In July , NPR Music published Turning The Tables, its list of The 150 Greatest Albums By Women released during the "classic album era," defined as 1964-2016. Our occasional listening parties bring together voters to discuss some of their favorites from the list.
Today, we're diving into the roots and Americana side of the list by spending some time with two of the milestone albums in that realm: Bonnie Raitt's 1989 release Nick of Time and Lucinda Williams' 1998 masterpiece, Car Wheels on a Gravel Road. Raitt turned 40 the year she released Nick of Time, which became the definitive statement of a rocking woman at midlife. And Williams' Car Wheels on a Gravel Road signaled a sea change in Americana music and helped define a kind of Southern gothic aesthetic in the genre.
In this episode, NPR Music critic and correspondent Ann Powers, who spearheaded Turning The Tables, is joined by two fellow Nashville-based NPR colleagues: Jessie Scott, program director for WMOT, and Jewly Hight, contributor to World Cafe and NPR Music. Together, they discuss how these albums impacted Raitt and Williams' careers, how these artists articulate their desires on these albums, how they serve as role models to other women in Americana.
Stream the full Turning the Tables listening party in the player.