Posted: 27 Jun 2013
The Sage Gateshead
Lucinda Williams is an
acquired taste. With her music a fusion of country, rock and folk, she has enjoyed
more critical acclaim than commercial success – certainly when you consider her
classic 1998 album ‘Car Wheels On A Gravel Road’ for which she won one of her
three Grammys peaked at No 155 in the UK charts. She played six of that album’s 13 songs which
was hardly surprising given that most of the evening was devoted to requests.
Backed by the excellent Doug
Pettibone on pedal steel and guitar with bass provided by David Sutton,
Williams’ songs are often on the edge of what people may find comfortable. Whether
delving into personal relationships, suicide or a lifetime’s experience in the
deep South of the USA, Williams’ voice sounds like it has been coated in
decades of serious bourbon consumption.
Highlights included ‘Drunken
Angel’ and ‘Passionate Kisses’ which
provided her first Grammy for ‘Best Country Song’ when recorded by Mary
Chapin Carpenter – “It was a helluva surprise to me…it’s not even a country
song” drawled Williams. Returning for a
hard rocking encore, Lucinda left to a standing ovation from a crowd that
barely filled a third of the auditorium – but those there certainly had
acquired the taste.