Live at the Fillmore (Lost Highway)
Reviewed by Jim Caligiuri, Fri., May 13, 2005
Live @ the Fillmore (Lost Highway)
For those who remember the six-year wait between albums in the Nineties, a live album by Lucinda Williams is a significant surprise. She's apparently over her perfectionist phase as Live at the Fillmore captures her with blemishes intact, screeching vocals and all. In fact, one has to wonder what the point of this release is. A 2-CD set recorded during 2004's World Without Tears tour, it also relies heavily on material from Essence, Tears' predecessor. The best live albums offer new insight into an artist and their music, but Fillmore does little of either. Songs such as "Ventura" and "Atonement" are given treatment best described as rote. For spice there's renditions of old faves "Pineola" and "Changed the Locks," but Williams seems disinterested in bringing her earlier material into the present, seemingly happy to get them out of the way. "Joy" finds her band, guitarist Doug Pettibone, drummer Jim Christie, and bassist Taras Prodaniuk stretching out a bit, but those who have either of Williams' last two discs will want to pass on this.