Music Critique: At 70, Lucinda Williams Continues to Create Relevant Music and Connect with Her Muse

by Chloe Baker
Lucinda Williams' new album

“Stories From a Rock N Roll Heart” by Lucinda Williams (Highway 20 Records/Thirty Tigers)

On several occasions in her latest album, Lucinda Williams expresses concern about her ability to continue producing quality music.

One of her tracks delves into her willingness to position herself “where the songs will find me.” In her final song, “Never Gonna Fade Away,” she shares her anxiety over the possibility of not being able to find the right words or rhymes, essentially seeking a sign as she feels time slipping away.

Lucinda Williams Returns with Book and Album Following Stroke

Ironically, both these songs are commendable. Although songwriters expressing their struggle for inspiration can sometimes be seen as a warning sign, Williams’ muse seems to visit her abundantly throughout “Stories From a Rock N Roll Heart.”

Her transparency and compassion are brought to life in “Hum’s Liquor,” a song dedicated to Bob Stinson, a founding member of the influential rock band, The Replacements, who passed away at the young age of 35. Williams, now 70, proves her unwavering ability to evoke deep emotions through this song, which also features Stinson’s younger brother and fellow founding member of The Replacements, Tommy Stinson.

Bob Stinson, “a true rock ‘n’ roll heart,” is the dedicatee of the entire album.

The band, a combination of Williams’ regular tour group and additional members, particularly shine in their homage to Tom Petty, who passed away in 2017. Commencing with a winding guitar riff reminiscent of Petty’s signature Stratocaster style, “Stolen Moments” has the potential to stir up feelings of loss for him once again.

Acknowledging the personal hardships Williams has faced in recent years without it sounding like an excuse, she has had to contend with both a tornado damaging her East Nashville home in 2020 and a minor stroke that same year, which left her unable to play the guitar. These events led to more collaborative songwriting, primarily with her husband Tom Overby and others, which might explain the stronger focus on hooks rather than lyrics in the 10 songs of this album. It may also clarify her self-doubt about her ongoing musical relevance.

However, inspiration does find her, greatly supported by her friends and bandmates. While the album may not equal her most impressive work in terms of lyrics, it is still competent enough to contribute to her significant musical legacy spanning the past five decades.

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Lucinda Williams’ new album

What is the name of Lucinda Williams’ new album?

The new album is called “Stories From a Rock N Roll Heart.”

To whom is the album “Stories From a Rock N Roll Heart” dedicated?

The album is dedicated to Bob Stinson, a founding member of the influential rock band, The Replacements.

What recent personal struggles has Lucinda Williams faced?

In 2020, Williams’ East Nashville home was damaged by a tornado, and later that year she suffered a minor stroke, leaving her unable to play the guitar.

What is unique about the music in Lucinda Williams’ new album?

The music in her new album is more hook-based rather than centered around her lyrics, possibly due to more collaborative songwriting following her stroke.

Who collaborated with Lucinda Williams on her song “Hum’s Liquor”?

The song “Hum’s Liquor” features Tommy Stinson, the younger brother of the late Bob Stinson, both founding members of The Replacements.

More about Lucinda Williams’ new album

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BobTheReplacementsFan July 1, 2023 - 8:53 am

So cool of Lucinda to dedicate her album to Bob Stinson. The Replacements were legends, they don’t make music like that anymore.

Dave_MusicFan July 1, 2023 - 4:37 pm

wow!! just love how lucinda still rocks at 70, age is no bar for true artists like her, can’t wait to listen to her new album!!!

OldSchoolRocker July 1, 2023 - 9:21 pm

Remember seeing Lucinda live back in the day, her voice is somethin else. Even today her songs hits you right in the feels, she is still amazing.

StacyOnTheBlock July 1, 2023 - 10:57 pm

Lucinda’s album is just what we need right now. so much feels. esp her song for Tom Petty… it’s been a tough few years for her, glad to see she’s bounced back

Guitar_Geek July 2, 2023 - 3:37 am

stolen moments with that guitar riff. wow! sounds just like Petty’s own stratocaster! Lucinda and her band really nailed it with this tribute.


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