swaying and dreamy facial expressions that she is reaching deep down from her heart  to tell us, in music, what her story is.  We find ourselves relating to the messages of her music, because the underlying idea of each piece speaks directly to our own souls. Part of what attracts us to Lucinda Williams is that she puts the very pain and joy out there, in art form, the feelings that we cannot put the words to. For example, one particular piece," I Don't Know How You’re Livin", she talks of the love and concern that she has for her brother…she could very well be singing about somebody’s son or father, or anyone else’s brother. 

This night was a mixture of new and old ballads - "Bus to Baton Rouge",  "Lake Charles", familiar to us from previous albums,  and brand new releases such as "Ugly Truth", "Born To Be Loved", and "Kiss Like Your Kiss", from her new album "Blessed".


The band sounds truly awesome with the newest member, Blake, who is on lead guitar.  Lucinda appears very pleased with the band, as she refers to Blake as “fresh blood”.  Love it!  Blake impressed us with his haunting and dreamlike sounds from the guitar when they did “Born To Be Loved”.  Great song - bluesy and deep.

Another memorable song that they did was Well, Well, Well.  David Sutton brought out the deep sound of the stand up bass, Butch Norton played the drums, and used tin cans filled with something that made them sound like rattles,  while fitted with a washboard vest which he used his drumsticks on.  It all came together with Lucinda’s vocals and Blake picking away on the electric guitar.

When she returned to the stage for the encore, she added Jimi Hendrix‘s “Angel” which she added to the set list.

We find that every time we see her, it’s always a new experience - whether the arrangement of the songs is a factor or changing up the band members.  We love Lucinda Williams' performances, which explains why we have met so many other fans who follow her all over the country.


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