For a number of years I subscribed to No Depression magazine. For this series I shall go through them chronologically with a few words and a couple of songs by the cover artist and a song from one of the other artists featured at the top of page.
The cover star of this issue is Lucinda Williams who is quite possibly my favourite female Country singer .It is a toss up between her and Emmylou Harris both of whom have a dozen or so albums on the shelves.
The article by Silas House is entitled Happy Woman Blues which is also the name of her second album.It also implies that at the time of writing that she was in a good place which is not always the case. Not that you would necessarily guess that from the music!
She has a reputation for sometimes being a bit difficult. Andy Kershaw in his book recalls visiting her for an interview and hearing pots and pans being thrown about. The article describes her as a country boy's dream a smart-as-hellwoman driving a cool truck. Throw in a fascination for snake handlers and the fact that she has taken up reading the bible and you have quite a character on your hands. It's that duality thing again - religion and questioning.
All of which takes us to her 2001 album Essence (her 6th studio album and the follow up to Car Wheels on a Gravel Road) which was released in June, hence the lead article. Described variously as halting and spare and as containing wilful intimacy and best still as an emotional mess of a masterpiece.
I've been fortunate enough to see Lucinda on four or five occassions including once in Austin when she was supporting Willie Nelson. My pal Goggs and I were there to see Lucinda.
I only saw singer -songwriter Greg Trooper once in Laurie's Bar in Glasgow in 2006 when he put on a good show. Sadly he died in 2017 aged just 61. He appeared on my first Burnt Offerings post along side the recently featured Edith Frost.