[lang_fr]Lucinda Williams : Biographie[/lang_fr][lang_en]Lucinda Williams : Biography[/lang_en]

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Lucinda Williams est une chanteuse américaine, née en 1953 à Lake Charles, en Louisiane.
Elle grandit entre un père poète, professeur de littérature, et une mère musicienne.
Sa musique est un mélange de blues, de folk et de country. Sa voix rocailleuse est tout autant au service de compositions originales que de « traditionnels ».



Lucinda Williams (born January 26, 1953) is an American rock, folk, and country music singer and songwriter. A three-time Grammy Award winner, she was named « America’s best songwriter » by TIME magazine in 2002.




Ramblin’ On My Mind aka Ramblin’ (1979)
Happy Woman Blues (1980)
Lucinda Williams (1988)
Sweet Old World (1992)
Car Wheels On A Gravel Road (1998)
Essence (2001)
World Without Tears (2003)

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Williams was born in Lake Charles, Louisiana, the daughter of poet and literature professor Miller Williams and an amateur pianist. Her father worked as a visiting professor in Mexico and Chile as well as different parts of the American South, 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 first live performance was in Mexico City at 17, as part a duo with her friend, a banjo player named Clark Jones.

By her early 20s, Williams was playing publicly in Austin, Texas 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, performing both backed by a rock band and in acoustic settings, she developed a following and a critical reputation. Nevertheless, it was not until 1988 that Rough Trade Records released the self-titled Lucinda Williams. 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), 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. She duetted with Steve Earle on the song « You’re Still Standin’ There » from his album I Feel Alright in 1996.

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’ 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.

The long-awaited release, 1998’s Car Wheels on a Gravel Road was Williams’ breakthrough to 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 cross-over radio play. Williams toured with Bob Dylan and on her own in support of the album.

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 stripped-down 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 2002 Grammy Award for Best Female Rock 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.

In 2006, Lucinda 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 2006, Williams announced her engagement to music executive Tom Overby. Although she first told reporters the marriage would take place in 2006, she still described Overby as her fiancé during her spring 2007 tour.

In 2007, Williams released West, for which she wrote more than 27 songs. The album was released on February 13, 2007 and contains 13 tracks and has a similar sound to World Without Tears. It addresses her mothers’ 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. … »

Jesse Malin‘s 2007 album Glitter in the Gutter contains the track « Lucinda », an ode to Williams.


Studio albums

1979 – Ramblin’
1980 – Happy Woman Blues
1988 – Lucinda Williams
1992 – Sweet Old World
1998 – Car Wheels on a Gravel Road
2001 – Essence
2003 – World Without Tears
2007 – West

Live albums

2005 – Live @ The Fillmore


2005 – Lucinda Williams – Live from Austin, TX

Guest appearances

2007 – Various Artists — Honey Chile on « Goin’ Home – A Tribute To Fats Domino »
2006 – Ramblin’ Jack Elliott — Careless Darling on « I Stand Alone »
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 both on « The West Gate »
2005 – North Mississippi Allstars — Hurry Up Sunrise on « Electric Blue Watermelon »
2004 – Graham Parker — Your Country
2004 – Flogging Molly — Factory Girls on Within a Mile of Home album
2004 – Elvis Costello — There’s A Story In Your Voice on The Delivery Man
2004 – Willie Nelson — Overtime on It Always Will Be album
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 »
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 »
2002 – Various Artists — Lately on « Going Driftless: An Artist’s Tribute to Greg Brown »
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 »
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 — The Ghost Of Phil Sinclair on « The London Sessions Bootleg »
1999 – Leftover Salmon — Lines Around Your Eyes on « The Nashville Sessions »
1999 – Various Artists — Return of the Grievous Angel w/ 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 both on « Seven Days in May…a love story »
1998 – Hayseed — Precious Memories and Credo both 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 »
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 »
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 »
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 »
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 »
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 »
1992 – David Rodriguez — Deportee (Plane Wreck at Los Gatos) on « The True Cross »
1990 – Various Artists — Which Will on « True Voices »
1990 – The Band of Blacky Ranchette — Burning Desire on « Sage Advice »
1988 – Various Artists — Dark Side Of Life on « A Town South of Bakersfield, Vols. 1 & 2 »

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