Lucinda Williams

Lucinda Williams - ©

born on 26/1/1953 in Lake Charles, LA, United States

Lucinda Williams

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
Lucinda Williams

Lucinda Williams (born January 26, 1953)[1] 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 Williams her first Grammy Award for Best Country Song in 1994.

Known for working slowly, Williams recorded and released only one other album in the next several years (Sweet Old World in 1992) before her greatest success came in 1998 with Car Wheels on a Gravel Road, an album presenting 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 Williams 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.[2]

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. Like her father, she has spina bifida.[3] Her father worked as a visiting professor in Mexico and different parts of the United States including Baton Rouge, New Orleans, Jackson, Mississippi, and Utah before settling at the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville. 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.[4]


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 (before finally settling in Nashville, Tennessee), 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 (Chameleon, 1992), 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" (from Lucinda Williams) in 1992, and the song became a smash country hit for which Williams received the Grammy Award for Best Country Song in 1994 (Carpenter also received a Grammy for her performance of the song). 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 (2001). 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 lifetimepart 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 songsamong 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.[5]

In July 2008, though "Little Honey" had yet to be released, Paste listened to an advance copy and rated the duet between Williams and Elvis Costello on the song "Jailhouse Tears" as the No. 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.[6]

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.[7]

In September 2012, she will be featured in a campaign called "30 Songs / 30 Days" to support Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide, a multi-platform media project inspired by Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunns book.[8]

In 2012 and 2013 Williams went on US tour only accompanied by guitarist Doug Pettibone.[9]

Personal life

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 1920, 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 first anniversary of her reported marriage.


Charted songs

Year Song Adult Top 40 Triple A Album
2003 "Righteously" 36[10] World Without Tears
2008 "Real Love" 22[11] Little Honey


Year Album Chart Positions[12]
1979 Ramblin'
1980 Happy Woman Blues
1988 Lucinda WilliamsA 39
1992 Sweet Old WorldB
1998 Car Wheels on a Gravel RoadC 65 144 69 5 60
2001 Essence 28 63 59 2 47
2003 World Without Tears 18 48 80 32 24 81
2005 Live @ The Fillmore 66 107 4 43
2007 West 14 30 53 5 10 29
2008 Little Honey 9 18 51 68 1 25
2011 Blessed 15 23 55 63 7 15 40
"" denotes releases that did not chart
  • A Did not chart when first released in 1988. When reissued in 2014 it reached #39.
  • B Reached number 25 on the Top Heatseekers chart.[13]
  • C Reached number 14 on the RPM Country Albums chart.


  • 2005 Lucinda Williams Live from Austin, TX
  • 11 Nov 2008 Lucinda WilliamsLive From Austin TX 89: her 13 Oct 1989 appearance on Austin City Limits (65 minutes):

(all songs composed by Williams except as noted) 1. Big Red Sun Blues 2. Wild and Blue [John Sherrill] 3. Am I Too Blue 4. Crescent City 5. Nothing in Rambling [Memphis Minnie] 6. The Night's Too Long 7. Abandoned 8.I Just Want To See You So Bad 9. Side of the Road 10. Price to Pay 11. Disgusted [Lil' Son Jackson] 12. Something About What Happens When We Talk 13. Passionate Kisses 14. Changed the Locks 15. Happy Woman Blues

Guest appearances

  • 1988 Various Artists "Dark Side of Life" on A Town South of Bakersfield, Vols. 1 & 2
  • 1990 Various Artists "Which Will" on True Voices produced by George Callins & Saul Davis
  • 1990 The Band of Blacky Ranchette "Burning Desire" on Sage Advice
  • 1992 David Rodriguez "Deportee (Plane Wreck at Los Gatos)" on The True Cross
  • 1993 Various Artists "Pancakes" on Born to Choose
  • 1993 Various Artists "Main Road" on Sweet Relief: A Benefit for Victoria Williams
  • 1993 Jimmie Dale Gilmore "Reunion" on Spinning Around the Sun
  • 1993 Michael Fracasso "Door No. 1" on Love & Trust
  • 1994 Various Artists "You Don't Have Very Far to Go" on Tulare Dust: A Songwriter's Tribute to Merle Haggard
  • 1994 Various Artists "Positively 4th Street" on In Their Own Words, Vol. 1 Live Performances from the Bottom Line, New York City
  • 1994 Julian Dawson "How Can I Sleep Without You" on How Human Hearts Behave
  • 1994 Lisa Mednick "A Different Sky" on Artifacts Of Love
  • 1995 Terry Allen "Room to Room" and "Black to Black" from Human Remains
  • 1995 Kieran Kane "This Dirty Little Town" on Dead Rekoning
  • 1995 Chris Gaffney "Cowboys to Girls" on Loser's Paradise
  • 1996 Various Artists "The Night's Too Long" on Lone Star: Original Soundtrack from the Film
  • 1996 Steve Earle "You're Still Standing There" on I Feel Alright
  • 1997 RB Morris "Glory Dreams" on Take That Ride
  • 1997 Ray Wylie Hubbard "The Ballad of the Crimson Kings" on Dangerous Spirits
  • 1997 Donnie Fritts "Breakfast in Bed" on Everybody's Got a Song
  • 1997 Bo Ramsey "Desert Flower" on In the Weeds
  • 1998 Hayseed "Precious Memories" and "Credo" on Melic
  • 1998 Robbie Fulks "Pretty Little Poison" on Let's Kill Saturday Night
  • 1998 Various Artists "Here in California" on Treasures Left Behind: Remembering Kate Wolf
  • 1998 Nanci Griffith "Wings of a Dove" on Other Voices, Too (A Trip Back to Bountiful)
  • 1998 Various Artists "Come to Me Baby" on Wolf Tracks: A Tribute to Howlin' Wolf
  • 1999 Bruce Cockburn "When You Give it Away" and two other tracks on Breakfast in New Orleans, Dinner in Timbuktu[14]
  • 1999 Leftover Salmon "Lines Around Your Eyes" on The Nashville Sessions
  • 1999 Various Artists "Return of the Grievous Angel" with David Crosby on Return of the Grievous Angel: Tribute to Gram Parsons
  • 1999 John Prine "Wedding Bells"/"Let's Turn Back The Years" on In Spite of Ourselves
  • 1999 Little Milton "Love Hurts" on Welcome to Little Milton
  • 1999 Evie Sands "Cool Blues Story" on Women in Prison
  • 1999 Chip Taylor "Through Their Mother's Eyes" and "If I Don't Know Love" on Seven Days in May...a love story
  • 1999 Bonepony "Sweet Bye and Bye" on Traveler's Companion
  • 2000 Sue Foley "Empty Cup" (harmony vocals) on Love Comin' Down
  • 2000 Kevin Gordon "Down to the Well on Down to the Well
  • 2000 Chip Taylor "Head First", "Annie on Your Mind" and "The Ghost of Phil Sinclair" on The London Sessions Bootleg
  • 2001 Kasey Chambers "On a Bad Day" on Barricades & Brickwalls
  • 2001 Matthew Ryan "Devastation" on Concussion
  • 2001 Various Artists "Cold, Cold Heart" on Timeless: Hank Williams Tribute
  • 2001 Ralph Stanley and Friends "Farther Along" on Clinch Mountain Sweethearts
  • 2001 Various Artists "Nothin'" on A Tribute to Townes Van Zandt
  • 2001 Chip Taylor "Could I Live with This" and "The Ship" on Black and Blue America
  • 2001 Various Artists "Angels Laid Him Away" on Avalon Blues: A Tribute to the Music of Mississippi John Hurt
  • 2002 Various Artists "Lately" on Going Driftless: An Artist's Tribute to Greg Brown
  • 2003 Various Artists "Hang Down Your Head" on Crossing Jordan Original Soundtrack
  • 2003 Terri Binion "GayleAnne" (harmony vocal) on Fool
  • 2003 Various Artists "Hard Times Killing Floor Blues" on Martin Scorsese Presents the Blues: The Soul of a Man
  • 2003 Colin Linden "Don't Tell Me" on Big Mouth
  • 2004 Graham Parker Your Country
  • 2004 Flogging Molly "Factory Girls" on Within a Mile of Home
  • 2004 Elvis Costello "There's a Story in Your Voice" on The Delivery Man
  • 2004 Willie Nelson "Overtime" on It Always Will Be
  • 2004 Various Artists "Pyramid of Tears" on Por Vida A Tribute to the Songs of Alejandro Escovedo
  • 2004 Various Artists "Down to the Well" with Kevin Gordon on No Depression: What It Sounds Like, Vol. 1
  • 2004 Tony Joe White "Closing In on the Fire" on The Heroines
  • 2005 North Mississippi Allstars "Hurry Up Sunrise" on Electric Blue Watermelon
  • 2006 Tim Easton "Back to the Pain" on Ammunition
  • 2006 Ramblin' Jack Elliott "Careless Darling" on I Stand Alone
  • 2006 P.F. Sloan "Sins of a Family" on Sailover
  • 2006 John Brannen "A Cut So Deep" on Twilight Tattoo
  • 2006 Anne McCue Koala Motel
  • 2006 Various Artists "Bonnie Portmore" on Rogue's Gallery: Pirate Ballads, Sea Songs, and Chanteys
  • 2006 Doug Pettibone "Two of Us" and "She Belongs to Me" on The West Gate
  • 2007 Various Artists "Honey Chile" on Goin' Home: A Tribute to Fats Domino
  • 2007 John Platania "In Memory of Zapata" on Blues, Waltzes & Badland Borders
  • 2008 Various Artists "Mamas Don't Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Cowboys" on The Imus Ranch Record
  • 2008 Carrie Rodriguez Mask Of Moses on "She Ain't Me"
  • 2009 Susan Marshall "Don't Let Me Down" on Little Red
  • 2009 Various Artists "Positively 4th Street" on The Village: A Celebration Of The Music Of Greenwich Village
  • 2009 M. Ward "Oh Lonesome Me" on Hold Time
  • 2010 Various Artists "Kiss Like Your Kiss" w/ Elvis Costello on True Blood Music From The HBO Original Series Volume 2 [Soundtrack]
  • 2010 Various Artists "The Ballad of Lucy Jordan" on Twistable, Turnable Man: A Musical Tribute to the Songs of Shel Silverstein[6]
  • 2010 Ray Davies "Long Way From Home" on See My Friends (album)
  • 2010 Jimmy Webb "Galveston" on Just Across The River
  • 2010 Various Artists "Somebody Somewhere (Don't Know What He's Missin' Tonight)" on Coal Miner's Daughter: A Tribute to Loretta Lynn
  • 2011 Over the Rhine (band) "Undamned" on The Long Surrender
  • 2011 Michael Monroe "Gone, Baby Gone" on Sensory Overdrive
  • 2011 Amos Lee "Clear Blue Eyes" on Mission Bell
  • 2011 Blackie & The Rodeo Kings "If I Can't Have You" on Kings & Queens
  • 2011 Steve Cropper "When I Get Like This" on Dedicated: A Salute To The 5 Royales
  • 2011 Steve Cropper "Dedicated To The One I Love" on Dedicated: A Salute To The 5 Royales
  • 2011 Son of the Velvet Rat "Moment of Fame" & "White Patch of Canvas" on Red Chamber Music
  • 2011 Tom Russell "A Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fall" on Mesabi
  • 2011 Various Artists "I'm So Happy I Found You" on The Lost Notebooks Of Hank Williams
  • 2012 Walter Rose "Driving South" on Cast Your Stone
  • 2012 Various Artists "Tryin' To Get To Heaven" on Chimes of Freedom: The Songs of Bob Dylan Honoring 50 Years of Amnesty International
  • 2012 Various Artists "God I'm Missing You" on KIN: Songs By Mary Karr & Rodney Crowell
  • 2012 Lil' Band O' Gold "I'm Ready" on Lil' Band O' Gold Plays Fats
  • 2012 Various Artists "Hurt" on We Walk the Line: A Celebration of the Music of Johnny Cash
  • 2012 Various Artists "That Time Of Night" on Oh Michael, Look What Youve Done: Friends Play Michael Chapman
  • 2012 Various Artists "The Farm" on The Inner Flame: A Rainer Ptacek Tribute
  • 2012 Various Artists "Mississippi You're On My Mind" on Quiet About It: A Tribute To Jesse Winchester
  • 2012 Various Artists "Whispering Pines" on Love for Levon
  • 2013 Various Artists "Everything But The Truth" on The Lone Ranger: Wanted
  • 2014 Various Artists "The Pretender" on Looking Into You: A Tribute To Jackson Browne

Awards and nominations

Grammy Awards

The Grammy Awards are awarded annually by the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences of the United States for outstanding achievements in the record industry. Williams has received three awards from 15 nominations.

Year Nominated work Award Result
1993 Passionate Kisses (songwriter performed by Mary Chapin Carpenter)[15][16] Best Country Song Won
1999 "Can't Let Go" Best Female Rock Vocal Performance Nominated
Car Wheels on a Gravel Road[1] Best Contemporary Folk Album Won
2002 "Essence" Best Female Pop Vocal Performance Nominated
"Get Right With God"[17] Best Female Rock Vocal Performance Won
"Cold, Cold Heart" Best Female Country Vocal Performance Nominated
Essence Best Contemporary Folk Album Nominated
2003 "Lately" (from Going Driftless An Artists' Tribute to Greg Brown) Best Female Country Vocal Performance Nominated
2004 "Righteously" Best Female Rock Vocal Performance Nominated
World Without Tears Best Contemporary Folk Album Nominated
2008 "Come On" Best Solo Rock Vocal Performance Nominated
Best Rock Song Nominated
2010 Little Honey Best Americana Album Nominated
2011 "Kiss Like Your Kiss" (From True Blood) Best Song Written For Motion Picture, Television Or Other Visual Media Nominated
2012 Blessed Best Americana Album Nominated

See also

  • Music of Austin


  1. 1.0 1.1 [Lucinda Williams at All Music Guide Lucinda Williams biography]. Allmusic. Retrieved on October 7, 2008.
  2. "'Essence' of the South". CNN/TIME. Retrieved on October 7, 2008.
  3. Edward Lewine, Domains : Lucinda Williams : Country House. URL accessed on 2014-04-24.
  4. Bukowski, Elizabeth. "Lucinda Williams" Salon. Retrieved on January 11, 2000.
  5. Gamboa, Glenn. "With 'Honey,' life is sweet for Lucinda Williams". PopMatters. October 13, 2008.
  6. 6.0 6.1 [1]
  7. {{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=web }}
  8. {{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=web }}
  9. {{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=web }}
  10. Hot Adult Top 40 Tracks Righteously. Billboard. Retrieved October 7, 2008.
  11. [ Triple A Real Love]. Billboard. Retrieved October 11, 2008.
  12. [ Artist Chart History Albums Lucinda Williams]. Billboard. Retrieved on October 7, 2008.
  13. [ Heatseekers Sweet Old World]. Billboard. Retrieved October 7, 2008.
  14. {{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=web }}
  15. "Lucinda Williams chooses acclaim over fame any day". CNN. February 4, 1999.
  16. "The Grammy Winners". The New York Times. March 3, 1994.
  17. "Grammys 2002: The winners". BBC News. February 28, 2002.

External links

Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Lucinda Williams

  • Lucinda Williams official site
  • Lucinda Williams at All Music Guide
  • Lucinda Williams at the Internet Movie Database
  • Lucinda Williams at MusicBrainz
This page was last modified 24.04.2014 16:01:15

This article uses material from the article Lucinda Williams from the free encyclopedia Wikipedia and it is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License.