Post your questions for Lucinda Williams
Post your questions for Lucinda Williams –
It’s a banner year for Lucinda Williams – not only is the alt-country stalwart releasing her first album since she suffered a stroke in 2020, the rollicking Stories from a Rock’n’Roll Heart, she’s also published her first memoir, the superb Don’t Tell Anybody the Secrets I Told You.
The latter, she’s said, was her attempt to write the opposite of the kind of “sugarcoated book like you find at Walgreens”. On that front, she succeeded: Williams takes an unflinching look at her childhood, with an absent mother whose mental health issues stemmed from her own childhood abuse, and a father whose poetry and worldview she lionised, but who also subsequently married a woman almost young enough to be her sister.
She also details the long road she had to hoe to make it as a singer, doing her time in bars across the country, and even a stint in Mexico playing folk songs with the support of the US embassy. It took until her 1988 self-titled album for Williams to have her breakout moment – and not thanks to the country establishment, but the British punk label Rough Trade.
It began an unstinting run of peerless records that peaked with the 1998 classic Car Wheels on a Gravel Road, in which Williams looked back at her itinerant childhood and the effect it had on her. Williams’ stories live in her songs, though the memoir adds plenty of new colour – from the impostor syndrome that prevented her from attending the Grammys when Passionate Kisses was nominated in 1994 to how one of her songs somehow wound up in a porn film and her complicated relationship with Ryan Adams.
You can ask Williams about any of that – and collaborating with Bruce Springsteen, Patti Scialfa and Jesse Malin on her new album – and more, when she sits for the Guardian’s reader interview. Post your questions in the comments by noon BST on 30 May.