Western Reserve Folk Arts Association

Lucinda Williams w/ special guest Erika Wennerstrom

All Ages
Monday, June 17
Doors: 6:30pm
Lucinda Williams
Lucinda Williams’ music has gotten her through her darkest days. It’s been that way since growing up amid family chaos in the Deep South, as she recounts in her candid new memoir, Don’t Tell Anybody the Secrets I told You. Over the past two years, it’s been the force driving her recovery from a debilitating stroke she suffered on November 17, 2020, at age 67. Her masterful, multi-Grammy-winning songwriting has never deserted her. To wit, her stunning, sixteenth studio album, Stories from a Rock n Roll Heart, brims over with some of the best work of her career. And though Williams can no longer play her beloved guitar – a constant companion since age 12 – her distinctive vocals sound better than ever.

Erika Wennerstrom 
No salve soothes quite like music does. Like the ultimate balm, it releases tension and stress and reinvigorates the spirit. With a warm patchwork of rock ‘n’ roll, psychedelia, folk, alternative, and blues, Heartless Bastards unlock healing and catharsis within their music. Whether in the studio or on stage, the Austin-based band fronted by vocalist, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and producer Erika Wennerstrom calm as they captivate fans worldwide.

“Music is medicine,” observes Erika. “It gives me a sense of purpose beyond just creating art. The idea someone might find comfort in it or it can actually help another person is incredible to me. I don’t know if I ever thought about it in those terms when I was younger. I’ve realized it over the years though.”
At the turn-of-the-century, Erika founded Heartless Bastards in Cincinnati, OH. Inspired by the likes of Joan Jett, Bob Dylan, Tom Petty, and more, she cut early demos in 2003, performing the bulk of the instruments herself. A bartending gig inspired the name Heartless Bastards. The bar’s touch screen game posed the question, “What is Tom Petty’s backing band?” and offered “The Heartless Bastards” as an answer option, so she accepted this humorous twist of fate and adopted it as her band’s moniker.
 The band initially came to life with Stairs and Elevators in 2005, building a discography of fan favorites highlighted by All This Time [2006], The Mountain [2009], and the seminal Arrow [2012]. The latter captured #2 on the Billboard Top Independent Albums Chart, went Top 10 on the Tastemaker Albums Chart, and even cracked the Top 200. “Only For You” notably amassed north of 42.6 million Spotify streams and 17.2 million YouTube views.

Meanwhile, 2021’s A Beautiful Life arrived to widespread praise from Uncut, Glide, and Classic Rock with Pitchfork going as far as to claim, The band shared the stage with The Flaming Lips, The Decemberists, Wolfmother, Lucinda Williams, and The Avett Brothers, they lit up festivals a la Bonnaroo, Lollapalooza, Austin City Limits, Newport Folk Festival, High Sierra Music Festival, and more. 

 In 2022, they celebrate the 10th anniversary of Arrow with a special limited-edition re-release on vinyl, new acoustic recordings, and the addition of the previously unavailable “Got to Have Rock and Roll,” “Parted Ways,” and “Bye Bye Baby Blues”

Heartless Bastards might just be able to heal what ails you. “Ultimately, I hope people enjoy themselves when they’re listening to our records or seeing us live,” she leaves off. “Playing shows really brings me a lot of joy. I hope the connection translates. I’m ready to tour a lot and release more music.”