Victoria Williams (born December 23, 1958) is an American singer-songwriter and musician, originally from Shreveport, Louisiana, although she has resided in Southern California throughout her musical career. She is noted for her descriptive songwriting talent, which she has used to immerse the listener of her songs into a vivid feeling of small-town, rural Southern upbringing and life. Her best-known songs include "Crazy Mary", and "Century Plant". Finding inspiration in nature, ("Weeds", "Century Plant," "Why Look at the Moon"), everyday objects ("Shoes," "Frying Pan") and the unseen, as in "Holy Spirit".
Williams was born in Shreveport, Louisiana. In 1986 she worked with then husband Peter Case on his debut album, following this a year later with her own debut, Happy Come Home, produced by Anton Fier, with an accompanying 28 minute documentary by D. A. Pennebaker. In 1990 she released Swing the Statue. She also often appeared onstage and on record with the band Giant Sand. In 1993 she acted in Gus Van Sant's Even Cowgirls Get the Blues, who also made the video for Tarbelly and Featherfoot.
In 1993, Williams' life took a dramatic turn when she learned that she was suffering from multiple sclerosis. As she did not have health insurance, an array of artists from different genres, including Pearl Jam, Lou Reed, Maria McKee, Soul Asylum, Lucinda Williams and others, joined together to record some of Williams' songs for a tribute/benefit project called Sweet Relief: A Benefit for Victoria Williams. This led to the creation of the Sweet Relief Fund, a charity that aids professional musicians (of any stature) in need of health care. That year, Williams also released a new album herself, titled Loose. Pearl Jam had covered her song "Crazy Mary" for Sweet Relief, however, Williams performed her own version of the song, and made a video that brought her closer to public notice and gained her more of a following after it ran on MTV and VH1 in 1994, and is still played on both cable channels. A second album, covering the songs of Vic Chesnutt, was recorded for the Sweet Relief Fund in 1996 under the title Sweet Relief II: Gravity of the Situation, and Williams appeared on that album performing a duet with Chesnutt.
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