After 11 highly acclaimed studio albums, Lucinda Williams is in the most prolific period of her nearly four-decade career, as she continues to challenge herself creatively. The Ghosts of Highway 20 finds Williams exploring new territory personally, sonically and vocally like never before.
“The Ghosts of Highway 20” is unlike any other Lucinda Williams album prior. There is a common thread running through the songs, uniting them under one collective theme as the haunting title track illustrates. 12 of the 14 songs were inspired by various periods and experiences throughout Williams’ life that all tie into Highway 20 (aka Interstate 20), which runs in part from Georgia to Texas, the focal region of the album. Whether it is cities she has resided in (Atlanta, GA, Macon, GA), has family ties to (Shreveport, LA, Monroe, LA) or previously written about (Jackson, LA, Vicksburg, MS), Williams’ personal experiences and connections to these areas inform the narratives. However, this is not an album about geographic locations, but songs and stories inspired by people, place and time.
The Ghosts of Highway 20 features some of the most expansive and experimental arrangements Williams has ever recorded, as heard on the epic “Dust”, the chilling “If My Love Could Kill” and “House of Earth”, a lost Woody Guthrie song Williams wrote the music to. Williams expands her own vocal timbre with sultry jazz-styled phrasing on “I Know All About It” and the extensive improvisational track “Faith & Grace”. Williams puts her signature on a new interpretation of Bruce Springsteen’s “Factory”, and melts into the absolutely stunning “Louisiana Story” and “Place In My Heart”.
On the web: lucindawilliams.com
Butch Norton, David Sutton, Stuart Mathis
Butch, David, and Stuart started Buick 6 while working day jobs at Krispy Kreme. Butch was the cream filler, David the glazer, and Stuart was the master batter mixer. During their breaks they would sequester themselves in Butch’s Ford E250 Econoline van, where they had built a small rehearsal studio, and practice/hone their special brand of instrumental music.
Many frustrating years would pass until one fateful Monday afternoon when Lucinda Williams came in, on her regular Monday donut run, and heard this “rocking” sound emanating from the van. She pulled out her cassette recorder and secretly taped some of the Buick 6 jams. She hurried home and played the music for her producer/husband, Tom Overby, who quickly surmised that something “special” was going on here.
Lu and Tom spent the next few months gathering intel on these “Buick 6” guys. They would pop into Krispy Kreme every few days to study their behavior and working patterns. Lu noticed how well they worked together and was very impressed with their camaraderie. She exclaimed to tom “these guys should be my rock and roll band!” Tom agreed and finally contacted the International Donut Union, I.D.U. Local 969. His goal was to break the boys out of their Krispy Kreme contract. Many legal battles and negotiations ensued but finally Lu and Tom prevailed. They saved Buick 6 from the precarious world of donuts and began the task of training them to be Lucinda’s back-up band.
In 2014 Tom decided to sign them to their first record deal on Highway 20/Thirty Tigers Records.
The band’s latest album, Plays Well With Others, is their first official international release as Buick 6.
Everything on the album is composed by the Boys except for the Bob Marley classic “So Much Trouble in the World” (hauntingly sung by Ms. Lucinda Williams herself) and an evocatively delicate rendition of Lucinda’s own tune, “Righteously”.
On the web: https://www.facebook.com/Buick6Music/
GENERAL PUBLIC $75 / $49.50 / $39.50
FRIENDS OF CONVOCATIONS: Tickets go on sale Friends of Convocations donors at 10AM Thursday, June 1 through Thursday, June 8 at 5PM. Friends can purchase through the Purdue Stewart Center box office or by calling 800-914-SHOW. Join at convocations.org/friends.
GENERAL PUBLIC: Tickets for the general public go on sale at 10AM Friday, June 9 through convocations.org/tickets or any Ticketmaster outlet.