Lucinda Williams is the latest headliner announced for Vancouver Island MusicFest in July. Photo by David McClister

Grammy-winner Lucinda Williams to play MusicFest in Comox Valley

Singer-songwriter has been on artistic director Doug Cox’s wish list for years

Lucinda Williams is one of the best singer-songwriters in the business, and this July she’ll be taking the mainstage at Vancouver Island MusicFest.

Artistic director Doug Cox has officially announced the three-time Grammy winner will headline the Saturday night of the festival.

For Cox, this announcement has been a long time coming, as he has been trying to lure Williams to the festival for years. He compares this addition to the lineup with other appearances by greats such as Bonnie Raitt, John Prine, Emmylou Harris or Ry Cooder. He saw her perform with an all-star lineup in Nashville, and he’s thrilled she’ll be playing this year’s festival in the Comox Valley.

“She’s someone I’ve been trying to get every year for 20 years,” he told the Record. “It’s happening this year, so I’m really thrilled about that…. She is bringing her band with her too.”

Williams’s first record, Ramblin’, was released in 1979, but her fame grew after she won a Grammy as a songwriter for “Passionate Kisses,” when it was covered by country singer Mary Chapin Carpenter.

However, her real break-out did not come until the 1998 album, Car Wheels on a Gravel Road. The record garnered a Grammy for best folk album.

It also won the venerable Village Voice Pazz & Jop Poll as best record from 1998, and was picked by Rolling Stone in 2003 for its list of the 500 greatest albums of all time.

“That record is iconic, for sure,” Cox said.

If the record is still considered her masterpiece, her subsequent releases did not show any decline as she followed up with records like Essence and Down Where the Spirit Meets the Bone. Meanwhile, award nominations from the Grammy Awards and the Americana Music Association Awards continued to roll in.

“She’s also a great guitar player,” added Cox. “She kind of created a vocal style that a lot of people copied.”

Her work mixes country, folk, rock and blues into what is her own take on Americana, and her songs have been covered by a diverse range of artists, including Tom Petty, Harris, Ann Wilson, k.d. lang, Bettye LaVette, the Lemonheads, John Mellencamp, Ane Brun, Patty Loveless and Willie Nelson.

Paste Magazine, which has focused heavily on singer-songwriters, also picked Williams for a special issue in 2006 of the best then-living songwriters.

She was chosen number 22, right behind Van Morrison and Lou Reed, and just ahead of the team of Elton John and Bernie Taupin, and Wilco’s Jeff Tweedy.

One change for Williams and other headliners this year, Cox says, is the evening shows will end a little earlier than in past years. The final sets should finish by midnight on both Friday and Saturday, and a little earlier than that on Sunday.

“We got a lot of comments from folks that we’re just running too late,” he said.

RELATED STORY: Corb Lund to play Vancouver Island MusicFest in 2020

The festival made its first big announcement in December, with Alberta alt-country singer-songwriter Corb Lund named to the lineup.

For more information on festival performers and ticket information, see www.islandmusicfest.com.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Comments are closed

Just Posted

Editorial: Alternative approval process is not the enemy

Not everything should go to a referendum.

Provincial success stands out at Cowichan Secondary awards

Wrestling, basketball and field hockey teams earn recognition in shortened year

One piper piping during the pandemic

Tribute to health care workers reaches the 100th performance

The pandemic is widening Canada’s workplace gender gap

Gender pay gap is incentivizing fathers to work while mothers watch children, a new B.C. study has found

Ex-Okanagan Mountie forfeits 20 days’ pay after sexual misconduct review

A former Vernon RCMP constable made sexual comments, grabbed genitals of male officer in two incidents 10 years ago

Man found dead on Okanagan trail identified as Hollywood actor

GoFundMe campaign launched for man found dead at summit of Spion Kop

3 people dead in Prince George motel fire

Fire personnel believe the blaze was suspicious although investigation in early stages

B.C. sets terms to review police, mental health, race relations

MLAs to recommend Police Act changes by May 2021

Feds announce $8.3M to deal with ‘ghost’ fishing gear in B.C. waters

Ghost gear accounts for up to 70 per cent of all macro-plastics in the ocean by weight

Almost 99% less land in B.C. burned this year compared to 2018

2018 was the worst year on record for wildfires

B.C. orders Coastal GasLink to stop pipeline construction near protected wetlands

The 670-kilometre pipeline is planned to transport natural gas from northeast B.C. to Kitimat

Most Read