LUCINDA WILLIAMS FACTS:
Genre: Rock, Folk
Hometown: Lake Charles, Louisiana
Albums: Car Wheels on a Gravel Road, Essence, World Without Tears, Live @ The Fillmore, West, Little Honey, Blessed
Hits: Righteously, Real Love
Persistence has certainly paid off for Lucinda Williams. Though she toiled in obscurity for much of the late '70s and '80s, she has become one of the most renowned songwriters in the music world. With her roots firmly planted in folk country, Williams has been delivering thoughtful and moving songs to all different walks of fans, and has firmly established herself as a favorite among listeners and critics alike.
Like many country singers before her, Williams began her career in Texas, but failed to gain traction with her first two albums. It would not be until her self-titled 1988 album that she began to make a name for herself. While the record itself was not particularly successful in the mainstream, it contained one of her most popular singles "Changed the Locks," which was later covered by Tom Petty. The album also included "Passionate Kisses," which, while not a significant hit for Williams herself, was later covered by Mary Chapin Carpenter, who won a Grammy for her performance. Williams was also recognized for her songwriting acumen when the track won Song of the Year.
Although she was a favorite among critics, by the mid-90s Williams had yet to enjoy the commercial success many thought that her work deserved. That all changed in 1998 with the release of Car Wheels on a Gravel Road - an album widely considered to be one of the best folk albums in recent memory. The record featured contributions from country icons including Emmylou Harris and Steve Earle, and featured songs such as "Can't Let You Go" and "Still I Long For Your Kiss," which were both crossover hits and delivered Williams considerable recognition.
In the years since her breakthrough, Williams has continued to be a favorite among folk and country fans alike. The 2008 album Little Honey was a favorite for its numerous guest appearances and debuted in the top 10 on the Billboard 200 charts. Most notably, the album featured a duet between Williams and Elvis Costello,
"Jailhouse Tears," which was cited by some critics has one of the best country duets of all time.
It's hard to deny a talent as big as Williams'. Her simple melodies coupled with her thoughtful lyrics, have kept her relevant throughout a time when music has become more and more process. Yet armed with a guitar and excellent songwriting, she remains a force in the country world.
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