Song of the Day #2,782: ‘Bitter Memory’ – Lucinda Williams

lucinda_ghosts_highway_20Disc Two, Song Two. After the epic title track, Lucinda offers up a little country blues ditty about a busted love affair. It seems Disc Two is definitely more upbeat than Disc One (musically, anyway… I don’t think we’re getting any lyrically upbeat songs on this album!).

This is the most fun song on the record so far, and another fine showcase of the guitar work by Bill Frisell and Greg Leisz.

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Song of the Day #2,781: ‘Ghosts of Highway 20’ – Lucinda Williams

lucinda_ghosts_highway_20Disc Two of The Ghosts of Highway 20 kicks off with the title track. Fittingly, this song serves as the thematic underpinning of the whole album.

Highway 20 is a stretch of road that touches on all of these sad southern stories, all of this grace and pain, and Williams can look back and vividly recollect every mile. Williams counts Flannery O’Connor as an influence, and that southern gothic quality is all over this album.

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Song of the Day #2,780: ‘Louisiana Story’ – Lucinda Williams

lucinda_ghosts_highway_20The final track of Disc One of Lucinda Williams’ The Ghosts of Highway 20 is, lyrically, the most impressive so far. Also the most gut-wrenching.

Williams recalls her own childhood in Louisiana with sweet nostalgia. She paints a picture of carefree days spent mostly outside, and loving parents who got angry only over little things like spilled milk or a slamming screen door.

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Song of the Day #2,779: ‘Doors of Heaven’ – Lucinda Williams

lucinda_ghosts_highway_20Track six on Lucinda Williams’ The Ghosts of Highway 20 is another lyrical downer. But according to Tom Overby, Williams’ husband and manager, it’s a “groovy little blues jam.”

Overby has posted lengthy write-ups of every song on the album to Williams’ Facebook page over the past few weeks, offering insight into the recording process and origin of each. I wish every artist would do that.

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Song of the Day #2,776: ‘Death Came’ – Lucinda Williams

lucinda_ghosts_highway_20Lucinda Williams follows up the rather sweet ‘Place in My Heart’ with ‘Death Came,’ a decidedly less optimistic tune. While the former song was about always being there for a loved one in need, this one is about dealing with a painful loss.

The music on this track is appropriately haunting. The first five tracks of The Ghosts of Highway 20 are all just beautiful musically. These aren’t the catchiest tunes Williams has ever written — she hasn’t been interested in penning the next ‘Passionate Kisses’ for awhile now — but they are among the prettiest.

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