Woody Guthrie once said, "It's a folk singer's job to comfort disturbed people and to disturb comfortable people." James McMurtry gives that job description a whole new meaning.
She's 11 albums and 32 years into a career built on the things country and blues are made of: personal heartache, loss, betrayal. With the release of Blessed on March 1, 2011, country and blues singer-songwriter Lucinda Williams remains shroud in solemnity, but the inspiration behind the 3-time Grammy winner's songwriting no longer comes exclusively from within.
Lucinda Williams' Blessed has felt strangely familiar to my ears, though I've just begun to dive into her newest release. This familiarity likely stems from instrumentation. The blend of blues and country are easy to absorb. They carry along a sense of comforting nostalgia for me.
After beginning in Texas, multi-instrumentalist and singer-songwriter Ben Kweller has been touring almost non-stop and penning an array of songs that rely on his white-hot wit, sharp human insight and willingness to experiment.
British singer-songwriter, Bobby Long, weaves a down-home, acoustic sound with a thick, husky voice and guitar dexterity.
With dramatic lyrics and soul-bearing vocals, Langhorne Slim delivers a homemade and down-home sound undefinable by one genre.
The skateboarding, body-inking, harmonica-wielding, honky-tonking songwriter known as Rev. Matt is doing his part to keep the spirit of acoustic outlaw country alive in St. Louis.