The Wheel

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Lissa Kiernan
David Olney is a songwriter’s songwriter, his work earning tributes from such luminaries as Townes Van Zandt, Steve Earle, and Emmylou Harris. With The Wheel, his 13th album, he deconstructs five songs down to their most elemental part: a single, a cappella melodic line, reminiscent of Gregorian chant. These brief interludes serve to conceptually link ten full-length, soul-searching songs, as stylistically divergent as country/gospel blues, roots rock, and tender ballads. Throughout, Olney’s gruff vocals dovetail nicely with Deanie Richardson’s deft, Celtic-tinged fiddling. Lyrically, the song’s protagonists struggle to conquer the suspicion of their own smallness in ...
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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Lissa Kiernan
David Olney is a songwriter’s songwriter, his work earning tributes from such luminaries as Townes Van Zandt, Steve Earle, and Emmylou Harris. With The Wheel, his 13th album, he deconstructs five songs down to their most elemental part: a single, a cappella melodic line, reminiscent of Gregorian chant. These brief interludes serve to conceptually link ten full-length, soul-searching songs, as stylistically divergent as country/gospel blues, roots rock, and tender ballads. Throughout, Olney’s gruff vocals dovetail nicely with Deanie Richardson’s deft, Celtic-tinged fiddling. Lyrically, the song’s protagonists struggle to conquer the suspicion of their own smallness in the grand scheme of things; whether through finding and losing religion ("Voices on the Water," "God Shaped Hole"), embracing the fragility of love ("Now and Forever"), or accepting the inevitability of death ("Stonewall"). Appropriately, Olney has succeeded in doing the same, by creating a vital, masterful record that will undoubtedly withstand the test of time.
All Music Guide - William Ruhlmann
David Olney is generally characterized as a folk singer/songwriter, but that description doesn't quite jibe with the gutbucket country-rock music he actually plays. The folk tag is probably applied because, as much as his arrangements rock, they are in the service of his highly poetic lyrics, which he sings in a craggy baritone. Then, too, his songs, though newly written, often sound like old traditional folk songs. Here, in particular, "Voices on the Water," co-written with Gwil Owen, easily could be mistaken for some old song that developed out of a spiritual. Olney sometimes writes a basic love song to an acoustic guitar accompaniment, such as "Now and Forever," but more often his lyrics are allusive and his band veers back and forth in shambling rhythmic patterns that suggest the Tom Waits of Swordfishtrombones, without being quite as extreme. "God Shaped Hole" is a good example of this tendency. Pursuing an established style that is his own, Olney is now 15 albums into his career on the margins of the record business, and those who haven't followed him this far may have some trouble getting into The Wheel, at least at first. But over the course of successive listenings, it may come to seem a classic collection of bedrock verities and blues-rock performance.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 3/25/2003
  • Label: Loud House
  • UPC: 803001200321
  • Catalog Number: 2003

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Wheels (0:29)
  2. 2 Big Cadillac (4:14)
  3. 3 Voices on the Water (3:39)
  4. 4 Chained and Bound to the Wheel (4:04)
  5. 5 Stars (0:28)
  6. 6 Now and Forever (3:38)
  7. 7 God Shaped Hole (3:13)
  8. 8 Revolution (3:40)
  9. 9 Now I Start (0:10)
  10. 10 Stonewall (4:25)
  11. 11 Boss Don't Shoot No Dice (3:20)
  12. 12 Precious Time, Precious Love (0:22)
  13. 13 The Girl I Love (4:07)
  14. 14 All the Love in the World (2:27)
  15. 15 Round (1:38)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
David Olney Primary Artist, Acoustic Guitar, Electric Guitar, Vocals, Guitar (Electric Baritone)
Mike Henderson Electric Guitar
Robb Earls Organ
Mike Fleming Bass
Thomas Goldsmith Organ, Electric Guitar
Pat McInerney Percussion, Drums
Danita Wilson Background Vocals
Carolyn Edwards Vocals
Technical Credits
David Olney Producer, Engineer
Robb Earls Producer, Engineer, Mastering
Booka Michel Mastering
Dave Marsh Liner Notes
Jerry Tubb Mastering
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