Tuesday, May 4, 2021
– Lucinda Williams suffered a stroke just before Thanksgiving 2020, but is recovering and looks to hit the stage again this summer, she said in an interview with Rolling Stone.
Lucinda Williams was in the bathroom of her Nashville home about to shower when she began to have trouble maintaining her balance. Williams stumbled and couldn't stand up straight or walk.
By happenstance, Williams' husband, Tom Overby, was on the phone at that very moment with their primary care doctor. Overby was told to get Williams to the hospital.
"An ambulance came and got me, and we told them not to put the big siren on. We didn't want to alarm the neighbors or anything," Williams told Rolling Stone. "But they put the siren on."
Williams went to Vanderbilt Medical Center, spending a week in the intensive care unit. She had a blood clot onn the right side of her brain, which affected the left side of her body.
Williams went to a rehabilitation center at Vanderbilt for a month-log therapy treatment. On Dec. 21, she went back home.
Williams, now 68, walks with a can, has continuing pain in her left arm and leg and can't play guitar. She suffered no brain damage or speech issues.
"What happens is your brain gets all... the wires get all crossed and you have to retrain your brain basically, to tell your arm to do whatever it is you're trying to do," Williams said. "So that's the biggest challenge."
"It feels like we're in somebody else's house," she said. "I do, like, walking, with the cane and they watch me and see how well I'm doing. And then I have to do hand and arm exercises. It's really about regaining my strength and mobility, and range of motion. That's what they work with me on."
Williams did not tell people until after she was recovering. She was slated to perform at this past weekend's Mile O Festival in Key West, Fla., but canceled in late April.
The singer expects to hit the stage soon. "I feel good and positive about playing again. We've got some shows scheduled with Jason Isbell for late July and we're planning on doing those," Williams said. "I don't know if I'll stand up and sing or I'll sit down like an old blues person. But we'll figure it out."
Williams has been in the recording studio. She went to producer Ray Kennedy's studio to sing on a project for Chrissie Hynde. "It's actually the Rolling Stones song 'Sway,'" Williams said. "She wanted me to try singing and we went in the studio and I did a vocal. That felt good."
"The main thing is I can still sing. I'm singing my ass off, so that hasn't been affected," Williams said. "Can't keep me down for too long."
Williams' most recent release was "Good Souls Better Angels," which resulted in two Grammy nominations. During the pandemic, she did a livestream series, Lu's Jukebox.