Car Wheels on a Gravel Road

( 8 )

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Steve Huey
It isn't surprising that Lucinda Williams' level of craft takes time to assemble, but the six-year wait between Sweet Old World and its 1998 follow-up, Car Wheels on a Gravel Road, still raised eyebrows. The delay stemmed both from label difficulties and Williams' meticulous perfectionism, the latter reportedly over a too-produced sound and her own vocals. Listening to the record, one can understand why both might have concerned Williams. Car Wheels is far and away her most produced album to date, which is something of a mixed blessing. Its surfaces are clean and contemporary, with something in the timbres of the instruments especially the drums sounding extremely typical of...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Steve Huey
It isn't surprising that Lucinda Williams' level of craft takes time to assemble, but the six-year wait between Sweet Old World and its 1998 follow-up, Car Wheels on a Gravel Road, still raised eyebrows. The delay stemmed both from label difficulties and Williams' meticulous perfectionism, the latter reportedly over a too-produced sound and her own vocals. Listening to the record, one can understand why both might have concerned Williams. Car Wheels is far and away her most produced album to date, which is something of a mixed blessing. Its surfaces are clean and contemporary, with something in the timbres of the instruments especially the drums sounding extremely typical of a late-'90s major-label roots-rock album. While that might subtly alter the timeless qualities of Williams' writing, there's also no denying that her sound is punchier and livelier. The production also throws Williams' idiosyncratic voice into sharp relief, to the point where it's noticeably separate from the band. As a result, every inflection and slight tonal alteration is captured, and it would hardly be surprising if Williams did obsess over those small details. But whether or not you miss the earthiness of Car Wheels' predecessors, it's ultimately the material that matters, and Williams' songwriting is as captivating as ever. Intentionally or not, the album's common thread seems to be its strongly grounded sense of place -- specifically, the Deep South, conveyed through images and numerous references to specific towns. Many songs are set, in some way, in the middle or aftermath of not-quite-resolved love affairs, as Williams meditates on the complexities of human passion. Even her simplest songs have more going on under the surface than their poetic structures might indicate. In the end, Car Wheels on a Gravel Road is Williams' third straight winner; although she might not be the most prolific songwriter of the '90s, she's certainly one of the most brilliant.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 6/30/1998
  • Label: Island / Mercury
  • UPC: 731455833829
  • Catalog Number: 558338
  • Sales rank: 629

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Right In Time (4:35)
  2. 2 Car Wheels On A Gravel Road (4:44)
  3. 3 2 Kool 2 Be 4-Gotten (4:42)
  4. 4 Drunken Angel (3:20)
  5. 5 Concrete And Barbed Wire (3:08)
  6. 6 Lake Charles (5:27)
  7. 7 Can't Let Go (3:28)
  8. 8 I Lost It (3:31)
  9. 9 Metal Firecracker (3:30)
  10. 10 Greenville (3:23)
  11. 11 Still I Long for Your Kiss (4:09)
  12. 12 Joy (4:01)
  13. 13 Jackson (3:42)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Lucinda Williams Primary Artist, Primary Artist, Acoustic Guitar, Dobro, Guitar, Vocals
Emmylou Harris Vocals, Vocal Harmony
Ray Kennedy 12-string Guitar
Jim Lauderdale Vocals, Vocal Harmony
Steve Earle Acoustic Guitar, Guitar, Harmonica, Guitar (Resonator), Vocal Harmony
Charlie Sexton Dobro, Guitar, Electric Guitar
Roy Bittan Organ, Accordion, Hammond Organ
John Ciambotti Bass Guitar
Greg Leisz Mandolin, 12-string Guitar
Donald Lindley Percussion, Drums
Gurf Morlix Guitar, Electric Guitar, 12-string Guitar, Slide Guitar
Buddy Miller Acoustic Guitar, Guitar, Electric Guitar, Mando-Guitar, Vocal Harmony
Bo Ramsey Electric Guitar, Slide Guitar
Johnny Lee Schell Dobro, Electric Guitar, Slide Guitar
Michael Smotherman Hammond Organ
Technical Credits
Lucinda Williams Producer
Roy Bittan Producer, Engineer
Steve Churchyard Engineer
Ed Thacker Engineer
Margery Greenspan Artwork
Twangtrust Producer
Hank Williams Mastering
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 8 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(7)

4 Star

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3 Star

(1)

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Sort by: Showing all of 8 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    one of the best cds ever!

    since the day i heard this disk i have loved it. it spent three monts, non stop in my car. i still loveit after all this time. it is the perfect mix of roots, country, blues - lucinda's voice is real with passion and fear, loss and hope. Lucinda Williams is a song writer unlike any other. her songs are clear and from the heart...eachone showing a little more of who she is. a+++

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    A Masterpiece!!

    Lucinda exhibits an emotional honesty that amazes. This is a must for all serious music fans!!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    classic

    excellent songs and a great delivery

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Recommended

    This album is pretty solid, but not great. A few of her slower ballads tend to go on a bit (eg "Jackson") but the price of the alum alone is almost worth the two best songs on the CD, "Joy" a fantastic upbeat wailing sneer of a song about the man who made her unhappy, and "Can't let Go" a rollicking good old country ditty with a great chorus. Recommended.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 7, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted November 22, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted October 26, 2008

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted March 7, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 8 Customer Reviews