I'm waiting for the new Lucinda Williams which comes out on February 5th.
Bonnie Raitt has a new album coming soon too.
Lucinda has her mojo back. I used to see her play around town (L.A.), in the long break between her Rough Trade album and getting signed to WB and recording her breakthrough album, Car Wheels On A Gravel Road. She was working days at a local record store, Moby Disc on Ventura Blvd. in Sherman Oaks. She would just stand behind the cash register in between customers, staring off into space. Writing songs in her head, perhaps. Every so often she would play at a little bar or, one time I saw her, pizza parlor! My girlfriend and I and three other people were her audience that night. All that changed after Car Wheels came out. The Rough Trade album is still my favorite of hers, and the last to feature her original band, including bandleader, guitarist, harmony singer, and producer, Gurf Morlix.
I'm enjoying the Lucinda LP, but am not quite convinced that Bill Frisell is net positive with unvarnished Lucinda. The album is over-polished in the typical Frisell way-- he is more of a jazzman than a bluesman-- with occasional tugs-of-war between she & him for the stage. There are several moments where she seems to accede and walk off. In any case, a strong and well-recorded album.
Looking forward to the new M. Ward and also to the Iggy/Josh Homme duo. They did well live on Colbert.
Tostadosunidos---It was in the mid-to-late 80’s I saw Lucinda playing around L.A. She’s lived there off and on over the years. I was introduced to her at Club Lingerie by the manager of The Long Ryders, whom I was there to see and hear. Their drummer Greg Sowders was her boyfriend (later her husband, briefly----she has been married quite a few times). When he told me she was a songwriter, she looked sheepish---embarrassed even, averting her eyes to the floor. I was mesmerized by her humility, a rare sight in L.A. For the show at the pizza parlor (which had a tiny stage---a riser, really) she had her drummer Donald Lindley (R.I.P.) playing washboard, her bassist Dr. John (not THE Dr, John---this guy was a real doctor!) on upright, an accordionist, and Gurf on his trademark Telecaster. She was great, the songs were great, and the band was great.
The Rough Trade album, released in ’88, was her third, but the first with a band---Gurf, Dr. John, and Donald. Lucinda’s first two albums were her doing traditional folk/blues, unaccompanied, on the Folkways label. How she performed live earlier in Austin and Houston I have no idea. But it was in L.A. she put together her original band, with whom she made her first album with accompaniment.
Lucinda is far from a showbiz entertainer, being very introverted (my kinda gal). She debuted her CWOAGR album at The Troubadour, and after starting to sing one particular song, looked around confused and stopped her band. She told the audience she had been playing in the wrong key, and started it over. She had a music stand in front of her, with a three-ring notebook on it. Inside were pages (each inside a plastic page-protector) containing the lyrics and chords to all the songs she was going to sing that night, in order of performance. As the final chords of one song died out, she turned to the next page. She looked down at the page, positioned her fingers to play the opening chord of the song, then turned to the band and counted off the beginning. That’s one way to do it!
When I saw her on her "West" tour, she had a music stand with set list and lyrics. I remember finding it odd, I guess because I've never experienced an artist do that before. Her humility and the fact the she stays true to herself, I find to be a large part of her appeal and a contributing factor to her greatness as a songwriter.
mofimadness, thanks for mentioning the Commitments soundtrack. Always enjoyed the film and the music! Reading the description, I was surprised to learn that Glen Hansard was in the movie and I never knew that. I'm a big fan. I need to watch it again soon. That 20% Valentines coupon at Music Direct is really going to come in handy.
bdp24, I mentioned it because I know for sure she was auditioning guitarists in the mid-70's. This I know because I was one of the ones who flunked the audition. The upside was that her manager borrowed my Mac 2300, my mics and my PA speakers for a Leo Kottke show a bit later--I got in free, and I guess if I had pressed the matter I could have gotten to meet Leo. At any rate, for a youngster it was kind of cool.
slaw...I watched the movie again last night, it's been awhile since I've seen it. I really like the flick and music.
Glen Hansard is also in the movie "Once". It's also a quirky, music related film. I thought it was wonderful and the music is excellent.
Yeah, I think I singlehandedly keep Music Direct in business. That 20% off deal is awesome!
Tostado, was that in Austin, or Houston? I’ve heard very little about Lucinda’s very early years. Did she actually have a live band back in the 70’s? I’ve seen no pics of her with players from back then. And I've never seen Kottke live, but love his records. Meeting artists can be a not too enjoyable experience---awkward, forced, and superficial. Sometimes embarrassing for all involved! Or worse, sad and depressing, as I know from being face-to-face with Brian Wilson, a seriously damaged man.
Damn jafant, tonight didn't Lucinda look like the broad sitting on a stool alone at your local alki bar?! Another female singer who has that look is Austin's Lou Ann Barton, a favorite of mine. Lou Ann's on the wagon, last I heard. I saw her awhile back with Jimmie Vaughan, and she was sounding great.
bd24, it was in Austin. I don’t think I ever went out to hear her live so I can’t tell you what sort of backing she used back then. I didn’t really know who she was, I was just looking for work that involved a guitar rather than a hammer or shovel. I’ve seen Kottke live four times, once per decade, since the 70’s. I guess it’s time again for that. His between song jive is as good as his playing. I’ve enjoyed meeting and (usually) playing with some of my heroes from high school days. Sometimes enjoyable, sometimes not. The strangest encounter was when a guy I was talking to at a bus stop in upstate New York turned out to be the bass player for the Blues Magoos, a band I liked in the 60’s. Most of the other situations were planned or less surprising, at least. Wish I’d met Brian back in the day but he was off the road when I started going to hear them. And, chances are slim I could have met him. How did your meeting come about?
BTW, I haven't heard Miss Lou Ann in years but I've always liked her voice. She used to sing at Antone's regularly in its heyday (and her heyday).
When Brian's first solo album came out, I went to his in-store appearance at Tower Records on Sunset. I brought along my 45 of "Caroline No" for him to sign, which though on the Beach Boys Pet Sounds album was released as a Brian Wilson single. He was sitting alone on a diaz, waiting to sign copies of the album. He was scared to death, his hands shaking violently, as those who were there supposedly on his behalf (Dr. Eugene Landy and David Leaf, names familiar to hardcore BW fans) were off making their own business deals. I handed Brian the 45, and a wistful look crossed his face. It was heartbreaking.
I went to the Universal Amphitheater show of the album, and Brian came out, arms hanging stiffly at his sides, not swinging as he walked, looking like a big stuffed bear standing on a board being pulled over to his piano by an off-stage rope. His singing was real bad---flat, stiff, like the words were sung by rote, sounds with no meaning. His piano playing looked weird---he was just plonking the keyboard with first his left hand, then his right, over and over, back and forth. In the middle of one song his whole band stopped playing but Brian didn't, and it was then I realized---Brian's piano was being fed to the onstage monitors, but not to the house sound system! He had two other keyboardists, whose playing the audience DID hear. At one point in the show Brian commanded the audience to "Stand up!". Then to "Sit down!" Then to again "Stand up!". Then to again.....you guessed it. Oh my God, the man is gone.
A number of years later I saw him at the counter at the Sherman Oaks Tower, so I approached him from behind and, knowing his fragile state of mind, very gently and quietly said "Brian.....". He kind of ducked, and whipped around very startled, his eyes filled with absolute terror. I put out my hand to shake his, and thanked him for his music. He didn't say a word, and didn't take his eyes off me as he backed away and left hurriedly, as paranoid as anyone I've ever seen.
Hey Tostado, did you ever happen to see a guy named Paul Skelton play in Austin? He was a Telecaster/Deluxe Reverb player who worked with Wayne "The Train" Hancock, Cornell Hurd, Libbie Bosworth, and other Austin singers and songwriters. I was planning on moving to Austin about ten years ago, just to play with him again---we had been in a Pop Group in L.A. together in the early 80's. He died of lung cancer (two-pack-a-day habit) before I had a chance to, damnit.
bdp24, I can't imagine having two such encounters with Brian Wilson. Man, that is so sad. I've heard him in interviews where he seemed somewhat comfortable, somewhat lucid.
And, no, I never heard Paul Skelton unless he happened to be with Cornell Hurd when I caught his band. You know, Austin is a great place to catch live music and to show what you can do but it doesn't pay well here. Maybe it's the same everywhere, I don't know. At least we don't pay to play--that seemed to be catching on in LA when I was there in '88. At any rate, I make a living teaching and play more or less for fun.
Regarding "Bramble Rose". I've received (2) so far. The first had a small section of vinyl out at one point on the perimeter. (when you look at it or run your finger around it). Also, the vinyl was less than perfect in that it has visually noticeable hairline surface marks and other imperfections that caused some ticks and pops on both of my lps.
To Yep Roc's (11spot) credit, they not only sent a new copy after my reporting on the faults with the first copy I received but, after I reported on my experience with copy # 2, they graciously responded and said they would forward my email to their distributors and hopefully the ones who could look into the quality control at whatever pressing plant is now being used.
If your experience is similar to mine, I hope you'll take the time to express your thoughts to them as well.
A great label that could benefit from feedback from us all.
mofimadness: I wanted to take the time to thank you for your putting me onto The Frames. I don't know how I missed this band seeing how I'm a huge fan of Glen Hansard! I received my MOV copy of "Fitzcarraldo" and all I can say is WOW! This record is a perfect example of one that each of us experience sometimes that just changes everything. I highly recommend it!!!!!
Jeff Healey "Heal My Soul" arrived. There's nothing groundbreaking, however, if you're a fan or just discovering, I'd recommend this one. While his songwriting was fine as it related to his overall style, it is his command of the guitar is what remains evident and still lovely to hear. Sonics are well above average.