Lucinda Williams, Blessed (2011)


Review by Bill Whiting

Lucinda Williams continues a winning streak of quality recorded output on her longplayer, Blessed. With a tight backing band consisting of Butch Norton on drums, David Sutton on bass, Rami Jaffee on keyboards and Val McCallum and Greg Leisz on electric guitars, Williams slams forward on the biting opening track, “Buttercup.” Kicking back in a hushed, laid back country twang, Williams impresses on the heart rendering classic, “I Don’t Know How You’re Livin’.” “Copenhagen” stretches her seamless storytelling style, taking the listener on an expansive, yet internal emotional journey. Elvis Costello adds his trademark gritty guitar lines to the epic “Soldier’s Song,” and the albums cresting masterwork, “Convince Me.” Whether it’s on the plaintive declaration, “Born to be Loved,” or the disc’s closing ballad, “Kiss Like Your Kiss,” Lucinda Williams writes, arranges and performs with a heightened mastery that ranks her as one of America’s national treasures. This is one of those rare albums that connects straight to the soul, and truly makes us all feel “Blessed.”