To call her the Queen or the First Lady of Alt-Country suggests a more refined, polished kind of an artist. Lucinda Williams may not be those things, but she is as honest and raw a storyteller as you’re likely to find anywhere. Cut from the mold of a John Prine or a Kris Kristofferson (or should that read the other way around?), Williams has has always laid herself wide open on her records, uncompromising and vulnerable.
On her latest release Ghosts of Highway 20, she’s still got that edge, even if she seems to be looking a little in the rear view mirror. “I know this road, like the back of my hand/Same as the stations on the FM band.” The album does have a more reflective feel too it; her voice drawling with the songs themselves pouring out in a similar manner. Greg Leisz and Bill Frisell are all over this record, their guitars creating a haunting, yet mellow tension; they are masters of their craft just as Williams is of hers. The title track is an almost defiant 7 minutes, 20 seconds and embodies the tone of the whole record. Give it a listen below: