Former Replacements frontman Paul Westerberg proved to be a rather substantial influence on lauded singer/songwriter Lucinda Williams' new Lost Highway set...

Former Replacements frontman Paul Westerberg proved to be a rather substantial influence on lauded singer/songwriter Lucinda Williams' new Lost Highway set "World Without Tears," due April 8. Williams says that not only was she listening to a lot of Westerberg's solo material as she wrote "World Without Tears," but that Westerberg is the main inspiration behind the song "Real Live Bleeding Fingers and Broken Guitar Strings."

"That was written with him in mind, to tell you the honest truth," she tells Billboard.com. Williams explains that it wasn't until recently that she really began to devour Westerberg's solo material, which happened as a result of a mutual friend setting up the two songwriters' first face-to-face meeting.

In addition, she says, "we talked a couple times on the phone. I was sort of trying to figure him out as a person and stuff, you know, listening to his songs, and just the couple of times I talked to him, and the couple of people I knew that knew him. So, yeah, his music influenced it, but, also, obviously you can see what I'm writing about in the song. Of course, it could be about a lot of different people, not just him."

In "Bleeding Fingers," Williams sings, "You got a sense of humor / You're a mystery / I heard a rumor / You're making history." Says Williams, "He's one of the most underrated songwriters around, I think. Just a brilliant writer. He's just really good at combining literary lyrics -- really good lyrics -- set against a really cool, rock'n'roll musical bed."

"Unfortunately, he doesn't put his lyrics in his CDs," she continues. "So, at first listen, it's easy to not see, to not notice how great his songs are, lyrically."

Meanwhile, Williams has been drafted as the support act for Neil Young and Crazy Horse's summer North American tour, which kicks off June 8 in West Palm Beach, Fla. Beforehand, she will play two late April dates at New Orleans's annual Jazz Fest before beginning a European tour May 2 in Glasgow.

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