Lucinda Williams's music reclaims the gritty soul of Southern living from the hardening gloss of Sunbelt culture. Car Wheels on a Gravel Road was six infamous years in the making, as the singer-songwriter repeatedly rerecorded the sessions (to the exasperation of producers Steve Earle and Roy Bittan). The implications are somewhat unnerving: Only with obsessive perfectionism (a phrase that is not a redundancy here) can an honest voice emerge. But such perils are softened by the effect; Williams's songs speak with a rare directness, a visceral clarity. Despite instrumental accents from the likes of a Dobro and a mandolin, the music is bluesier than your usual No Depression recording, and it's a good match for the spunk in Williams's voice. This 1998 recording topped many critics' "best of" lists and is regarded as a better successor to Williams's 1988 classic, Lucinda Williams, than her 1992 release Sweet Old World. Ultimately, Williams is searching for higher truths, and this release suggests that although we live in desperately fettered times, grim perseverance will lead to great beauty and revelation.
Performance CreditsLucinda Williams Primary Artist,Acoustic Guitar,Dobro,Vocals
Emmylou Harris Vocals,Vocal Harmony
Ray Kennedy 12-string Guitar
Jim Lauderdale Vocals,Vocal Harmony
Steve Earle Acoustic 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,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 CreditsLucinda Williams Producer
Roy Bittan Producer,Engineer
Steve Churchyard Engineer
Ed Thacker Engineer
Margery Greenspan Artwork
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Car Wheels on a Gravel Road based on 0 ratings. 8 reviews.
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+++
Lucinda exhibits an emotional honesty that amazes. This is a must for all serious music fans!!
excellent songs and a great delivery
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.