There are classics and then there are classics. Lucinda Williams has a plan to breathe life into some of the most beloved tunes of the rock-folk songbook. The Grammy Award-winning singer hosts a series of web performances covering some of her favorite bands through the end of the year. Entitled “Lu’s Jukebox,” the concerts will be available online.
The daughter of a poet, Williams grew up in Louisiana and is a folk and country singer who arrived on the national stage in the late 1980s. She hit her stride in the 1990s with Sweet Old World (1992) and the Grammy-winning Car Wheels on a Gravel Road (1998). Earlier this year, Williams released her 14th studio album, Good Souls Better Angels.
For Lu’s Jukebox, Williams dedicated individual studio sessions to a specific genre or recording artist. In previous concerts, Williams has covered Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers and performed “Southern Soul” classics. In future sessions, she’ll sing selections from Bob Dylan’s catalog, Christmas favorites, country hits from the 1960s, and hits from the Rolling Stones.
Williams has long wanted to spend time covering some of her favorite artists, and the pandemic afforded just the opportunity. She’s previously covered some of these acts, but not in such a concentrated format. In 2012, she recorded a rendition of Dylan’s 1997 song “Tryin’ to Get to Heaven.” She told the Los Angeles Times that she first heard Dylan as a 12-year-old and has admired him ever since.
Some of the proceeds will support independent music venues like The City Winery in Nashville or Freight & Salvage Coffeehouse in Berkeley, California. These live performance spaces have been impacted by CoViD-19, and some are struggling to stay afloat with current restrictions.
The next scheduled performance will be “Bob’s Back Pages: A Night of Bob Dylan Songs” on Nov. 19. “Funny How Time Slips Away: A Night of ’60’s Country Classics” will follow on Dec. 3. All performances are at 6 p.m. Tickets for the streaming events start at $20. For an additional $5, the ticket includes a download of the concert. Other packages include a CD or vinyl edition of the concert. lucindawilliams.com/lus-jukebox