Lucinda Williams at the Dakota: glasses, guitar and lyric book.
Star Tribune photo by Jules Ameel
Lucinda Williams fans are hearty and hardy. There were only five or six empty seats on blizzardy Sunday night for her rare solo gig at the Dakota Jazz Club.
The fans love the queen of Americana, even if she had to wear glasses the entire night to see her loose-leaf lyric book on a music stand (which has been her approach for many years). As my review indicated, it was a special intimate show, though more electric guitar seasoning from Randy Weeks -- the Windom native (now living in Austin, Texas) who appeared only during the encore -- would have enhanced the textures, twang and dynamics.
Don’t know if I’ve heard Williams in better voice for an entire 105-minute show. Loved the echoy, achy weariness in her voice on Loretta Lynn’s “Somebody Somewhere (Don’t Know What He’s Missin’ Tonight).” At times, her lazy Louisiana drawl sounded downright pretty, an adjective not usually associated with her usually weathered voice.
Opening was Dylan LeBlanc, a 20-year-old singer-songwriter who, like Williams, grew up in Louisiana. He is a keen lyricist but an introverted performer who favors tuneless songs with circular guitar.
He’ll open again on Monday and Tuesday. The shows are sold out but check the box office or door for cancellations.
Lucinda Williams’ set list on Sunday:
Greenville/ Car Wheels/ Pineola/ Memphis Pearl/ Port Arthur (unrecorded song about Janis Joplin that Lucinda performed at Rock Hall of Fame celebration of Joplin)/ Lake Charles/ Crescent City/ I Don’t Know How You’re Livin (from the forthcoming album Blessed)/ Ugly Truth (from Blessed)/ Somebody Somewhere (Don’t Know What He’s Missin) (from Loretta Lynn tribute CD)/ Metal Firecracker/ Concrete & Barbed Wire/ Buttercup (from Blessed)/ Kiss Like Your Kiss (Blessed)/ Lonely Girls/ Blue/ Side of the Road/ Born to Be Loved (Blessed)/ Blessed (Blessed)/ Honey Bee ENCORE (with Randy Weeks) Something About What Happens When We Talk/ Can’t Let Go/ Change the Locks/ Joy