Kessler Presents is committed to providing the safest environment possible for its upcoming shows and we appreciate your patience as we work toward a return to normal.  All our show staff are vaccinated and/or tested and will be wearing masks/face coverings.  In addition, we support the artists who request the additional safety protocols.

Specifically at the request of the artist, the following health and safety requirements have been implemented for all attendees at this show: Lucinda Williams, January 25, 2022

In attending this event, you attest that you and all persons in your party:
– will provide a negative COVID-19 test result from a diagnostic test taken within 48 hours prior to attending the event;
OR
– fully vaccinated patrons may provide proof of vaccination by showing your vaccination card (at least 2 weeks after final dose), instead of negative test results;
AND
– will wear a mask/face covering at all times at the venue.

If you are unable to adhere to any of these requirements and purchased your tickets directly through the venue (via Prekindle), you may request a refund by September 10 at this link: https://www.prekindle.com/support .

We understand the challenges the virus has caused for all of us and truly appreciate your understanding during these times. Like you, we look forward to the day when we are back to conducting business as usual.

—————————————–

“It’s all come full circle,” says Lucinda Williams about her powerful new album, Good Souls Better Angels. After more than forty years of music making, the pioneering, Louisiana-born artist has returned to the gritty blues foundation that first inspired her as a young singer-songwriter in the late 1970s. And after spending the last year on her sold-out “Car Wheels on a Gravel Road” 20th Anniversary tour, Williams has reunited with that game-changing 1998 album’s co-producer and engineer Ray Kennedy, recording Good Souls, Better Angels with her ace touring band at his Nashville studio. Joining them as co-producer is Williams’ manager Tom Overby, to whom she’s been married for a decade and who contributed lyrics to her masterful songcraft. “That’s what I always dreamed of – a relationship with someone I could create with,” Williams enthuses.

The result – Good Souls Better Angels – is the most topical album of Williams’ career. The dangerous world we live in, the constant barrage of a frightening news cycle, depression, domestic abuse, a man without a soul – and, yeah, the devil – figure prominently among its twelve tracks.  “The devil comes into play quite a bit on this album,” Williams says. “I’ve always loved the imagery in Robert Johnson songs and those really dark Delta blues that are sort of biblical. I was inspired by Leonard Cohen – he dealt with that in his songs – and Bob Dylan and Nick Cave.” While, Good Souls Better Angels reflects many dark realities that surround us, the album is tied together with themes of perseverance, resilience and ultimately, hope.

As for the topicality of the material, Williams says, “Because of all this crap that’s going on, it’s on the top of everybody’s minds – it’s all anybody talks about: Basically, the world’s falling apart – it’s like the apocalypse. That’s where that Old Testament stuff comes from. It’s different from my other albums in that there aren’t the story songs about my childhood and all. It feels exciting.”

From the driving blues of the opening track “You Can’t Rule Me” to the ominous gothic “Pray the Devil Back to Hell,” from punk-blues-fueled “Bone of Contention” to fire ‘n brimstone “Drop by Drop (Big Rotator),” Williams has never been more raw and direct, with gut-punching wordplay crossing the Good Book with hip-hop with Ginsbergian beat poetry. The Williams-Overby collaborative songwriting experiment clearly has been a success. “It just happened organically,” says Williams. “Tom and I started working on songs together and he came up with some of the ideas. He gave me lines that he’d written and I took it from there. I love it because it expands things. ‘Man Without a Soul’ was his idea, and he came up with ‘Big Black Train,’ about that big black cloud of depression. When I listen to that track, it makes me cry.”

Recording live in Ray Kennedy’s vintage-equipped studio, Williams and her longtime band – guitarist Stuart Mathis, bassist David Sutton, and drummer Butch Norton – cut most of the songs in two or three takes, with the rhythm section’s rock-solid pulse and Mathis’ versatile sonic attacks backing Williams’ distinctive passion-drenched vocals. The brutal “Wakin’ Up,” punctuated by Mathis’ chainsaw guitar, viscerally details a woman’s harrowing escape from domestic violence, while the pensive “Shadows & Doubts” sheds light our quick-to-judge, social-media-led society and how everyone may love you one moment, but completely abandon you the next. Williams turns Greg Garing’s honky-tonk shuffle “Down Past the Bottom” into a dark-night-of-the-soul hard rocker. Tongue-in-cheek irony leads the swingin’ “Bad News Blues” as Williams bemoans a plethora of “liars and lunatics/fools and thieves/clowns and hypocrites” and Mathis’ guitar work slithers around the lyrics like a snake. The bittersweet counterpoint “When the Way Gets Dark,” with its lovely melody and evocative guitar, offers hope to us all, Williams urging in her most tender vocals, “Don’t give up/Take my hand/You’re not alone.”

Williams has traveled a long road since her 1979 debut, Ramblinon My Mind, followed by Happy Woman Blues, her first album of originals released forty years ago in 1980. (She says that she’s still “the same girl” except that now “I have a bigger fan base and I can afford to stay at better hotels.”) Over the course of fourteen remarkable albums, three Grammy awards, and countless accolades, including Time’s Songwriter of the Year of 2001, Williams is one of our most revered artists, beloved for her singular vocals and extraordinary songs. Her recent double albums, Down Where the Spirit Meets the Bone (2014) and Ghosts of Highway 20 (2016), released on her own label, received some of the best reviews of her career.

Giving voice to all her experience, Williams ends Good Souls, Better Angels with the luminous “Good Souls,” one of the last songs written for the album. It is a deeply moving invocation: “Keep me with all of those/who help me find strength/when I’m feeling hopeless/who guide me along/And help me stay strong and fearless.”

Amen.

Kessler Presents is committed to providing the safest environment possible for its upcoming shows and we appreciate your patience as we work toward a return to normal.  All our show staff are vaccinated and/or tested and will be wearing masks/face coverings.  In addition, we support the artists who request the additional safety protocols.

Specifically at the request of the artist, the following health and safety requirements have been implemented for all attendees at this show: Lucinda Williams, January 24, 2022

In attending this event, you attest that you and all persons in your party:
– will show proof of vaccination by showing your vaccination card (at least 2 weeks after final dose);
OR
– agree to provide a negative result from a COVID-19 diagnostic test taken within 48 hours prior to attending the event;
– and, will wear a mask/face covering at all times at the venue.

If you are unable to adhere to any of these requirements and purchased your tickets directly through the venue (via Prekindle), you may request a refund by September 10 at this link: https://www.prekindle.com/support .

We understand the challenges the virus has caused for all of us and truly appreciate your understanding during these times. Like you, we look forward to the day when we are back to conducting business as usual.

—————————————–

“It’s all come full circle,” says Lucinda Williams about her powerful new album, Good Souls Better Angels. After more than forty years of music making, the pioneering, Louisiana-born artist has returned to the gritty blues foundation that first inspired her as a young singer-songwriter in the late 1970s. And after spending the last year on her sold-out “Car Wheels on a Gravel Road” 20th Anniversary tour, Williams has reunited with that game-changing 1998 album’s co-producer and engineer Ray Kennedy, recording Good Souls, Better Angels with her ace touring band at his Nashville studio. Joining them as co-producer is Williams’ manager Tom Overby, to whom she’s been married for a decade and who contributed lyrics to her masterful songcraft. “That’s what I always dreamed of – a relationship with someone I could create with,” Williams enthuses.

The result – Good Souls Better Angels – is the most topical album of Williams’ career. The dangerous world we live in, the constant barrage of a frightening news cycle, depression, domestic abuse, a man without a soul – and, yeah, the devil – figure prominently among its twelve tracks.  “The devil comes into play quite a bit on this album,” Williams says. “I’ve always loved the imagery in Robert Johnson songs and those really dark Delta blues that are sort of biblical. I was inspired by Leonard Cohen – he dealt with that in his songs – and Bob Dylan and Nick Cave.” While, Good Souls Better Angels reflects many dark realities that surround us, the album is tied together with themes of perseverance, resilience and ultimately, hope.

As for the topicality of the material, Williams says, “Because of all this crap that’s going on, it’s on the top of everybody’s minds – it’s all anybody talks about: Basically, the world’s falling apart – it’s like the apocalypse. That’s where that Old Testament stuff comes from. It’s different from my other albums in that there aren’t the story songs about my childhood and all. It feels exciting.”

From the driving blues of the opening track “You Can’t Rule Me” to the ominous gothic “Pray the Devil Back to Hell,” from punk-blues-fueled “Bone of Contention” to fire ‘n brimstone “Drop by Drop (Big Rotator),” Williams has never been more raw and direct, with gut-punching wordplay crossing the Good Book with hip-hop with Ginsbergian beat poetry. The Williams-Overby collaborative songwriting experiment clearly has been a success. “It just happened organically,” says Williams. “Tom and I started working on songs together and he came up with some of the ideas. He gave me lines that he’d written and I took it from there. I love it because it expands things. ‘Man Without a Soul’ was his idea, and he came up with ‘Big Black Train,’ about that big black cloud of depression. When I listen to that track, it makes me cry.”

Recording live in Ray Kennedy’s vintage-equipped studio, Williams and her longtime band – guitarist Stuart Mathis, bassist David Sutton, and drummer Butch Norton – cut most of the songs in two or three takes, with the rhythm section’s rock-solid pulse and Mathis’ versatile sonic attacks backing Williams’ distinctive passion-drenched vocals. The brutal “Wakin’ Up,” punctuated by Mathis’ chainsaw guitar, viscerally details a woman’s harrowing escape from domestic violence, while the pensive “Shadows & Doubts” sheds light our quick-to-judge, social-media-led society and how everyone may love you one moment, but completely abandon you the next. Williams turns Greg Garing’s honky-tonk shuffle “Down Past the Bottom” into a dark-night-of-the-soul hard rocker. Tongue-in-cheek irony leads the swingin’ “Bad News Blues” as Williams bemoans a plethora of “liars and lunatics/fools and thieves/clowns and hypocrites” and Mathis’ guitar work slithers around the lyrics like a snake. The bittersweet counterpoint “When the Way Gets Dark,” with its lovely melody and evocative guitar, offers hope to us all, Williams urging in her most tender vocals, “Don’t give up/Take my hand/You’re not alone.”

Williams has traveled a long road since her 1979 debut, Ramblinon My Mind, followed by Happy Woman Blues, her first album of originals released forty years ago in 1980. (She says that she’s still “the same girl” except that now “I have a bigger fan base and I can afford to stay at better hotels.”) Over the course of fourteen remarkable albums, three Grammy awards, and countless accolades, including Time’s Songwriter of the Year of 2001, Williams is one of our most revered artists, beloved for her singular vocals and extraordinary songs. Her recent double albums, Down Where the Spirit Meets the Bone (2014) and Ghosts of Highway 20 (2016), released on her own label, received some of the best reviews of her career.

Giving voice to all her experience, Williams ends Good Souls, Better Angels with the luminous “Good Souls,” one of the last songs written for the album. It is a deeply moving invocation: “Keep me with all of those/who help me find strength/when I’m feeling hopeless/who guide me along/And help me stay strong and fearless.”

Amen.

This show is part of short run in March, that is focused on celebrating the 20 year anniversary of Car Wheels on a Gravel Road.
Lucinda and her band will play two sets.  The first will be a full run thru of the recording, and the second will be a set drawn from her complete catalogue.

In a rare instance of an artist taking a full-length reconsideration of an earlier work, Grammy-winning singer-songwriter Lucinda Williams will release This Sweet Old World – a complete re-recording of her 1992 album Sweet Old World – via Highway 20/Thirty Tigers on Sept. 29.

Produced by Williams and Tom Overby, This Sweet Old World — recorded to mark the 25th anniversary of the original album’s release by Chameleon/Elektra — features all-new renditions of the ’92 set’s 12 songs, some of which have been dramatically rearranged and rewritten.

 

 

On This Sweet Old World, Williams is supported by her touring and studio band: guitarist Stuart Mathis, bassist David Sutton, and drummer Butch Norton. Longtime collaborator Greg Leisz – who participated in early sessions for the 1992 album, and co-produced Williams’ most recent studio releases, The Ghosts of Highway 20 (2016) and Down Where the Spirit Meets the Bone (2014) – contributes spectacular guitar work.

The package is augmented by four newly recorded bonus tracks that harken back to Williams’ early performing career.

Sweet Old World contained several durable songs – the title track, “Pineola,” “Something About What Happens When We Talk,” and “Little Angel Little Brother” – that have been staples of Williams’ live sets since their original release.

However, the album as a whole has received comparatively short shrift, coming as it did between two landmarks in the musician’s career: her breakthrough self-titled album (issued by Rough Trade Records in 1988, and re-released in 2014 with a bonus CD of live material) and her major commercial hit Car Wheels On a Gravel Road (released by Mercury in 1998).

Call Sweet Old World the red-headed stepchild of Williams’ catalog, and she laughs in recognition.

She says, “Sweet Old World was really the only album after the Rough Trade album that sort of fell through the cracks a little bit. I remember going into a record store in Nashville and seeing it in the bin, and it had this sticker on it that said ‘out of print.’ I went up to the manager of this little indie store and said, ‘This isn’t out of print!’ He said, ‘Well, that’s what I had heard.’ It didn’t get attention paid to it that it should have had.”

To mark the quarter-century anniversary of the album, Williams and Overby – after some initial trepidation on the singer’s part – decided to go into engineer David Bianco’s North Hollywood studio Dave’s Room, where her last two albums were recorded, and recut the entire record in 10 days of sessions.

Williams says, “I wanted to stretch some of the songs out and bring them up to date a little bit more. Some I’ve continued to do over the years, like ‘Pineola’ and ‘Sweet Old World.’ Those have stood the test of time, so those have basically the same arrangements. But I wasn’t happy with the way every song on the record had been recorded.

“I wasn’t sure I wanted to revisit all those songs. But ‘Six Blocks Way’ sounds a hundred times better than the original. It’s more jangly – it’s reminiscent of an early Tom Petty recording, and the Byrds, too. Stuart Mathis was doing the 12-string on that. Another one on the record that really surprised me is ‘Lines Around Your Eyes.’ Those were a little bit of a challenge – I initially rolled my eyes and said, ‘Really?’ And ‘Sidewalks of the City’ is like a different song now — it’s so relevant today.”

While Sweet Old World featured guest instrumentalists, This Sweet Old World eschews additional players, utilizing just the muscular band and Leisz. Stripped of their countrified arrangements, the songs “Prove My Love” and “Memphis Pearl” shine anew. Says Williams, “We talked about this and labored over it after we had the initial tracks down, about whether we should add other instruments, fiddle or whatever. Everybody said it sounds so raw and tight and good and spontaneous.”

The Sweet Old World song “He Never Got Enough Love” underwent a nearly complete metamorphosis, with Williams returning to her first draft of the lyrics and adding additional verses. The 2017 rendering appears on This Sweet Old World under the title “Drivin’ Down a Dead End Street.”

Williams says, “Tom saw the original lyrics; ‘He was drivin’ down a dead end street’ was the refrain when I first wrote the song. But at the time, Bob Dylan’s album Down in the Groove had come out, and he had a Hank Snow song on it called ’90 Miles an Hour (Down a Dead End Street).’ As soon as I heard it, I said, ‘Well, so much for that!’ I rewrote it, edited it, and took that off. Tom said, ‘I love that line, it’s a great line. Why don’t you work it back up like you were originally thinking.’ Then I decided on my own to write a couple of other verses to fill it out.”

Some of the brand-new bonus material on This Sweet Old World will be familiar to longtime fans. Williams’ live versions of John Anderson’s 1982 No. 1 country smash “Wild and Blue” and her take on Brit-blues power trio the Groundhogs’ version of the traditional “Factory Blues” are heard on the 2014 reissue of Lucinda Williams. The honky-tonk original “Dark Side of Life” was Williams’ first L.A. recording, heard on the 1988 country compilation A Town South of Bakersfield Vol. 2. “What You Don’t Know,” written by John Leventhal and Jim Lauderdale, was an outtake from the original Sweet Old World sessions.

Williams says of the regrooved This Sweet Old World, “Everything’s different now. It’s a different band, it’s a different studio. My voice is different — I think it’s better now. We lowered the keys on pretty much every song, and that’s going to give it a different sort of lushness. My voice is deeper and richer now, mature. It’s like a new album.”