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Lucinda Williams (1953)

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Lucinda Williams is an American rock, folk, blues and country music singer and songwriter. She recorded her first albums in 1978 and 1980 in a traditional country and blues style and received very little attention from radio, the media, or the public. In 1988, she released her self-titled album, Lucinda Williams. This release featured "Passionate Kisses," a song later recorded by Mary Chapin Carpenter which garnered Lucinda her first Grammy Award for Best Country Song in 1994. Known for working slowly, Lucinda recorded and released only one other album in the next several years before her greatest success came in 1998 with Car Wheels on a Gravel Road. This album presented a broader scope of songs that fused rock, blues, country, and Americana into a more distinctive style that still managed to remain consistent and commercial in sound. It went gold and earned Lucinda another Grammy while being universally acclaimed by critics. Since Car Wheels on a Gravel Road, she has released a string of albums that have also been critically acclaimed, though none have sold in the numbers of her 1998 breakthrough. She was also named "America's best songwriter" by TIME magazine in 2002.


 early life
Williams was born in Lake Charles, Louisiana, the daughter of poet and literature professor Miller Williams and an amateur pianist. Her parents divorced in the mid-1960s with Williams' father gaining custody of her and her younger brother and sister. Her father worked as a visiting professor in Mexico and different parts of the American South including Baton Rouge, New Orleans, Jackson, Mississippi, and Utah before settling at the University of Arkansas. His daughter started writing when she was 6 years old and showed an affinity for music at an early age, and was playing guitar at 12. Williams's first live performance was in Mexico City at 17, as part of a duo with her friend, a banjo player named Clark Jones.

 Early years
By her early 20s, Williams was playing publicly in Austin and Houston, Texas, concentrating on a folk-rock-country blend. She moved to Jackson, Mississippi, in 1978 to record her first album, for Smithsonian/Folkways Records. Titled Ramblin', it was a collection of country and blues covers. She followed it up in 1980 with Happy Woman Blues, which consisted of her own material. Neither album received much attention.

In the 1980s, Williams moved to Los Angeles, California , where, both backed by a rock band and performing in acoustic settings, she developed a following and a critical reputation. While based in Los Angeles, she was briefly married to Long Ryders drummer Greg Sowders, whom she had met in a club. In 1988 Rough Trade Records released the self-titled Lucinda Williams, which was produced by Gurf Morlix. The single "Changed the Locks," about a broken relationship, received radio play around the country and gained fans among music insiders, including Tom Petty, who would later cover the song.

Its follow-up, Sweet Old World , also produced by Morlix, was a melancholy album dealing with themes of suicide and death. Williams' biggest success during the early 1990s was as a songwriter. Mary Chapin Carpenter recorded a cover of "Passionate Kisses" in 1992, and the song became a smash country hit for which Williams received the Grammy Award for Best Country Song in 1994 . She duetted with Steve Earle on the song "You're Still Standin' There" from his album I Feel Alright. In 1991, the song "Lucinda Williams" appeared on Vic Chesnutt's album West of Rome.

Williams had garnered considerable critical acclaim, but her commercial success was moderate. Emmylou Harris said of Williams, "She is an example of the best of what country at least says it is, but, for some reason, she's completely out of the loop and I feel strongly that that's country music's loss." Harris recorded the title track from Williams's Sweet Old World for her career-redefining 1995 album, Wrecking Ball.

Williams also gained a reputation as a perfectionist and slow worker when it came to recording; six years would pass before her next album release, though she appeared as a guest on other artists' albums and contributed to several tribute compilations during this period.

 Car Wheels on a Gravel Road
The long-awaited release, 1998's Car Wheels on a Gravel Road, was Williams' breakthrough into the mainstream and received a Grammy Award for Best Contemporary Folk Album. Containing the single "Still I Long for Your Kiss" from the Robert Redford film The Horse Whisperer, the album received wide critical notice and soon went gold. The single "Can't Let Go" also enjoyed considerable crossover radio play. Williams toured with Bob Dylan and on her own in support of the album. An expanded edition of the album, including three additional studio recordings and a second CD documenting a 1998 concert, was released in 2006.

In 1999, Williams appeared on Return of the Grievous Angel: A Tribute to Gram Parsons, duetting with David Crosby on the title track of the tribute album.

Williams followed up the success of Car Wheels with Essence . This release featured a less produced, more down-tuned approach both musically and lyrically, and moved Williams further from the country music establishment while winning fans in the alternative music world. She won the 2001 Grammy Award for Best Female Rock Vocal Performance for the single "Get Right With God", an atypically uptempo gospel-rock tune from the otherwise rather low-key release. The title track includes a contribution on Hammond organ by alternative country musician Ryan Adams.

Her seventh album, World Without Tears, was released in 2003. A musically adventurous though lyrically downbeat album, this release found Williams experimenting with talking blues stylings and electric blues.

 Recent work

In 2006, Williams recorded a version of the John Hartford classic "Gentle On My Mind," which played over the closing credits of the Will Ferrell film Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby.

Williams was a guest vocalist on the song "Factory Girls" from Irish punk-folk band Flogging Molly's 2004 album, "Within a Mile of Home," and appeared on Elvis Costello's The Delivery Man. She sings with folk legend Ramblin' Jack Elliott on the track "Careless Darling" from his 2006 release "I Stand Alone."

In 2007, Williams released West, for which she wrote more than 27 songs. The album was released on February 13, 2007. It addresses her mother's death and a tumultuous relationship break-up. Vanity Fair praised it, saying "Lucinda Williams has made the record of a lifetime—part Hank Williams, part Bob Dylan, part Keith Richards circa Exile on Main St. ..."

In the fall of 2007, Williams announced a series of shows in Los Angeles and New York. Playing five nights in each city, she performed her entire catalog on consecutive nights. These albums include the self titled Lucinda Williams, Sweet Old World, Car Wheels on a Gravel Road, Essence, and World Without Tears. Each night also featured a second set with special guest stars. Some of the many special guests included Steve Earle, Allison Moorer, Mike Campbell, Greg Dulli, E, Ann Wilson, Emmylou Harris, David Byrne, David Johansen, Yo La Tengo, John Doe, Chuck Prophet, Jim Lauderdale and Shelby Lynne. In addition, each night's album set was recorded and made available to the attendees that night. These live recordings are currently available on her website and at her shows.

The next album from Lucinda Williams wrapped recording in March 2008. Titled Little Honey, it was released on October 14 of that year. It includes 13 songs—among them, "Real Love" and "Little Rock Star," the latter inspired by music celebrities in the press, like Pete Doherty and Amy Winehouse. "Little Honey" also includes a cover of AC/DC's "Long Way to the Top" and "Rarity," inspired by singer-songwriter Mia Doi Todd.

In July 2008, though "Little Honey" had yet to be released, Paste magazine.com listened to an advance copy and rated the duet between Williams and Elvis Costello on the song "Jailhouse Tears" as the #5 all time greatest country/rock duets.

Williams released a cover of Shel Silverstein's famous song "The Ballad of Lucy Jordan" in June 2010 as part of the Twistable, Turnable Man tribute album. [http://www.covermesongs.com/2010/06/lucinda-williams-covers-“the-ballad-of-lucy-jordan”-cover-me-premiere.html]

Her 2008 concert appearance at the Catalyst, Santa Cruz, contained an announcement by the city's mayor that September 6 would henceforth be Lucinda Williams Day.

On March 1, 2011, Williams released a new album, Blessed.

 Engagement and Marriage
In 2006, Williams announced her engagement to former Universal Music Group/Fontana Distribution music executive Tom Overby. Although she first told reporters the marriage would take place that year, she still described Overby as her fiancé in 2008. Professionally, Overby became her manager in May 2007. Overby also co-produced Little Honey.

On September 18, 2009, Williams performed at First Avenue in Minneapolis and married Overby on stage in front of her fans before her encore.

On September 19–20, 2010, Williams performed at George's Majestic Lounge in Fayetteville, Arkansas. Her father Miller Williams was in attendance and opened the September 19th show with remarks and poetry. The reason for the special shows, announced just days before, is unknown. The show dates do correspond to the one-year anniversary of her reported marriage.

Show more

  Played TV shows  



Name Duration Released
Buttercup 03:50 2011
Ugly Truth 04:22 2011
Sweet Love 03:33 2011
Blessed 05:48 2011
Soldier's Song 06:09 2011
Seeing Black 05:14 2011
Born To Be Loved 04:38 2011
Kiss Like Your Kiss 03:51 2011
Copenhagen 04:30 2011
Awakening 06:25 2011
I Don't Know How You're Livin' 05:00 2011
Convince Me 05:45 2011
Honey Bee 03:05 2008
Little Rock Star 05:42 2008
Plan to Marry 03:26 2008
Tears of Joy 04:27 2008
Rarity 08:43 2008
Circles and X's 03:40 2008
Heaven Blues 05:23 2008
Real Love 03:45 2008
Knowing 06:00 2008
Jailhouse Tears 05:28 2008
If Wishes Were Horses 05:40 2008
Well Well Well 04:29 2008
Are You Alright? 05:18 2007
Rescue 05:35 2007
Where Is My Love? 05:23 2007
Come On 04:53 2007
Everything Has Changed 03:38 2007
Unsuffer Me 05:40 2007
Fancy Funeral 04:15 2007
Words 03:33 2007
Learning How to Live 05:12 2007
Wrap My Head Around That 09:07 2007
Mama You Sweet 04:45 2007
What If 05:41 2007
Over Time 00:00 2003
Real Live Bleeding Fingers and Broken Guitar Strings 00:00 2003
World Without Tears 00:00 2003
Ventura 00:00 2003
American Dream 00:00 2003
Righteously 00:00 2003
People Talkin' 00:00 2003
Fruits of My Labor 00:00 2003
Minneapolis 00:00 2003
Sweet Side 00:00 2003
Atonement 00:00 2003
Those Three Days 00:00 2003
Essence 00:00 2001
Are You Down 00:00 2001
Out of Touch 00:00 2001
Blue 00:00 2001
I Envy the Wind 00:00 2001
Bus to Baton Rouge 00:00 2001
Steal Your Love 00:00 2001
Get Right With God 00:00 2001
Lonely Girls 00:00 2001
Reason to Cry 00:00 2001
2 Kool 2 Be 4-gotten 04:42 1998
Joy 04:01 1998
Car Wheels on a Gravel Road 04:44 1998
Still I Long For Your Kiss 04:09 1998
Right in Time 04:35 1998
Greenville 03:23 1998
Metal Firecracker 03:30 1998
Can’t Let Go 03:28 1998
Lake Charles 05:27 1998
Concrete and Barbed Wire 03:08 1998
Drunken Angel 03:20 1998
Jackson 03:42 1998
Pineola 00:00 1992
Little Angel, Little Brother 00:00 1992
Sweet Old World 00:00 1992
He Never Got Enough Love 00:00 1992
Hot Blood 00:00 1992
Something About What Happens When We Talk 00:00 1992
Memphis Pearl 00:00 1992
Six Blocks Away 00:00 1992
Sidewalks of the City 00:00 1992
Prove My Love 00:00 1992
Lines Around Your Eyes 00:00 1992
The Night's Too Long 04:15 1988
Side of the Road 03:27 1988
I Just Wanted to See You So Bad 02:25 1988
Crescent City 03:01 1988
Am I Too Blue 02:55 1988
Passionate Kisses 02:35 1988
Changed the Locks 03:39 1988
Like a Rose 02:37 1988
Big Red Sun Blues 03:27 1988
13 03:12 1988
Abandoned 03:45 1988
Price to Pay 02:46 1988
King of Hearts 04:02 1980
Happy Woman Blues 03:08 1980
Maria 03:45 1980
Sharp Cutting Wings 03:26 1980
I Lost It 02:52 1980
Louisiana Man 02:23 1980
Lafayette 03:40 1980
Hard Road 02:29 1980
Howlin' at Midnight 03:49 1980
One Night Stand 02:53 1980
Rolling Along 02:46 1980
Malted Milk Blues 00:00 1979
Motherless Children 00:00 1979
Me And My Chauffeur 00:00 1979
Ramblin' On My Mind 00:00 1979
Stop Breakin' Down 00:00 1979
Jug Band Music 00:00 1979
Disgusted 00:00 1979


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Whole or part of the information contained in this card come from the Wikipedia article "Lucinda Williams", licensed under CC-BY-SA full list of contributors here.