Lucinda Williams (from the album Lu’s Jukebox #6: You Are Cordially Invited…A Tribute to the Rolling Stones on Thirty Tigers) (By Lee Zimmerman)
The latest in a series of homegrown albums sharing salutes to her heroes (Tom Petty, Bob Dylan, Southern Soul, Country Classics etc.), Lu’s Jukebox Vol.6: You Are Cordially Invited finds Lucinda Williams turning her attention to the music of The Rolling Stones and doing so with her usual determined delivery. While any attempt to replicate the Stones’ sound inevitably brings a critical comparison, Williams’ crusty persona and gritty gravitas serves her well, and the end result finds her duly passionate and purposeful.
To her credit, Williams has always conveyed the image of an insurgent, a trait that finds her well suited to tackle these timeless tunes without fear or restraint. As Mick and company proved early on, attitude plays an important part when it comes to making music of any special significance. Likewise, Lucinda shares a similar reverence for her roots just as the Stones did early on, giving her a close connection to the material from the get-go. Consequently, this latest entry in the Lu’s Jukebox in Studio Concert Series shares adept interpretations of Stones songs that scan the band’s creative peak. Williams’ tattered vocals put a new spin on songs such as “The Last Time”, “Play with Fire”, “Get Off My Cloud”, “Time Waits for No One”, and “Paint It Black” adding a sense of dire desperation only hinted at in the originals. As a result, You Are Cordially Invited manages to avoid the usual pitfalls fostered by most tribute albums, that is to either troll so close to the seminal versions as to make them needless repeats or to digress to such an extent that they’re competing with the template and generally emerging as a poor comparison.
Happily, then, Williams needn’t worry. She puts her own signature stamp on each of these songs, while still managing to pay heed to the indelible melodies. “Dead Flowers”, “Sway”, “Moonlight Mile”, and “Salt of the Earth” provide a ragged repast shared with both an ache and moan, while “No Expectations” culls the mournful Blues at the root of the Stones’ initial impulse. So too, “Doo Doo Doo Doo Doo (Heartbreaker)” takes on a new sense of urgency, just as “Satisfaction” and “You Can’t Always Get What You Want” shares a personal perspective that distinguishes these songs in new and remarkable ways while still holding to the spirit and ferocity that made them so spellbinding early on.
In that regard, Lucinda Williams ties past to present, making this arguably the best reboot of Stones songs ever offered anytime by anyone, and an able addition to Williams’ own catalog to boot. Consider this an invitation well worth heeding. (by Lee Zimmerman)
Listen and buy the music of Lucinda Williams from Amoeba Records
For more information, please visit the Lucinda Williams website
Lu’s Jukebox #6: You Are Cordially Invited: A Tribute to The Rolling Stones is not available on any streaming services. It is available on Lucinda Williams YouTube channel