Lucinda Williams, your Christmas album is long overdue.
Here are the rules: None of those somber manger songs with the minor chords. No, we want Frosty the Snowman, Jingle Bells and Suzy Snowflake.
This wicked yearning struck us midway through Friday’s show at the Mayo Performing Arts Center, where the queen of You-Done-Me-Wrong took a pretty packed house on a two-hour tour of some dark places.
A ride that’s all about bumps in the road got off to an appropriately rocky start, courtesy of some electronic potholes that caused Lucinda to throw up her hands and lament, “I hate technology!”
She regained control with Drunken Angel and Tears of Joy. The evening included many of her better known songs, such as Are You Alright, I Lost It, Changed the Locks, Unsuffer Me, Essence, Righteously, Honey Bee and Joy.
Lucinda also sang some tracks from a double album that’s due in September. Compassion breaks new ground for the 61-year-old Louisianan, adapting lyrics by her father, the poet Miller Williams.
Protection is a down-and-dirty rocker. And Cold Day in Hell… well, we can see the title of the Christmas CD taking shape.
For good measure, Lucinda administered a dose of bleakness from the Boss, Factory.
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What kept all this world weariness from driving everyone to the suicide hotline was the execution.
Lucinda’s muscular three-piece band infused tales of despair with fire and life.
Drummer Butch Norton, bassist David Sutton, and especially, former Wallflowers guitarist Stuart Mathis, were sonic treats. Stuart daubed Unsuffer Me in swaths of howling, haunting, heavy splendor.
It’s impossible to wallow for long with these guys; Lucinda soared with them on I Lost It and the scorching finale, Neil Young’s Rockin’ in the Free World.
Lucinda’s fans know that her albums have long gestations, so look for her holiday sampler around 2022.
In the meantime, we’ll proceed with the other half of our subversive mission: Goosing the The Osmonds to record a Lucinda Williams tribute CD.
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