On her second consecutive night of shows at Portland’s Aladdin Theater, American rock, folk and blues-singer Lucinda Williams set the house a-fire with a splendid assortment of songs from her illustrious career.
Opening with “Can’t Let Go,” she got numerous fans on their feet to dance and things didn’t slow down much from there.
Great concerts get momentum started early, and Williams wasted no time pulling out fan-favorites like her 1998 “Car Wheels” and “2 Kool 2 be 4-Gotten.” Like many famous musicians, Williams has faced her share of problems in the music business – including financial shenanigans via a formerly trusted aid she wrote about in “Big Mess.” From the new album, she performed the song Monday night.
Other tracks sprinkled throughout the performance: the melancholic “When I Look at the World” – a stellar crowd-favorite – and “Protection,” boasting a simmering, rollicking jam session made exceptionally so by The Wallflower’s guitarist Stuart Mathis. Have a listen:
About Lucinda Williams
Williams’ newest “Down Where the Spirit Meets the Bone,” a double-album, was released last year. From these dozen well-crafted tracks, don’t miss her simmering, no-nonsense “Everything But The Truth,” “Foolishness,” and her wistfully-wise “When I Look At The World.”
She’s performed boatloads of guest appearances with other artists, including Nanci Griffith, Bruce Cockburn, Willie Nelson, Ray Davies, John Prine and Amos Lee. Over the years, Williams has received 3 Grammy awards from 15 nominations.
“Down Where the Spirit Meets the Bone” is highly recommended. and was released on Williams’ own “Highway 20” Record label.
…and the Aladdin Theater
The Aladdin Theater was originally Geller’s Theatre when it opened in 1928, becoming the Aladdin in 1930. It was purchased and renovated by Paul Shuback of Shuback’s violin shop in the early 1980’s, and in late 1993 began hosting concerts.
The list of artists who have graced the stage at the Aladdin reads like a who’s who from all genres of music, and it remains one of Portland’s favorite music venues.
Any minor quibbles? Not really, just a tidbit of advice: good eateries in the neighborhood are scarce, so if you’re planning to dine at The Aladdin’s The Lamp, arrive plenty early. Also, while the song Lake Charles remains a personal favorite of this reviewer, perhaps we’ll have to wait ’till next time this rock music legend rolls through Portland to revisit that gem.