Lucinda Williams and Her Band
Peace Concert Hall
Lucinda Williams’ music has gotten her through her darkest days. It’s been that way since growing up amid family chaos in the Deep South, as she recounts in her candid new memoir, Don’t Tell Anybody the Secrets I Told You. Over the past two years, it’s been the force driving her recovery from a debilitating stroke she suffered on November 17, 2020, at age 67. Her masterful, multi-Grammy-winning songwriting has never deserted her. To wit, her stunning, sixteenth studio album, Stories from a Rock n Roll Heart, brims over with some of the best work of her career. And though Williams can no longer play her beloved guitar – a constant companion since age 12 – her distinctive vocals sound better than ever.
Through all the hardships Williams faced in 2020 – a destructive tornado damaging her new home in Nashville, being sidelined by the pandemic, and then the catastrophic stroke – her music kept her going and continues to bring her more laurels. The past year has seen Williams honored by BMI for her songwriting, her induction into the Austin City Limits Hall of Fame, and a Grammy Week tribute at the Troubadour, with her songs performed by a diversity of Americana artists. She duetted with Willie Nelson on Billy Joe Shaver’s “Live Forever,” which won a Grammy in February for Best Country Performance. On her birthday in January she performed at a sold-out show in Belfast, Ireland. “I was so glad I was there when I turned 70,” she relates. “The audience sang ‘Happy Birthday,’ Travis brought a birthday cake out onstage, and we took it on the bus and all had a piece of cake. Afterwards, I was so inspired I started writing a song about Northern Ireland.”
As she promises on the powerful last track of Stories from a Rock n Roll Heart–one of the best albums of her career–Lucinda Williams is “never gonna fade away.”