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Lucinda Williams

Lu's Jukebox, Vol. 1: Runnin' Down a Dream: A Tribute to Tom Petty

Lu's Jukebox, Vol. 1: Runnin' Down a Dream: A Tribute to Tom Petty

UPC: 787790336259

Format: LP (2 disc)

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Lucinda Williams is a daughter of the American South, born in Louisiana, who is proud of her heritage while also understanding the contradictions and the baggage that come with that. Tom Petty was a native Floridian who also loved the South without harboring illusions about it, and so it makes sense that Williams would be a Petty fan, and not simply as one gifted songwriter respecting another. As part of her Lu's Jukebox series, designed to help independent music venues shut down during the COVID-19 pandemic, Williams has cut a set of her favorite Tom Petty tunes, and Runnin' Down a Dream: A Tribute to Tom Petty is long on songs about Southern life, including "Gainesville," "Down South," "Rebels," "Southern Accents," and "Louisiana Rain." It's on these songs that she seems most committed, with a sense of shared experience informing her vocals and adding depth to her delivery. That said, Williams sounds very much at home on all of the 13 songs she covers; "You Wreck Me" feels like it was written with her defiant vulnerability in mind; she brings a sweet and subtle funk to "Wildflowers," and she and her band make the most of the killer groove at the heart of "You Don't Know How It Feels." Williams recorded this material live in the studio with her road band backing her up, and that was the right approach for this music -- if the wobble in her voice is more pronounced than it once was, it works like a charm in this context, and the players find their way through the melodies with assurance, control, and joyous force. The simplicity of Runnin' Down a Dream is one of its virtues; these covers were documented with love and without overthinking the process, and hearing Williams explore the world inside Petty's songs will engage fans of either artist. ~ Mark Deming


Disc 1:
1 - Rebels
2 - Runnin' Down a Dream
3 - Gainesville
4 - Louisiana Rain
5 - I Won't Back Down
6 - Face in the Crowd
7 - Wildflowers
8 - You Wreck Me
9 - Room at the Top
Disc 2:
1 - You Don't Know How It Feels
2 - Down South
3 - Southern Accents
4 - Stolen Moments
5 - Room at the Top