Lucinda Williams

South Stage

9:00 PM

Presented by KOIN-6

“I’m singing my ass off,” Lucinda Williams told Vanity Fair in early 2023, following her first European tour since 2019. While Williams can no longer play her beloved guitar — a constant companion from age 12 — since suffering a debilitating stroke in 2020, her masterful, multi-GRAMMY-winning songwriting has never deserted her and, continues Williams, “a lot of people have told me, ‘I know you had a stroke, but I’ve never heard you sound better.’” As American Songwriter wrote in a review for her sixteenth studio album, Stories from a Rock n Roll Heart (released June 2023), “Far from being hobbled by her health, Williams, now 70, has emerged stronger, feistier, and more resilient.”

Since growing up amid family chaos in the Deep South (as she recounts in her candid new memoir, Don’t Tell Anybody The Secrets I Told You), Williams’ music has gotten her through her darkest days, keeping her going while continuing to earn more laurels. In 2021 alone, Williams was honored by BMI for her songwriting, inducted into the Austin City Limits Hall of Fame, and had a GRAMMY Week tribute at the Troubadour, with her songs performed by an array of Americana artists. Her critically acclaimed Good Souls Better Angels (released 2020) was nominated for two GRAMMY Awards, and she duetted with Willie Nelson on Billy Joe Shaver’s Live Forever, which won a GRAMMY in 2023 for Best Country Performance.

The love emanating from audiences, and from her musical family onstage and in the studio, exemplify the healing power of music, says Williams. After spending a week in intensive care and a month in rehab, following her stroke, she was forced to relearn basic activities like walking. In July 2021, she played her first gig, opening for Jason Isbell at Red Rocks. She began the show seated in a wheelchair but was soon upright. “Just the energy of the audiences being so welcoming and warm and the band playing so great and being so supportive gave me so much strength,” Williams relates. “I figured, hell, all I have to do is stand up there and sing. How hard can that be?”

Jul 5
Jul 5