Jesse Malin Explains Lucinda Williams Collaboration On 'Sunset Kids'


You hear a lot that the music industry is a small world, and either that's true or Jesse Malin is indeed the most well-connected man in rock and roll.

Malin has a gaggle of music legends to thank for his new album, Sunset Kids: Joey Ramone, Charlie Watts, Steve Earle, Tom Petty and of course Lucinda Williams, who co-produced the album with her husband Tom Overby.

Malin tells Q104.3 New York's Out of the Box with Jonathan Clarke that he first heard Williams' voice on Earle's I Feel Alright album in 1996. Malin became a fast fan, but he never thought the two would become friends until a conversation with Ramone, in which the punk rock icon revealed that he was friendly with Williams.

"So I went out and I started seeing her play, and then in the early-2000s, I met her at the Blue Note at a Charlie Watts jazz gig," Malin says. "We just started talking and she was just this great, sweet, cool woman. I was a fan; I was really excited. But we stayed in touch over the years ... she's just down-to-Earth but really inspiring. She's very humble."

In the fall of 2017, Malin says he went to see Petty at the Hollywood Bowl — what would be Petty's last concert. Williams played for an hour as Petty & the Heartbreakers' main support and the following night, Malin, Williams and Overby went out to dinner to talk about making an album together.

"It had come up in a joint interview with Rolling Stone," Malin recalls. "It just was in the back of our heads. So I brought it up and we decided to go forward with making this record. Then Tom would pass a few days later, and that put everything on ice for a little bit."

Williams' and Overby's handiwork is evident on Sunset Kids, which finds Malin's punk rock sensibilities channeled through sublime acoustic guitars and jangly single-coil electrics. Williams and Green Day front man Billie Joe Armstrong even lend their voices to a few tracks.

Watch the full interview in the video player above.

Get more information about Sunset Kids and Jesse Malin's live dates here. Follow him on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.


Here Jesse and Derek Cruz perform "Chemical Heart" from the new album:


Here's the official music video for "Room 13," featuring Lucinda Williams from the new album, Sunset Kids:

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