Laughing Lucinda: She talks of marriage and kitchen tapes
After a few decades of working at a measured pace, Lucinda Williams has suddenly become relatively prolific. This burst has led to the release of one of her finest albums, this year's Blessed (pronounced with one syllable, she notes). In the midst of this creative stretch, she married music executive and colleague Tom Overby, but thankfully the marriage hasn't harmed her art. Blessed brings about a few changes and a new sound compliments of legendary producer Don Was, but it still showcases Williams' detailed lyrics and inimitable vocals.
The Hook: What was the importance of Don Was to this album?
Lucinda Williams: One of the things that made me feel real comfortable is he said, "I want to make sure that whatever we do, Lucinda's vocals are the main thing." This is the best-sounding album I've ever made. Just having him involved made me feel real secure.
The Hook: What prompted the release of the "kitchen tapes," the bonus disc of demo recordings?
Lucinda Williams: We started playing them for our friends, and everybody started referring to it as "the kitchen tapes." Tom came up with the idea to put them out as a bonus thing. I recorded it on this little thing called a Zoom. You record onto it and then you burn a CD. It's a lot different than sitting and recording [with older techniques], which is what I would always do before just to get the songs down.
The Hook: Do you think the role of your marriage in your songwriting has been overemphasized in the press?
Lucinda Williams: It was ludicrous– the idea that I'm not going to be able to write anymore. Nothing could be farther from the truth. I've actually become more prolific.
The Hook: There's that myth that art comes from suffering.
Lucinda Williams: I'm still suffering! When do we stop suffering? I don't understand how people can be so vapid. We're human beings–- we meet someone, we marry, we have kids, we have jobs we love, we have jobs we hate, we're broke, we have money. Art's not a reflection of any of those things. That's life. You should still feel inspired after you meet someone. What am I going to do if I'm not writing songs?
Lucinda Williams performs at the Paramount Theater on April 25. $31-$41, 8pm.