NEWS – Lucinda Williams @ Tarrytown Music Hall

Considering her pedigree, Lucinda Williams has always seemed to have a chip on her shoulder but, then again, maybe her pedigree is the chip on her shoulder. There was no denying the achievement of her fifth album, “Cars Wheels on a Gravel Road.” It was a breakthrough, her “Highway 61,” but I also remember thinking, “What happened to that nice girl who recorded the first four albums?” Maybe I would have yelled “Judas” at Albert Hall too. I can be very contrary. In any case, “Car Wheels” and most of the subsequent albums seemed to me to be working hard at maintaining her dirty rock cred (except for a couple where she didn’t seem to be working at all). It’s fine. She’s obviously talented enough to be whatever she wants. I’ve seen her live a few times and it’s always been hit or miss. She was great at City Winery last year, full of energy and even fun (fun is not a word that is often associated with Ms. Williams). It wasn’t quite the same thing last night. She didn’t play quite as hard but maybe in the long run, that’s better. She seemed at ease, comfortable, relaxed. I think she’s kind of grown into herself and she’s okay with that. The most recent album, “Ghosts of Highway 20,” is one of the good ones with a nice storytelling vibe. She announced that she and the current band (a three-piece, all excellent) have rerecorded “Sweet Old World,” the loveliest of the early records, and that will be released soon. That also speaks to the easy self-acceptance of last night. It’s a good way to go, a way to abide.

Setlist:

Can’t Let Go (Randy Weeks cover)

Crescent City

Prove My Love

Drunken Angel

Those 3 Days

Can’t Close the Door on Love

Ghosts of Highway 20

Side of the Road

Driving Down a Deadend Street (formerly He Never Got Enough Love)

Fruits of My Labor

Dust

Steal Your Love

Protection

Come On

Bleeding Fingers

Changed the Locks

Foolishness

(What’s So Funny ’bout) Peace, Love and Understanding (Nick Lowe cover)

Honey Bee

Joy

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