Poster project produced for the United Way a few years ago. Read more →
Here’s the truth about Lucinda Williams. Before this show, I didn’t know who she was. ‘Why would you include a pop reference you had never heard of in a show about pop influence in your work?’ You say. I’m glad you asked. I had a weak spot in my show and it was music. I love music. It’s important to me and has been since I got my first tape recorder in 1983 and started recording the radio. But, I’m not a purist. I have my favorites, Bjork among them and at the top of the list and I have my history, LL Cool J is an example of where I started loving music. But, I can’t argue the history of music, who it’s greatest influences are and how some of the greatest songs ever written came to be. I CAN make these arguments with every other aspect of my show. When I explained this to Will (the owner of the space and a patron of sorts), he asked if he could contribute. And I shared my baby by taking on a consultant. At first, I got his suggestion of Lucinda Williams and thought, ‘I don’t think this is such a great idea.’ (see my point above about the importance of influence). But, then I dug into Lucinda. When I saw that she was from Lake Charles, LA I warmed to the idea. I worked with a very talented artist for 12 years who was from Lake Charles. It seemed like a good direction. Then I read her story. Wow. She is kind of the poster-child for artists, visual, performing or otherwise. She cut her first album in 1979 as a country and blues piece and it was all but ignored. Now THAT’S a feeling I could relate too. To make something you believe in and feel strongly about is the most wonderful of feelings. But, every artist learns early on to recognize that you are making something for yourself. Expecting anyone else to even care is setting yourself up for disaster. It’s been said that the opposite of love is not hate, rather indifference. So, love me, hate me… just don’t ignore me. It was 8 years before anyone would care about Lucinda Williams in a significant way. Passionate Kisses found an audience and it was eventually recorded by Mary Chapin Carpenter which led to William’s earning a Grammy in 1994. Now, THAT’S an act I wouldn’t mind following. Listening to her work exposes feelings about myself as a Texan and a country boy that I often neglect and bury behind a façade of education and worldliness that is more imagination than it is reality. The track ‘Car Wheels on a Gravel Road’. Man, it’s this simple thing that everyone’s probably heard. But when you grow up in a small town and you spend a lot of time on these roads… (heck my own street wasn’t even paved until I was nearly an adult) it’s visceral to hear a artists sing about it. So, yeah. I felt a connection. Which almost makes Lucinda William’s the most perfect addition to the show. She is a part of who I am as an artist in the sense that we walk parallel paths. At least emotionally if not in practice.