Lucinda Williams isn’t slowing down anytime soon. After releasing a double album in September of 2014 called Down Where the Spirit Meets the Bone, and walking away with the Americana Music Awards’ Album of the Year, the legendary alt-country Americana songwriter has been back at work and is ready to release a new record called Ghosts of Highway 20 on February 5th, 2016.
Highway 20, aka Interstate 20, which runs along the southern part of the United States starting in South Carolina and ending in West Texas, has been referenced by Lucinda Williams before. The name of her Thirty Tigers personalized label is “Highway 20 Records,” and Lucinda has been performing a new song called “Ghosts of Highway 20” in concert recently.
The album is said to be different than anything Lucinda has recorded before from the cohesive theme running through the songs. 12 of the 14 tracks on Ghosts of Highway 20 are inspired by events or other personal links to the interstate that runs through Lucinda’s home state of Louisiana. However it’s not an album about geography, but about the people that reside along the interstate, and the stories they hold. It also includes a a new interpretation of Bruce Springsteen’s “Factory,” and a “lost” Woody Guthrie song Lucinda wrote the music to.
The album is also said to include “some of the most expansive and experimental arrangements Williams has ever recorded.” The release was produced by Lucinda Williams, with help from Tom Overby, and steel guitarist Greg Leisz. Along with Greg Leisz, other contributing musicians include guitarists Bill Frisell, Val McCallum, and Williams’ rhythm section of Butch Norton (drums) and David Sutton (bass).
Lucinda explains more in the below video taken at a songwriter round at the Country Music Hall of Fame.