a blessed weekend

lucinda williams

lucinda williams

Like so many songwriting greats also releasing new recordings this spring (Paul Simon and Robbie Robertson lead the list), Lucinda Williams explores notions of faith and mortality on her fine new Blessed album.

Not that this is exactly new territory. As long ago as 1992’s Sweet Old World, she pondered notions of a life left behind following a suicide. But Blessed, which Williams will celebrate with performances this weekend in Louisville and Covington, reverses the perspective. Sweet Old World looks back the earthy beauty that was. Blessed views a lesser defined grace still to come.

“We were blessed by the minister who practiced what he preached,” Williams sings in the album’s title tune. “We were blessed by the poor man who said heaven is within reach.”

Expect Williams’ weekend shows to move beyond Blessed, as well. The title song has been popping alongside Joy, the combustible and vengeful classic from 1998’s career-defining Car Wheels on a Gravel Road, in recent setlists. That ought to make curious neighbors out of heavenly contemplation and earthy rage.

Williams’ recent shows have also been spotlighting works from such overlooked post- Car Wheels albums as 2001’s Essence (Get Right with God), 2003’s World Without Tears (World Without Tears), 2007’s West (Everything has Changed) and 2008’s Little Honey (Honey Bee).

Lucinda Williams performs at 8 tonight at the Brown Theatre, 315 W. Broadway in Louisville. Tickets are $35- $50. Call (800)  775-7777. She will also plays at 8 p.m. Saturday at the Madison Theater, 730 Madison Ave., in Covington. Tickets are $25. Call (859) 491-2444.

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