STORY WRITTEN BY BRIAN BINGAMAN
@brianbingaman on Twitter
With the digital age, it’s been a singles market in the music industry for years.
But Lucinda Williams does not care. Her 11th and latest album, “Down Where the Spirit Meets the Bone,” is a double disc set. “That was something I wanted to do as far back as the ‘West’ album (in 2007),” she said in a phone interview on a day off after playing two consecutive nights in Atlanta.
Comprised of backlog songs that Williams hadn’t gotten around to recording, and songs created during a prolific period of writing after her mother passed away, “Down Where the Spirit Meets the Bone” is the first release on her own Highway 20 Records label.
Speaking to the admiration that people in the business have for Williams, guest musicians that show up include Jakob Dylan and Stuart Mathis from The Wallflowers, jazz guitarist Bill Frisell, Pete Thomas and Davey Faragher from Elvis Costello’s band The Attractions, Ian McLagen (The Faces), and Sebastian Steinberg (Soul Coughing). “I was really fortunate and really blessed to have these people,” Williams said.
Although the album did not receive a Grammy nomination — something that perennial nominee and three-time Grammy-winner Williams said felt “weird” — it did win Album of the Year at last month’s Americana Music Festival.
The country/Americana singer/songwriter from Lake Charles, La. is due to play the Theatre of Living Arts in Philadelphia Oct. 13, and said she has fond memories of performing in the area. “I remember this little place (when) I first started playing … Dobbs (then J.C. Dobbs, now The Legendary Dobbs). I love that part of town,” she said of South Street.
Of performing with Philadelphia’s The Roots on an episode of “The Tonight Show” last fall, she said: “Those guys are incredible. They’re so good. They’re just really cool guys.”
As for the upcoming concert, “we try to mix it up between all the albums. I got a couple brand new songs that we just recorded. They have been going over really well,” she said. Williams added that she pays attention to requests fans make at www.lucindawilliams.com. One example she gave of a request that made a recent show set list is “Still I Long for Your Kiss” from the fan favorite album “Car Wheels on a Gravel Road.”
Recording since 1978, many know of Williams as the composer of Mary-Chapin Carpenter’s hit “Passionate Kisses.” When asked what recorded covers of her songs she liked best, Williams named “Sweet Old World” by Emmylou Harris and “Side of the Road” by defunct Hoboken, N.J. band The Schramms.
Pleasantly surprised to learn that she was mentioned in the movie “If I Stay,” Williams said she was proud of having her song “Walk On” featured in the Meryl Streep movie “Ricki and the Flash.”
And if you thought putting out a double album was breaking the rules, wait till you hear Williams’ next release, which she hinted would include a 19-minute jam recording she did with a group of Jamaican musicians. “God, it reminds of ‘A Love Supreme’ or something,” she said, referencing John Coltrane.
IF YOU GO
What: Lucinda Williams in concert.
When: 8 p.m. Oct. 13.
Where: Theatre of Living Arts, 334 South St., Philadelphia.
Info.: Call (215) 922-1011.