Car Wheels on a Gravel Road at 20: Lucinda Williams reflects on her breakthrough record

Lucinda Williams looks back at the breakthrough album that transformed her into an icon of Americana music, Car Wheels on a Gravel Road, which turns 20 this month.
Lucinda Williams looks back at the breakthrough album that transformed her into an icon of Americana music, Car Wheels on a Gravel Road, which turns 20 this month. (David McClister)
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Twenty years ago this month, Lucinda Williams released Car Wheels on a Gravel Road, the album that transformed her into an icon of Americana music. She was 45-years-old when she released that breakthrough record, which was one of the first big albums to blend country with gritty rock 'n' roll to create that Americana sound. 

Williams' 1998 album was adored by critics and ended up winning a Grammy Award for best contemporary folk album.

Just before the album's 20-year anniversary, Williams joined Tom Power from Los Angeles to look back on that breakthrough moment and all she's accomplished since then. She talks about what made Car Wheels on a Gravel Road such a game-changer for her career and American roots-music at large, and what it's like to stick it out for four decades in a music industry that's often focused on youth. In this interview, she also opens up about the recent deaths of some very important mentors in her life: her father, the poet Miller Williams, and her good friend Tom Petty.

Williams is teaming with Steve Earle and Dwight Yoakam for the aptly titled LSD tour this summer. 

Produced by Stuart Berman

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