Lucinda Williams is not a grown up. At 48, she admits to an immaturity that feeds her songwriting process. Her lyrics, however, are anything but green; listeners are in awe of the raw feeling and "been there, done that" edge her songs express.
On the May 26th show, Scott Simon speaks to Williams about her newest album, Essence, a follow up to her critically acclaimed Car Wheels on a Gravel Road.
Lucinda Williams' music is as multi-faceted and sultry as the women she writes about, most notably, herself. Her influences include blues, rock, Brazilian jazz and the grooves of the Louisiana Delta, Williams' birthplace.
Her last opus won a Grammy for best contemporary folk album, yet she has been compared to alternative country star Emmylou Harris. The similarly unclassifiable Mary Chapin Carpenter won a Grammy for her cover of Passionate Kisses, which Williams wrote.
The songs of Essence, like those of Williams' past albums, comment on the human condition in a sometimes sequined, sometimes 'dirt mixed with tears' kind of a way. In Lonely Girls, Williams laments the loneliness she feels and that which she observes in women everyday. Get Right With God expresses with an ironic touch the lengths to which people will go to be on God's good side. I Envy the Wind displays a sexual desire that will ring true for any love-lorn listener.
Hear Scott Simon's interview with Lucinda Williams.
Hear Tom Moon's critique of Car Wheels on a Gravel Road, from All Things Considered, 1998.
See the lyrics of the songs played on Saturday's program.