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      Lucinda Williams in Hamden

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      November 9, 2018

      Friday   8:00 PM

      295 Treadwell Street
      Hamden, Connecticut 06514

      Lucinda Williams

      In a rare instance of an artist taking a full-length reconsideration of an earlier work, Grammy-winning singer-songwriter Lucinda Williams will release This Sweet Old World a complete re-recording of her 1992 album Sweet Old World via Highway 20/Thirty Tigers on Sept. 29.Produced by Williams and Tom Overby, This Sweet Old World recorded to mark the 25th anniversary of the original albums release by Chameleon/Elektra features all-new renditions of the 92 sets 12 songs, some of which have been dramatically rearranged and rewritten.On This Sweet Old World, Williams is supported by her touring and studio band: guitarist Stuart Mathis, bassist David Sutton, and drummer Butch Norton. Longtime collaborator Greg Leisz who participated in early sessions for the 1992 album, and co-produced Williams most recent studio releases, The Ghosts of Highway 20 (2016) and Down Where the Spirit Meets the Bone (2014) contributes spectacular guitar work.The package is augmented by four newly recorded bonus tracks that harken back to Williams early performing career.Sweet Old World contained several durable songs the title track, Pineola, Something About What Happens When We Talk, and Little Angel Little Brother that have been staples of Williams live sets since their original release.However, the album as a whole has received comparatively short shrift, coming as it did between two landmarks in the musicians career: her breakthrough self-titled album (issued by Rough Trade Records in 1988, and re-released in 2014 with a bonus CD of live material) and her major commercial hit Car Wheels On a Gravel Road (released by Mercury in 1998).Call Sweet Old World the red-headed stepchild of Williams catalog, and she laughs in recognition.She says, Sweet Old World was really the only album after the Rough Trade album that sort of fell through the cracks a little bit. I remember going into a record store in Nashville and seeing it in the bin, and it had this sticker on it that said out of print. I went up to the manager of this little indie store and said, This isnt out of print! He said, Well, thats what I had heard. It didnt get attention paid to it that it should have had.To mark the quarter-century anniversary of the album, Williams and Overby after some initial trepidation on the singers part decided to go into engineer David Biancos North Hollywood studio Daves Room, where her last two albums were recorded, and recut the entire record in 10 days of sessions.Williams says, I wanted to stretch some of the songs out and bring them up to date a little bit more. Some Ive continued to do over the years, like Pineola and Sweet Old World. Those have stood the test of time, so those have basically the same arrangements. But I wasnt happy with the way every song on the record had been recorded.I wasnt sure I wanted to revisit all those songs. But Six Blocks Way sounds a hundred times better than the original. Its more jangly its reminiscent of an early Tom Petty recording, and the Byrds, too. Stuart Mathis was doing the 12-string on that. Another one on the record that really surprised me is Lines Around Your Eyes. Those were a little bit of a challenge I initially rolled my eyes and said, Really? And Sidewalks of the City is like a different song now its so relevant today.While Sweet Old World featured guest instrumentalists, This Sweet Old World eschews additional players, utilizing just the muscular band and Leisz. Stripped of their countrified arrangements, the songs Prove My Love and Memphis Pearl shine anew. Says Williams, We talked about this and labored over it after we had the initial tracks down, about whether we should add other instruments, fiddle or whatever. Everybody said it sounds so raw and tight and good and spontaneous.The Sweet Old World song He Never Got Enough Love underwent a nearly complete metamorphosis, with Williams returning to her first draft of the lyrics and adding additional verses. The 2017 rendering appears on This Sweet Old World under the title Drivin Down a Dead End Street.Williams says, Tom saw the original lyrics; He was drivin down a dead end street was the refrain when I first wrote the song. But at the time, Bob Dylans album Down in the Groove had come out, and he had a Hank Snow song on it called 90 Miles an Hour (Down a Dead End Street). As soon as I heard it, I said, Well, so much for that! I rewrote it, edited it, and took that off. Tom said, I love that line, its a great line. Why dont you work it back up like you were originally thinking. Then I decided on my own to write a couple of other verses to fill it out.Some of the brand-new bonus material on This Sweet Old World will be familiar to longtime fans. Williams live versions of John Andersons 1982 No. 1 country smash Wild and Blue and her take on Brit-blues power trio the Groundhogs version of the traditional Factory Blues are heard on the 2014 reissue of Lucinda Williams. The honky-tonk original Dark Side of Life was Williams first L.A. recording, heard on the 1988 country compilation A Town South of Bakersfield Vol. 2. What You Dont Know, written by John Leventhal and Jim Lauderdale, was an outtake from the original Sweet Old World sessions.Williams says of the regrooved This Sweet Old World, Everythings different now. Its a different band, its a different studio. My voice is different I think its better now. We lowered the keys on pretty much every song, and thats going to give it a different sort of lushness. My voice is deeper and richer now, mature. Its like a new album.

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