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Lucinda Williams|Stories from a Rock N Roll Heart

Stories from a Rock N Roll Heart

Lucinda Williams

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"No one's brought the curtain down/ Maybe you should stick around/ Until the stage goes black/ Maybe there's one last twist," Lucinda Williams sings on "New York Comeback" from her 15th studio album, Stories from a Rock n Roll Heart. After all: "You wouldn't want to miss/ My New York comeback." Lean and joyful like a Springsteen song, it features The Boss himself and Patti Scialfa accompanying Williams and serving as living proof that age ain't nothing but a number. Thirty years ago, Williams already sounded world-weary on her now-classic Sweet Old World. Now, at 70, her voice—a mix of wild honey, smoky rasp and swampy Louisiana twang—still captivates, even though the purr is rustier and the soft vowels are somehow even more slurred. She reminisces on the old days and hanging out with friends every night of the week on "Last Call for the Truth," asking for "one more taste of my lost youth" but admitting "Now it's time to take the last cab home … 'Cause the night, it ain't so young anymore." But Williams isn't stepping quietly into her eighth decade, even after suffering a stroke in 2020. "Sometimes my idle mind hates what it finds/ These days, my world seems so small/ I'm a prisoner inside these four walls," she sings on "Jukebox," finding salvation by escaping to the corner bar—"so close I don't need a car"—and its Wurlitzer full of Patsy Cline and Muddy Waters. As the guitar teems with emotion and a light drum shuffle mimics her ambling down the street, Williams projects a Leonard Cohen level of gravitas that's all the more poignant thanks to Angel Olsen's backing.

Buddy Miller and Margo Price also show up on the album, as does Tommy Stinson on "Hum's Liquor," a brutal and stunning study of his brother, Replacements co-founder Bob Stinson, who died at 35 from organ failure caused by drug and alcohol abuse. Williams' husband and collaborator, Tom Overby, was a neighbor who would watch Stinson walk to the Minneapolis liquor store every morning, "Into the black and blue/ dragging demons around with you." Bright and shiny "Stolen Moments" is a tribute to Williams' late friend Tom Petty, who she thinks about while driving down Sunset Boulevard, riding in a New York taxi but flying 30,000 feet in the air, memories tugging at her like phantom limbs. One of three songs co-written with Jesse Malin, "Let's Get the Band Back Together" is all Stonesy stomp and strut, Williams' voice the sonic equivalent of wavy glass. And prideful, muscular "Rock n Roll Heart" is a shot of dopamine, with the singer declaring, "You don't have to be that smart/ You don't have to be a work of art/ As long as you've got a rock n roll heart/" And you certainly don't have to check out; Overby has said that Williams' next album is already almost done. © Shelly Ridenour/Qobuz

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Stories from a Rock N Roll Heart

Lucinda Williams

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1
Let's Get the Band Back Together
00:04:42

Ray Kennedy, Producer, MixingEngineer, RecordingEngineer - Phillip Smith, AssistantEngineer - Daniel Bacigalupi, AssistantEngineer - Lucinda Williams, Composer, Producer, MainArtist - Tom Overby, Composer, Producer - Pete Lyman, MasteringEngineer - Jesse Malin, Composer - Collin Lot, AssistantEngineer - Highway 20 Music (BMI - admin by Wixen Music Publishing Inc), MusicPublisher - Minnesota Slim Music (BMI - admin by Wixen Music Publishing Inc), MusicPublisher - Rainstreet Music (BMI - admin by Rough Trade Songs), MusicPublisher

(C) 2023 Highway 20 Records marketed and distributed by Thirty Tigers (P) 2023 Highway 20 Records marketed and distributed by Thirty Tigers

2
New York Comeback
00:04:14

Ray Kennedy, Producer, MixingEngineer, RecordingEngineer - Phillip Smith, AssistantEngineer - Daniel Bacigalupi, AssistantEngineer - Lucinda Williams, Composer, Producer, MainArtist - Tom Overby, Composer, Producer - Pete Lyman, MasteringEngineer - Jesse Malin, Composer - Collin Lot, AssistantEngineer - Highway 20 Music (BMI - admin by Wixen Music Publishing Inc), MusicPublisher - Minnesota Slim Music (BMI - admin by Wixen Music Publishing Inc), MusicPublisher - Rainstreet Music (BMI - admin by Rough Trade Songs), MusicPublisher

(C) 2023 Highway 20 Records marketed and distributed by Thirty Tigers (P) 2023 Highway 20 Records marketed and distributed by Thirty Tigers

3
Last Call For The Truth
00:05:24

Ray Kennedy, Producer, MixingEngineer, RecordingEngineer - Phillip Smith, AssistantEngineer - Daniel Bacigalupi, AssistantEngineer - Lucinda Williams, Composer, Producer, MainArtist - Tom Overby, Composer, Producer - Pete Lyman, MasteringEngineer - Collin Lot, AssistantEngineer - Highway 20 Music (BMI - admin by Wixen Music Publishing Inc), MusicPublisher - Minnesota Slim Music (BMI - admin by Wixen Music Publishing Inc), MusicPublisher

(C) 2023 Highway 20 Records marketed and distributed by Thirty Tigers (P) 2023 Highway 20 Records marketed and distributed by Thirty Tigers

4
Jukebox
00:04:34

Ray Kennedy, Producer, MixingEngineer, RecordingEngineer - Phillip Smith, AssistantEngineer - Daniel Bacigalupi, AssistantEngineer - Lucinda Williams, Composer, Producer, MainArtist - Tom Overby, Composer, Producer - Pete Lyman, MasteringEngineer - Jesse Malin, Composer - Collin Lot, AssistantEngineer - Highway 20 Music (BMI - admin by Wixen Music Publishing Inc), MusicPublisher - Minnesota Slim Music (BMI - admin by Wixen Music Publishing Inc), MusicPublisher - Rainstreet Music (BMI - admin by Rough Trade Songs), MusicPublisher

(C) 2023 Highway 20 Records marketed and distributed by Thirty Tigers (P) 2023 Highway 20 Records marketed and distributed by Thirty Tigers

5
Stolen Moments
00:04:48

Ray Kennedy, Producer, MixingEngineer, RecordingEngineer - Phillip Smith, AssistantEngineer - Daniel Bacigalupi, AssistantEngineer - Lucinda Williams, Composer, Producer, MainArtist - Tom Overby, Composer, Producer - Pete Lyman, MasteringEngineer - Collin Lot, AssistantEngineer - Highway 20 Music (BMI - admin by Wixen Music Publishing Inc), MusicPublisher - Minnesota Slim Music (BMI - admin by Wixen Music Publishing Inc), MusicPublisher

(C) 2023 Highway 20 Records marketed and distributed by Thirty Tigers (P) 2023 Highway 20 Records marketed and distributed by Thirty Tigers

6
Rock N Roll Heart
00:03:47

Ray Kennedy, Producer, MixingEngineer, RecordingEngineer - Phillip Smith, AssistantEngineer - Daniel Bacigalupi, AssistantEngineer - Lucinda Williams, Composer, Producer, MainArtist - Tom Overby, Composer, Producer - Pete Lyman, MasteringEngineer - Travis Stephens, Composer - Collin Lot, AssistantEngineer - Highway 20 Music (BMI - admin by Wixen Music Publishing Inc), MusicPublisher - Minnesota Slim Music (BMI - admin by Wixen Music Publishing Inc), MusicPublisher - Invisible Songs (SESAC), MusicPublisher

(C) 2023 Highway 20 Records marketed and distributed by Thirty Tigers (P) 2023 Highway 20 Records marketed and distributed by Thirty Tigers

7
This Is Not My Town
00:05:32

Ray Kennedy, Producer, MixingEngineer, RecordingEngineer - Phillip Smith, AssistantEngineer - Daniel Bacigalupi, AssistantEngineer - Lucinda Williams, Composer, Producer, MainArtist - Tom Overby, Composer, Producer - Pete Lyman, MasteringEngineer - Travis Stephens, Composer - Collin Lot, AssistantEngineer - Highway 20 Music (BMI - admin by Wixen Music Publishing Inc), MusicPublisher - Minnesota Slim Music (BMI - admin by Wixen Music Publishing Inc), MusicPublisher - Invisible Songs (SESAC), MusicPublisher

(C) 2023 Highway 20 Records marketed and distributed by Thirty Tigers (P) 2023 Highway 20 Records marketed and distributed by Thirty Tigers

8
Hum's Liquor
00:04:06

Ray Kennedy, Producer, MixingEngineer, RecordingEngineer - Phillip Smith, AssistantEngineer - Daniel Bacigalupi, AssistantEngineer - Lucinda Williams, Composer, Producer, MainArtist - Tom Overby, Composer, Producer - Pete Lyman, MasteringEngineer - Travis Stephens, Composer - Collin Lot, AssistantEngineer - Highway 20 Music (BMI - admin by Wixen Music Publishing Inc), MusicPublisher - Minnesota Slim Music (BMI - admin by Wixen Music Publishing Inc), MusicPublisher - Rainstreet Music (BMI - admin by Rough Trade Songs), MusicPublisher - Invisible Songs (SESAC), MusicPublisher

(C) 2023 Highway 20 Records marketed and distributed by Thirty Tigers (P) 2023 Highway 20 Records marketed and distributed by Thirty Tigers

9
Where The Song Will Find Me
00:06:34

Ray Kennedy, Producer, MixingEngineer, RecordingEngineer - Phillip Smith, AssistantEngineer - Daniel Bacigalupi, AssistantEngineer - Lucinda Williams, Composer, Producer, MainArtist - Tom Overby, Composer, Producer - Pete Lyman, MasteringEngineer - Lawrence Rothman, MusicArranger - Travis Stephens, Composer - Collin Lot, AssistantEngineer - Highway 20 Music (BMI - admin by Wixen Music Publishing Inc), MusicPublisher - Minnesota Slim Music (BMI - admin by Wixen Music Publishing Inc), MusicPublisher - Invisible Songs (SESAC), MusicPublisher

(C) 2023 Highway 20 Records marketed and distributed by Thirty Tigers (P) 2023 Highway 20 Records marketed and distributed by Thirty Tigers

10
Never Gonna Fade Away
00:05:22

Ray Kennedy, Producer, MixingEngineer, RecordingEngineer - Phillip Smith, AssistantEngineer - Daniel Bacigalupi, AssistantEngineer - Lucinda Williams, Composer, Producer, MainArtist - Tom Overby, Composer, Producer - Pete Lyman, MasteringEngineer - Collin Lot, AssistantEngineer - Highway 20 Music (BMI - admin by Wixen Music Publishing Inc), MusicPublisher - Minnesota Slim Music (BMI - admin by Wixen Music Publishing Inc), MusicPublisher

(C) 2023 Highway 20 Records marketed and distributed by Thirty Tigers (P) 2023 Highway 20 Records marketed and distributed by Thirty Tigers

Album review

"No one's brought the curtain down/ Maybe you should stick around/ Until the stage goes black/ Maybe there's one last twist," Lucinda Williams sings on "New York Comeback" from her 15th studio album, Stories from a Rock n Roll Heart. After all: "You wouldn't want to miss/ My New York comeback." Lean and joyful like a Springsteen song, it features The Boss himself and Patti Scialfa accompanying Williams and serving as living proof that age ain't nothing but a number. Thirty years ago, Williams already sounded world-weary on her now-classic Sweet Old World. Now, at 70, her voice—a mix of wild honey, smoky rasp and swampy Louisiana twang—still captivates, even though the purr is rustier and the soft vowels are somehow even more slurred. She reminisces on the old days and hanging out with friends every night of the week on "Last Call for the Truth," asking for "one more taste of my lost youth" but admitting "Now it's time to take the last cab home … 'Cause the night, it ain't so young anymore." But Williams isn't stepping quietly into her eighth decade, even after suffering a stroke in 2020. "Sometimes my idle mind hates what it finds/ These days, my world seems so small/ I'm a prisoner inside these four walls," she sings on "Jukebox," finding salvation by escaping to the corner bar—"so close I don't need a car"—and its Wurlitzer full of Patsy Cline and Muddy Waters. As the guitar teems with emotion and a light drum shuffle mimics her ambling down the street, Williams projects a Leonard Cohen level of gravitas that's all the more poignant thanks to Angel Olsen's backing.

Buddy Miller and Margo Price also show up on the album, as does Tommy Stinson on "Hum's Liquor," a brutal and stunning study of his brother, Replacements co-founder Bob Stinson, who died at 35 from organ failure caused by drug and alcohol abuse. Williams' husband and collaborator, Tom Overby, was a neighbor who would watch Stinson walk to the Minneapolis liquor store every morning, "Into the black and blue/ dragging demons around with you." Bright and shiny "Stolen Moments" is a tribute to Williams' late friend Tom Petty, who she thinks about while driving down Sunset Boulevard, riding in a New York taxi but flying 30,000 feet in the air, memories tugging at her like phantom limbs. One of three songs co-written with Jesse Malin, "Let's Get the Band Back Together" is all Stonesy stomp and strut, Williams' voice the sonic equivalent of wavy glass. And prideful, muscular "Rock n Roll Heart" is a shot of dopamine, with the singer declaring, "You don't have to be that smart/ You don't have to be a work of art/ As long as you've got a rock n roll heart/" And you certainly don't have to check out; Overby has said that Williams' next album is already almost done. © Shelly Ridenour/Qobuz

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