Williams tackles problems on "Good Souls Better Angels"

Tuesday, February 4, 2020 – Lucinda Williams announced today she would release "Good Souls Better Angels" (Highway 20/Thirty Tigers) on April 24.

The disc reunites her with producer Ray Kennedy, who last worked with Williams on her 1998 landmark album "Car Wheels On A Gravel Road."

Williams tackles human, social and political issues on the new release. "Because of all this crap that's going on, it's on the top of everybody's minds - it's all anybody talks about: Basically, the world's falling apart - it's like the apocalypse. That's where that Old Testament stuff comes from. It's different from my other albums in that there aren't the story songs about my childhood and all. It feels exciting."

In 2014 and 2015, Williams released two double albums back to back with "Down Where The Spirit Meets The Bone" and "The Ghosts Of Highway 20." She experimented with arrangements, vocals, song structure and personal subject matter on both releases.

On "Good Souls Better Angels," Williams abandons the personal and narrative-based songcraft and speaks to some of the injustices permeating our society, including domestic abuse ("Wakin' Up"), the constant barrage of news ("Bad News Blues"), the negative aspects of social media ("Shadows & Doubts) and the haunting reality of the "Man Without A Soul."

Williams was backed by her band, featuring Butch Norton (drums), Stuart Mathis (guitar) and David Sutton (bass).

The release marked the first time Williams' husband/manager Tom Overby is credited as a co-writer on many of the new songs. The album was co-produced by Williams, Overby and Kennedy. They cut most of the songs in two or three takes.

"It just happened organically," said Williams. "Tom and I started working on songs together and he came up with some of the ideas. He gave me lines that he'd written and I took it from there. I love it because it expands things. 'Man Without a Soul' was his idea, and he came up with 'Big Black Train,' about that big black cloud of depression. When I listen to that track, it makes me cry."

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Good Souls Better Angels CD review - Good Souls Better Angels
"You can't rule me," Lucinda Williams declares on the song of the same name, the defiant lead-off song on her blistering new album "Good Souls Better Angels," her most archly determined effort yet. That says a lot, given the fact that Williams has practically defined the very notion of an insurgent artist since the very beginning. Her swagger and sway often brings to mind a drunken sailor who staggers unsteadily down the street, spitting piss and vinegar at random passerbys. »»»
The Ghosts of Highway 20 CD review - The Ghosts of Highway 20
As impressive as her last album "Down Where The Spirit Meets The Bone" was, this much is true about Lucinda Williams: the next album will be as stellar or even more. That's not to say any of her releases are subpar, but the quality (and now consistency) of her output makes her a precious gem. And this record, an album inspired and influenced by I-20, a winding piece of pavement that cuts throughout her home state of Louisiana, is the usual extraordinary affair you'd expect. »»»
Down Where The Spirit Meets The Bone CD review - Down Where The Spirit Meets The Bone
There's little left to be said when it comes the link between quality songs and Lucinda Williams. From her early days to her commercial breakthrough with 1998's "Car Wheels On A Gravel Road," Williams has always created her own heartfelt nuggets that can be equally haunting and rocking. And this newest release is perhaps her most ambitious effort to date, a 2-disc, 20-track album, starting with the barren "Compassion" that recalls some precious combination of Linda »»»