Lucinda Williams and her band Buick 6 performed for an older, yet enthusiastic sold out crowd for the second night in a row at the legendary Belly Up Tavern in Solana Beach, CA. Audience members included NBA Hall of famer and music fan, Bill Walton.
Lucinda is currently on tour to celebrate the twentieth anniversary of her masterpiece album, Car Wheels on a Gravel Road. Car Wheels On A Gravel Road won a Grammy Award for Best Contemporary Folk Album, and received a nomination for Best Female Rock Vocal Performance for the single “Can’t Let Go”. Universally acclaimed by critics, it was voted as the best album of 1998 by most top magazines and polls. Steve Earle and Emmylou Harris both appeared on the album.
The show was divided into two distinct sets, the first set was Car Wheels in its entirety, in order, with Williams telling stories about each song and videos depicting each song played behind her. Before singing the title track Lucinda told her about a revelation she had one night after performing this song with her father, poet Miller Williams, in the audience. After the show her father apologized to her. She was taken aback and asked why he was apologizing. He told her “That’s you in the song. The lyrics “Child in the backseat ’bout four or five years. Lookin’ out the window. Little bit of dirt mixed with tear. That was you.” Lucinda realized at that moment the song was about her. She was writing songs about her own life.
She went on to tell stories about other songs and why she had written the or who she had written them about. “Metal Firecracker” was a song about an ex-boyfriend she met touring. He called the tour bus a metal firecracker. “Drunken Angel” was written about Austin songwriter, Blaze Foley. Foley was good friends with Townes Van Zandt and was shot to death in 1989 while trying to defend a friend from said friend’s violent son.
It was interesting to hear the stories behind the songs. Sometimes what we think a song is about is not even close to what the writer had in mind.
The second half of the show was a mixture of William’s other songs. She started the set with “Ghosts of Highway 20” off the 2016 album with the same name. Other songs in the set included “Righteously,” “Fruits of My Labor” and “Out of Touch.” Her full set list is below.
Lucinda Williams is a song writing legend and will go down as one of the best, along with her friends Townes Van Zandt, Blaze Foley and Steve Earle.
Right in Time
Car Wheels on a Gravel Road
2 Kool 2 Be Forgotten
Concrete and Barbed Wire
Can’t Let Go
I Lost It
Still Long For Your Kiss
Ghosts of Highway 20
Steal Your Love
Fruits of My Labor
Change the Locks
Out of Touch
Faith and Grace
We Have Come Too Far to Turn Back Now