Lucinda Williams celebrated her 70th birthday on Thursday. On Monday we went to see her at Celtic Connections. I was a bit ambivalent about getting tickets at first as I've seen her three or four times before but Mrs CC persuaded me. Boy, I'm glad she did. She was absolutely fantastic and this was far and away the best concert of hers I've seen.
I think that I had read somewhere about her having a stroke in November 2020 but it had slipped my mind and I was therefore surprised to see her slowly shuffling onto the stage with assistance. The stroke has meant that she currently can't play guitar but thankfully it has not affected her voice or her spirit. She seems to have become more mellow and more chatty in her old age and seemed genuinely thrilled and in her words blessed to be on stage and performing.
She was accompanied by her regular backing band Buick 6 bolstered by Doug Pettibone on guitar and pedal steel and sang a range of songs stretching as far back as 1998's Car Wheels on a Gravel Road. Setlist attached
Given her mobility issues I wasn't expecting an encore but she was determined to come back out. During her version of Neil Young's Rockin' in the Free World she even went walkabout causing her minder some consternation.
In the introductions to her songs she highlighted that she often writes songs about the deaths of friends something which she finds cathartic and helps her to cope with their loss.Here are the back stories to the three songs featured below - Pineola , Lake Charles and West Memphis
A terrific concert. It will take something very special to knock this off the spot of my best concert of 2023. The bar has been set pretty high.