Lu in '08
When Lucinda Williams fans pick up the Louisiana native’s 10th LP Little Honey on Oct. 14, they might be surprised by the closing track, a cover of AC/DC’s “It’s a Long Way To the Top (If You Wanna Rock N’ Roll).” But the bigger surprise might come two weeks later on the digital-only EP of protest songs Lu in ’08—a live cover of Thievery Corporation’s collaboration with The Flaming Lips, “March of the Hate Machine (Into the Sun)."
Along with covers of Bob Dylan’s “Masters of War” and Buffalo Springfield’s “For What It’s Worth,” she also recorded a live version of a new song she’s written called “Bone of Contention.” “That’s a pretty angry one,” Williams says from her home in Studio City, Calif. “I recorded it in the studio, but I decided I didn’t want to put it on [Little Honey]. I didn’t quite like the version we recorded. But we were playing at Summerfest, and I went out for the encore and just blasted out an acoustic version of it. It really went over well, so we captured it on tape.”
Protest songs don’t come naturally for Williams, who appeared at #22 on Paste
’s list of the 100 Best Living Songwriters
. “I’ve found protest songs or topical songs to be the most challenging types of songs for me,” she says. “I find myself having a hard time not sounding either to in-your-face angry or too sugar-coated sappy, like ‘OK, everybody get together.’ It’s just so hard to do.”
Judging by the chorus she sang over the phone, she definitely didn’t err on the side of sappy. “It’s kind of written in a bluesy, almost like a ZZ-Top-ish or a Tony Jo White swampy bluesy thing,” she says. “I’m really concerned about this upcoming election. Actually, I’m just terrified about the possibility of a McCain/Palin victory.”