Chart topping U.S. country star Jo Dee Messina has postponed her April-May tour of Australia - because of a family illness.

But roots country peer Lucinda Williams is likely to still tour here in April despite her mother dying on Sunday March 7.

Lucinda Williams

Williams, 51, cancelled her American tour including a prestige gig at the mother church - the Ryman Auditorium - on Tuesday March 9 with the Bottle Rockets.
She also cancelled a concert in Charlotte, South Carolina, just 20 minutes before show time on the Sabbath.

Other gigs cancelled included Columbus. Ohio, and Kansas City and St Louis in Missouri where she was touring to promote her seventh album World Without Tears.

Lucille Morgan- long separated from her Professor and poet husband Miller - died at the age of 73 in Fayetteville, Arkansas, after a long illness.

Lucinda grew up reading her father's poetry and listening to her mother playing piano.


Lucille was a music major at Louisiana State University and introduced Lucinda to many forms of music - especially folk songs.

Lucinda inherited not only musical talent from her mother, but also her personality and spirit.

"Just having the piano there as an outlet had a major impact on me," Lucinda says. "I got the music from my mother and the words from my dad. I got the best of both worlds. I grew up in an interesting household."

Williams was born in Lake Charles, Louisiana, and spent her childhood in places as far flung as Mexico, Chile and Vicksburg, Mississippi where her father taught.

Miller, who got custody after his divorce, moved the family to New York, New Orleans, Atlanta, San Diego, Chile and Mexico City.

Their transient lifestyle gave Lucinda a broad canvas for her writing, and that's reflected in the strong sense of place in her songs.

"There was family tradition and a politically liberal environment, a fairly feminist kind of upbringing. I wasn't brought up to get married and have babies, I was brought up to pick a career. My mom didn't pursue music professionally, but it's a combination of them both.

There was a lot of interchange and discussion. Sexuality was talked about in an open, healthy way. Certainly it came from my stepmother too. She was younger and brought in a different dynamic."


World Without Tears was released on her father Miller's 73rd birthday.

Miller, a highly regarded author, editor and translator, has written 12 volumes of poetry. Williams read one of his most famous poems Of History and Hope at former President Clinton's second inauguration.

Williams' latest book is his first collection of fiction, The Lives of Kelvin Fletcher: Stories Mostly Short (University of Georgia Press.)

Lucinda earned respect of her mentor, most trusted critic, and confidant - her father who has been reading and editing her words since she was a teenager.

Williams started playing guitar at age 12, and when she was a teenager, her father gave her a reading list of 100 great books.

"My dad was my mentor," Williams said. "He still is. I still send him my work, which some people are surprised by, but they don't understand that in the poetry world, that's considered a normal thing. You send your work to someone, then you talk on the phone about it, and that's how you learn. The writing world is just so different from the music world."

This time, for the first time, her pages of lyrics came back in the mail untouched.
"I called him and said `Dad, don't you have any comments or changes?' He said `No.' I said `Nothing?' He said `This is the closest to poetry you've ever done.' I said, `Does that mean I've graduated?' He said `Yeah.' And that was a big, big deal.''


As an adult, Lucinda studied her craft in bars of New Orleans, Austin, Houston, Nashville and Los Angeles, where she lived in the eighties during a brief marriage to Long Ryders drummer Greg Sowders.

That relationship and others inspired her songs that have been covered by 45 artists and appeared in 13 movies.

She wrote Drunken Angel about the late Blaze Foley, Lines Around Your Eyes about a former bassist, Pineola about a suicidal poet, and Reason To Cry and Broken Butterflies and about former producer and soul mate Gurf Morlix.

CLICK HERE for tour dates.


Lucinda Williams - guitar/vocals
Doug Pettibone - guitar
Taras Prodaniuk - bass
Jim Christi - drums


Texan troubadour Steve Earle fronts a four piece band on his fourth
Australian tour with long time bassist Kelley Looney.
Also in the band is acclaimed guitarist, producer and recording artist
Eric John Ambel and drummer Bill Rigby.
Steve Earle - guitar/vocals
Kelley Looney - bass
Bill Rigby - drums
Eric John Ambel - guitar/backing vocals


Jo Dee Messina

Boston born belle Jo Dee Messina is the second jinx for Sydney promoter Rob Potts.

The grandmother of Canadian chanteuse Terri Clark died during her recent Australian tour.

Now Potts latest touring artist Messina, 33, has postponed her Aussie sojourn - because of a family illness.

Messina's tour included concerts at Costa Hall, Geelong, on May 1 and Goulburn Valley HQ Shepparton on Sunday May 2 to promote her Greatest Hits CD which also produced her new hit single, I Wish.

"Allied Artists regret to advise that Jo Dee Messina's upcoming Australian tour dates have had to be postponed due to family illness," publicist Rosemarie Els said.

"New tour dates are not finalised so all patrons are advised to seek a full refund from their original point of purchase.

"Promoters Rob Potts & Marius Els said they sincerely regretted any inconvenience the postponement may cause patrons. Jo Dee Messina is a fabulous performer and we know she was looking forward to coming back to Australia. Unfortunately the postponement was unavoidable and we apologise to fans for disappointing them. Patrons can receive a full refund from their original point of purchase."

CLICK HERE for a Jo Dee Messina story from the Diary on February 24.

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