first time i ever met victoria williams

was in the 80s when she was married to fomer Plimsole, Peter Case. They both would end up with killer debut solo records on Geffen back then, and one of my friends was friends of theirs – Case actually produced their debut recrod – and i ended up at their house where a hootenanny broke out and i got to play the snare drum as they all sang 60s songs.

one of the best moments of my life.

later that week victoria took the tiny stage at McCabe’s guitar shop in santa monica with an old lady’s purse full of harmonicas, her friends were there, her dog was there, los lobos was there in the back row with me. these were the days of Lone Justice, the Rave Ups, and the Balancing Act – local LA bands that had what people might call a roots-music feel, a country twang, an Americana folky touch to them, but not the slightest bit hokey, where a harmonica and an acoustic guitar and a mandolin were always nearby.

decades before T-Bone Burnett won his grammy for “O Brother,” Victoria and the aforementioned were strumming their six strings.

Victoria sang all of her sweet little tunes that night at McCabes like “Shoes,” “Lights,” and “TC,” and as she has made it from one undeserving record label to the next she has left a trail of wonderful songs of love, friendship and Faith. shes a great song writer and singer and person and personality, and all her records are glorious little gems of joy, especially her newest one and even her live one.

you might have only heard about her when in ’92 she was diagnosed with MS and some big time musicians (Pearl Jam, Lucinda Williams, Maria McKee, Soul Asylum, the Jayhawks, Lou Reed) sang her songs on the first Sweet Relief album. the love cured her and she recovered quickly.

she even survived Microsoft using her version of Louis Armstrong’s “Wonderful World” when they wanted to launch Windows 95. her awkwardly beautiful voice is startlingly perfect for the song, most agree.

tonight she plays at the Derby here in LA.