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Woodland Park Zoo
Maybe three years ago, when Doug Pettibone was still the lead guitarist>"/>
Lucinda Williams, with Jesse Sykes & Phil Wandscher
Maybe three years ago, when Doug Pettibone was still the lead guitarist in Lucinda Williams' band, Duane Allman and Jerry Garcia went on an overnight drunk in guitar-god heaven, where such behavior is encouraged, and Jimi Hendrix is the supreme deity. Although he's from Georgia, Allman wanted to drink in an atmosphere reminiscent of Durham, North Carolina, so--poof!--Jimi made it so.
After splitting a jug of homemade whiskey, Jerry and Duane stumbled upon a fountain on the Duke University campus, where they elected to relieve themselves. Given that they'd just consumed a jug of whiskey, their aim was a little off. Inadvertently, they crossed streams, and a spritz of the golden gods' golden shower was sent tumbling toward earth in the direction of Venice, California. Ultimately, it fell on the shoulder of one Blake Mills, who assumed it was a drop of rain. In fact, it was destiny.
Mills, not Pettibone, is currently Williams' guitarist. Along with the affable drummer Butch Norton and a bassist whose name escapes me (bassists' names typically escape me), they played to a sold-out crowd at the Woodland Park Zoo last night, after a haunting opening set from Jesse Sykes and the fine Seattle guitarist Phil Wandscher (late of Whiskeytown).
Looking vaguely like Luke Wilson and dressed in a Wayne Coyne white suit so tight that it made the silhouette of his mahood visible from the beer garden, Mills was positioned to Williams' left. So nimble were his fingers that whenever there was even a fraction of free space between prescribed melodies, Mills would noodle out spontaneous riffs from Steve Miller, Led Zeppelin, the Rolling Stones, and Black Sabbath. His power chords and slide were reminiscent of Duane, while his plucking--tickling, really--was pure Jerry.
Williams managed to pack about 20 tracks into her hour-and-a-half set, and thanked the many mothers in the audience for dragging their daughters to the Zoo when they had the option of trekking to Tacoma for last night's Britney Spears show instead. To the delight of many, Williams' set drew heavily from Car Wheels, with only a pair of songs off her new album, Blessed, making the cut.
Following is a fairly thorough, non-sequential listing of tracks in which a few song titles are sure to be slightly inaccurate, but close enough, with thanks in advance for your understanding and forgiveness:
Can't Let Go
Car Whels on a Gravel Road
Right in Time
2 Kool 2 Be Forgotten
I Lost It
Changed the Locks
Real Live Bleeding Fingers & Broken Guitar Strings
Still I Long for Your Kiss
Born to Be Loved
Get Right With God