Lucinda Williams – Essence


In stock

SKU: 00881701972 Categories: , , Tag:


Release Date: 2001

Label: Lost Highway


Track List

  1. Lonely Girls
  2. Steal Your Love
  3. I Envy The Wind
  4. Blue
  5. Out Of Touch
  6. Are You Down
  7. Essence
  8. Reason To Cry
  9. Get Right With God
  10. Bus To baton Rouge
  11. Broken Butterflies



  • Lucinda Williams – vocals, guitar
  • Charlie Sexton – guitars, drums
  • Bo Ramsey – guitars
  • Tony Garnier – bass
  • Jim Keltner – drums, percussion
  • Reese Wynans – organ
  • David Mansfield – violin, viola
  • Ryan Adams – guitar
  • Jim Lauderdale – backing vocals
  • Gary Louris – backing vocals
  • Joy Lynn White – backing vocals



Between her well-documented determination to retail full control of her music and the plain-spoken willfulness of her best-known songs, Lucinda Williams is practically the working definition of a strong woman you do not want to mess with, but she reveals a very different side of her musical personality on her sixth album, Essence. Subtle and often stark, Essence is an unusually quiet and frequently downbeat set that depicts a fragile emotional vulnerability which rarely makes its presence felt in Williams’ music; there’s an unadorned longing in songs like “Blue” and “Lonely Girls” that’s new and deeply affecting, and the leaf-in-the-breeze quaver of Williams’ voice on “I Envy the Wind” is as heart-rending as anything she’s ever committed to tape. But while a blue mood dominates Essence, this isn’t an album about the blue funk of heartbreak, but a chronicle of the search for transcendence over sorrow in our lives, as her characters look for a path out of isolation (“Out of Touch”), try to find answers through faith (“Get Right With God”), or reconcile love with the desires of the flesh (“Essence”). As a songwriter, Williams has long shown a knack for charting the human heart and mind with intelligence and economy, and Essence finds her at the peak of her form; the delicacy of this music does not speak of weakness, but of the passion and bravery it takes to bare one’s soul. And while Williams has gained a certain infamy for her obsessive perfectionism in the studio, the quality of her work speaks for the wisdom of her decision-making process, and Essence proves how well she understands the art of recording; producing in collaboration with Charlie Sexton (Tom Tucker and Bo Ramsey also contributed), Essence sounds full and rich even in its quietest moments, and her sweet-and-sour voice blends with the arrangements with subtle perfection. Those hoping for another dose of the bluesy roots rock of Car Wheels on a Gravel Road may be disappointed, but if you want to take a deep and compelling look into the heart and soul of a major artist, then you owe it to yourself to hear Essence.

You may also like…

Louisiana Music Factory - Newsletter
Stay up to date with latest news and concert information, latest sale items available only to newsletter subscribers, and more!
* indicates required