Music today has seen Lucinda Williams reappear in the CD player with her new album Good Souls Better Angels. Another great record from her with her perceptive lyrics that always seem to expose raw truth. Bad News Blues is great as she notes that bad news are everywhere you look and follows it with a scathing attack on Blimpo on Man Without A Soul, although nowhere does she mention his name. Her songs always sound like she is going through something, has been through something or is recognising that someone is going through something. She straddles an odd ground between Rock, Country and Blues but is none of the above. Whoever is playing guitar with her always has a fantastic sound, this time it’s Stuart Mathis, great tone, great parts. Then there’s her voice, she sounds like she’s been up drinking all night but is still seeing things clearly as she slurs out reality. I have all of her albums and I’m never disappointed. Good Souls Better Angels is another classic from her, essential.

Always a fan of Alice In Chains and the late Layne Staley’s brilliant voice, next to the red couch is A-B in the archive’s CDs and I saw their Unplugged album, live from The Majestic Theater in Brooklyn 1996. Not a band that is generally associated with acoustic performance, they made this and two amazing EPs, Sap and Jar Of Flies that showed another side, not acoustic exactly but mostly and not the sound they are associated with either. I love a band that’s slow, slow like Dave Gilmour, slow like Paul Kossoff, slow like Alice In Chains. They seemed to be unhip beyond the realms of reason but I suppose the sensitive soul never liked a growl and saw them as dirgy metal, the grunge that you were allowed to hate when you couldn’t hate Nirvana. But to me, they had incredible dark melodies and even more incredible dark harmonies shared with guitarist Jerry Cantrell. Staley could conjure up the devil and for those of you that know about him, he did, dying of a heroin and cocaine overdose at the age of 34. They entwine the tangled roots of ancient trees with fresh leaves, they are melodic and find those melodies in unlikely chord progressions. If you are scared of them or doubt their talent, their songwriting skills or their schtick, perhaps start here and see if you can gravitate towards their electric material.

Songs Of The Daze:

Lucinda Williams – Tiny Desk Concert July 2020, songs from the new album Good Souls Better Angels:

“Fools and thieves and clowns and hypocrites,
Gluttony and greed, and that ain’t the worst of it.”

Set List:
Bad News Blues
Big Black train
You Can’t Rule Me
Man Without A Soul

You’re a man without truth
A man of greed, a man of hate
A man of envy and doubt
You’re a man without a soul
All the money in the world
Will never fill that hole
You’re a man bought and sold
You’re a man without a soul
You bring nothing good to this world
Beyond a web of cheating and stealing
You hide behind your wall of lies
But it’s coming down
Yeah, it’s coming down
You’re a man without shame
Without dignity and grace
No way to save face
You’re a man without a soul
How do you think this story ends?
It’s not a matter of how
It’s just a matter of when
‘Cause it’s coming down
Yeah, it’s coming down
There’s a darkness all around you
To cover all you’re hiding
There’s no light in your eyes
You’re a man without a soul
Now the exits will be closing
A sad life will be…

Lucinda Williams – vocals, guitar
Stuart Mathis – guitar

Lucinda Williams – Live On KEXP Seattle 2015 supporting her then latest album Down Where The Spirit Meets The Bone

Set List:
East Side Of Town
West Memphis
It’s Gonna Rain

Alice in Chains from Unplugged – Live at the Majestic Theater in Brooklyn 1996 with the late Layne Staley on vocals, Jerry Cantrell on guitar and vocals, Mike Inez on bass and Sean Kinney on drums with Scott Olson on guitar.

Listen to the whole concert here.

Set List:
No Excuses
Sludge factory
Down In A Hole
Angry Chair
Got Me Wrong
Heaven Beside You
Over Now
Killer Is Me

The musical musings in this post are an excerpt from my daily blog, TO WHERE I AM NOW, featured on my main website. See more pictures and read the full post here.

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