Sunday, September 7, 2008

Lucinda Williams: She's a Little Bit Country, a Little Bit Rock-n-Roll

Lucinda Williams carries a tune like a toddler rides his tricycle: not altogether steady, but impossible to take your eye or ear off of. Lake Charles, Louisiana's favorite daughter and queen of alternative country visited Sacramento's Crest Theater on Thursday, September 4th, playing to a full house of followers (see photo to the left - ahh, the power of the cell phone).

Williams stepped on stage after a brief, instrumental opening by her band, Buick6, and immediately took her trademark buffalo stance. Her Grammy-winning "Come On," "If Wishes Were Horses," "Honey Bee," and "Unsuffer Me" accented a set that lasted nearly three hours.

Her music, at times, spins like a dirge, like she's trying to exorcise some type of anguish. In this regard, her music is very uncountry, but her voice conjures the humidity and beauty of the Bayou country that she knows so well. "If the President wore pink and a prostitute was Queen"; this is a line from "What If" which appears on her 2007 album, West. I think says everything you need to know about Lucinda, a consumate artist whose sound is unlike anything you've ever heard, unless, of course, you've seen Courtney Love croon "Cold, Cold Heart."

Fans even got a peek at the artist that you think Williams may be by listening to her music. But, without knowing her personally, you're not sure. She forgot the chords to a song that she and the band were playing live for the first time, live. She was frustrated as heck. The crowd encouraged her to sail on, as did her band. Amidst the soft cacophony, one could hear Lucinda work at picking away toward some thing made sense, but alas nothing. After she stated in no uncertain terms that - including conjecture over what the BLOGs would have to say - she was ready to move onto the next tune, it was clear that all sins were forgiven. She was real and spectators embraced it. She had connected, yet again.

Her newest album, "Little Honey," will be out on October 14th. In the meantime, if your interested in drinking in the sounds of a 21st century belle, the Sacramento Public Library has plenty to offer of Lucinda Williams.

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