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For much of the ’90s, Lucinda Williams moved around the country, turning out work that won immense respect inside the industry, as borne out by the Grammy-afforded Mary Chapin Carpenter’s interpretation of Williams’s “Passionate Kisses.” While her recorded output was sparse for a time, the work that did reach audiences was invariably hailed for its indelible impressionism, like 1998’s Car Wheels on a Gravel Road, which notched her a second Grammy Award. Over the next decade, she crafted such classic sets as West (2007), and Blessed (2011), which the Los Angeles Times dubbed “a dynamic, human album, one that’s easy to fall in love with.”
We’ve all heard about the iconic vibe of Route 66, the neon lights on Broadway, and the ocean air of the Pacific Coast Highway. But there are untold stories emanating from countless blue highways across the land, like Interstate 20, which cuts a 1,500-mile swath from South Carolina to Texas, and cuts deep into the spirit of those who’ve spent their lives traversing it.
Lucinda Williams is one of those people, and with the expansive, enveloping The Ghosts of Highway 20, she brings those stories to life, and gives listeners a remarkably vivid look at how the highway has been a literal and figurative backdrop throughout her entire life. The intensely involving 14-song collection may be the most deeply felt, deeply affecting work of Lucinda Williams’s illustrious 35-plus-year career, a career that has been established on a foundation of remarkably personal songs.
Listen to Lucinda Williams perform "Dust":