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An Intimate Duo Evening featuring Doug Pettibone
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This show is SOLD OUT! If you are just hearing about it, you might like to sign up for the AMP Concerts mailing list so you get advance notice on our shows. There may be a few tickets that show up a the door or on-line, so feel free to click the Buy Ticket link and check status.
Tickets are $39, $49 and $59 (plus $1 service charge). They are also available through Hold My Ticket (112 2nd St SW), 505-886-1251, Monday to Friday, 11 AM-6 PM and the KiMo Box Office.
Ever since the release of her 1978 debut Ramblin' on My Mind (recorded on the fly with a mere $250 budget behind her), Louisiana-bred singer-songwriter Lucinda Williams [web site | Amazon.com] has been ready, willing and able to call upon both her natural affinity for roots music and her familial literary tradition. She learned the importance of professional integrity around the same time most kids are learning their ABCs, thanks in large part to her award-winning poet father Miller Williams—who invested her with a "culturally rich, but economically poor" upbringing where artistic expression was of primary importance.
"Thanks to my dad, I grew up around poets and novelists and they all had families and normal lives and most of them didn’t achieve even nominal success until much later in life,” she recalls. “I have to keep reminding people that, yeah, I’m a musician, but first and foremost, I’m an artist and art is about expression, about expressing your feelings about what you’re going through every day. I think this is the closest I’ve come to capturing that essence completely as an artist."
She's never settled for any sort of pigeonholing, entering the ‘90s with the rich, sepia-toned Sweet Old World—a disc that, as much as any release, helped place the Americana movement at the forefront of listeners' minds—and cementing her own spot in the cultural lexicon with 1998’s raw, immediate masterpiece Car Wheels on a Gravel Road. The latter disc earned Williams her first Grammy Award as a performer (she’d also scored one as a writer thanks to Mary-Chapin Carpenter’s version of her “Passionate Kisses”), but rather than try to capture the same lightning in a bottle a second time, she stretched her boundaries on 2001’s Essence, an album rife with both cerebral interludes and soul-stirring stomps.
In recent times, Williams has shown herself to be the kind of artist who’ll never back down from a challenge, whether collaborating with surprisingly kindred spirits like M. Ward and Flogging Molly or putting her own spin on iconic tunes like Bob Dylan’s “Positively 4th Street” and Jimmy Webb’s classic “Galveston”. She’s taken that same approach to her most recent recordings as a solo artist as well: The 2006 release West and 2008’s buoyant Little Honey—an album Paste hailed as "an album that brims with varied, impeccable writing"—made for an ethereal emotional travelogue that takes in both great loss and the sort of discovery one can only make when emotional barriers are taken down.
On her latest release, Blessed, Williams takes on a number of roles, from the fallen fighter who narrates the whisper-soft elegy “Soldier’s Song” to the affably hard-nosed kiss-off specialist delivering “Buttercup.” But whatever the topic, Williams' voice—both literally and figuratively—is unmistakable. It’s a voice that conveys experience without world-weariness, purity of spirit without naiveté – a combination that reaches its zenith on the album’s title track, a poignant acknowledgment of those who bestow blessings upon us each day, whether we know it or not.
Williams will be performing as a duo with Doug Pettibone, who has toured with Jewel, Tracy Chapman, Steve Earle, Elvis Costello, Joan Baez, and many more talented artists. Lucinda Williams hired him in the early 2000s as her multi-instrumentalist and singer to tour, record, and co-produce. With his music education and professional experience, Doug is able to morph his style into about any musical situation he is thrown into; however, he always seems to find his way back to the music of the fields and the streets—Blues, Country and Roots.
Walter Salas-Humara (of The Silos) will open the show. He formed The Silos in 1985 with guitarist Bob Rupe and violinist Mary Rowell, plugging the main cable of American rock idiom into the jerry-rigged soundboard of Velvets-era feral experimentalism. The unlikely result, as evidenced by About Her Steps (1986), the seminal Cuba (1987) and their RCA debut The Silos (i.e., The One with the Bird on the Cover, 1990) was a loose-limbed conceptual country-rock that in turn influenced (if not outright inspired) the alt-country No Depression movement just around the corner. The band was voted Best New American Band in Rolling Stone Magazine's Critics' Poll of 1987 and appeared on "Late Night with David Letterman" in 1990. Throughout the last decade, the Silos have continued to release an admirable body of work, including When the Telephone Rings (2004) and Florizona (2011). In 2008, Salas-Humera recorded the album You Are All My People with novelist Jonathan Lethem under the band name I’m Not Jim, produced by the Elegant Two (Beastie Boys, Yoko Ono) and released on Bloodshot Records. Lethem has called Salas-Humara "a melodic genius, one of our greatest songwriters." Lethem and Salas-Humera are currently collaborating on a musical theater piece.
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Photo of Lyle Lovett by Michael Wilson. Photos of the Guerrilla Girls, Suzanne Vega, Cowboy Junkies, Po Girl, Wagogo and Sam Bush by Alan Mitchell.