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True grit

Lucinda Williams doesn't dally in dainty images. Her songs are really poems, first and foremost, and they avoid the easy, obvious and flowery in favor of the wizened and world-weary.

Nowhere is this more apparent than on "West," Williams' latest effort -- clearly destined for a top slot on many a critic's year-end "best of" list. Williams can tell a story with a minimum of fuss. Her songs become mini-films, with the sparse, rustic and mildly grooving accompaniment offered by her killer band serving as perfect scenery for these slices of life lived and love lost.

Williams and her band come to Western New York with the songs from "West" -- and an estimable back catalog -- in tow at 8 p.m. Wednesday for a show in the University at Buffalo Center for the Arts. Tickets are $35 for the general public, $25 for students with ID. Find them at the Center for the Arts box office or through Ticketmaster.

-- Jeff Miers

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