Escape from Nashville

After languishing on Music Row, Kelly Willis pulls up roots and moves to alt-country

In 1988 Lucinda Williams rooted her most hopeful song, "Passionate Kisses," in a similar sentiment, if a more modest list of demands: "food to fill me up, warm clothes, and all that stuff/Shouldn't I have this/Shouldn't I have this/Shouldn't I have this." The difference between the two singers is belief: Williams's voice, which today sounds just a tad self-righteous, knows what it wants and it knows how to get it. Willis's intensity comes from a career spent nearly getting what you want but knowing somebody owes you something more.

 

What you talkin' 'bout, Willis? Kelly Willis goes beyond alt-country's No Depression to sing about the merits of feeling good
What you talkin' 'bout, Willis? Kelly Willis goes beyond alt-country's No Depression to sing about the merits of feeling good

Kelly Willis plays 9 p.m. at Lee's Liquor Lounge, 101 Glenwood Ave. N., Mpls., (612) 338-9491.

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