By Blaine Schultz
Having followed Lucinda Williams’ career since 1988, I find it no surprise that she has moved gracefully from cult artist to icon. She has maintained a consistently high level of songwriting and her choice of musicians and band mates has been impeccable. It doesn’t matter if she wears her heart on her sleeve or writes in character, Williams delivers the goods.
It’s easy to pigeonhole Williams as a hood ornament for the NPR crowd. But she’s more genuine than any marketing scheme and more complex than many of the one-dimensional artists clogging the limited airwaves and record store CD racks. She can shift like a motorcycle in a minivan culture – not that she seems to care. As easily as she could sing her poetic numbers at an open mic night (“Are You Alright?” ), Williams can go toe-to-toe with the shit-kicker honesty of “Wrap My Head Around That.” Some of these tunes are so bare-wristed that it will be interesting to see how she deals with them live. Then again, that’s pretty much how she’s lived her career so far. It’s too bad she’ll never get to be in a Robert Altman movie. VS