Have compassion: A Lucida Williams playlist (Friday Gold #2)

This week I had the pleasure of seeing Lucinda Williams in concert.

Lucinda is a masterful songwriter, telling stories that are deeply personal and weaving in details that help the listener live the song along with her.

Sittin’ in the kitchen, a house in Macon
Loretta’s singing on the radio
Smell of coffee, eggs and bacon
Car wheels on a gravel road.

At the show the other night Lucinda apologized for the fact that “even the upbeat numbers feel forlorn.” She’s not wrong, there is a sadness and a longing that runs through each of her songs. But I think that’s one of the things that makes them great, not something to apologize for.

In concert, Lucinda and her band change up the setlist each night—something I appreciate as a listener even if I only go to one show on the tour. Each night is unique, not just the same show in a different town. During a concert you’ll often notice her whispering a song change to the band, altering the flow of the evening on the fly. This approach brings an element of surprise and delight to each show, for both the audience and the band.

If you haven’t had a chance to see Lucinda, get a ticket next time she comes near you. In the meantime, here are 10 songs that will make your Friday even better than it already is.

1. Protection

2. Fruits of My Labor

3. 2 Kool 2 Be 4-gotten 

4. Compassion 

5. Car Wheels On A Gravel Road

6. Something About What Happens When We Talk

7. Blessed

8. Get Right With God

9. Can’t Close the Door On Love

10. Everything But The Truth

Inauguration 2017: A purple playlist

Music has power. It can enhance a celebration, help us focus on a task, pace us during exercise, calm us when we’re anxious or angry, and soothe us in times of grief.

People of every culture, race and creed have a tie to music. Yes, different groups tend to enjoy different types of music. But the power of song itself transcends our racial, religious and social differences.

Today, we’re inaugurating this blog, which will humbly offer a playlist and some thoughts about music every Friday.

There’s another, more noteworthy, inauguration taking place today as well—that of the 45th President of the United States.

Whether your ideology lies with the outgoing administration, the incoming one or somewhere else entirely, today is definitely a day for music.

Music to help soothe grief or anger at the outcome of the election.

Music to help celebrate electoral victory and the promise of political change.

Music to calm our spirits in the face of uncertainty.

Music to motivate us to take action and be more involved in our country and our communities—whatever we believe.

Music to (maybe) remind us of some of the things we all have in common.

In that spirit, here’s a playlist of songs for all of us today.

1. Changes – David Bowie

2. This Land is Your Land – Sharon Jones

3. City of New Orleans – Willie Nelson

4. What’s Happening Brother – Marvin Gaye

5. My shot – The Roots, Busta Rhymes, Joell Ortiz and Nate Reuss

6. Black, Brown and Beige Pt. 4 (aka Come Sunday) – Duke Ellington and Mahalia Jackson

7. America – Waylon Jennings

8. Chimes of Freedom – The Byrds

9. Graceland – Paul Simon

10. Friendship Train – Gladys Knight and the Pips