- Personnel: Lucinda Williams (vocals, acoustic guitar); Greg Leisz (electric guitar, 12-string guitar, pedal steel guitar); Val McCallum (electric guitar, slide guitar, National guitar); Rami Jaffee (accordion, piano); David Sutton (upright bass, electric bass); Butch Norton (drums, percussion).
- Audio Mixer: Bob Clearmountain.
- Recording information: Capitol studios, Los Angeles, CA.
- Photographer: James Minchin III.
- Blessed is Lucinda Williams' tenth studio offering. The album was produced by Don Was with co-production from Eric Liljestrand and Tom Overby; the latter pair produced 2008's Little Honey. Like its predecessor, this one is full of guest appearances, including return cameos by Matthew Sweet, Elvis Costello (who plays a mean solo guitar on the set's fifth track "Seeing Black," written in memory of Vic Chesnutt) appears on a handful of songs, along with Rami Jaffee and Greg Leisz. The deluxe edition of the record -- both in physical (CD and LP) and digital forms -- carries a bonus disc entitled The Kitchen Tapes; the contents are the original raw demos Williams recorded while writing at her kitchen table.
Rolling Stone (p.68) - 3.5 stars out of 5 -- "Williams' wearied singing and rich guitar shadings from Greg Leisz and Elvis Costello bring out the emotionalism in an hour long set of often somber roots-rock songs."
Spin (p.85) - "BLESSED feels more like a country-blues toast to the pissed-off side of interpersonal relations, set to coproducer Don Was' sturdy barroom roots rock."
Entertainment Weekly (p.75) - "[S]he delivers heartfelt laments like 'I Don't Know How You're Livin'' with an impressive candor..." -- Grade: B-
Down Beat (p.54) - 3.5 stars out of 5 -- "Over the past decade, Williams' songwriting has taken a turn toward the minimalist, and BLESSED pushes that to new levels."
Billboard (p.32) - "Williams works her way through country, soul and the hymnal ambience of the title track, handling a broad range of emotional breadth with surprisingly supple dexterity."
Record Collector (magazine) (p.99) - 4 stars out of 5 -- "Vocally, Williams has never sounded better, whether wailing against a wash of amped-up guitars on the opening 'Buttercup' or achingly testifying on the slow burn strut of 'Convince Me.'"
Uncut (magazine) (p.92) - 4 stars out of 5 -- "BLESSED is a powerful, vivid, highly emotive record. True happiness, it seems, suits her very well."