Only the second album she recorded in the decade since her highly regarded album Lucinda Williamsthis collection was the product of six long years in the studio, sessions that saw notorious perfectionist Williams scrap one approach and take after another in search of elusive perfection.
But Williams' obsessive bent paid multiple dividends on the resulting collection with gritty performances like title track and "Can't Let Go," scoring her many critical kudos, expanding her audience beyond a long-loyal cult, and scoring a Grammy for Best Joy - Lucinda Williams - Car Wheels On A Gravel Road Folk Album.
Listen on Apple Music. Apple Music Preview. Sign Out. Not going to use it as a demo of the quality of my system, but it is very listenable.
If sound is important get this double cd and give away your old one. Format: Vinyl Verified Purchase. While most of the reviews will mention the catchy song writing and the authenticity of her vocals the thing that grabbed me first was the guitar playing. The blended session guitar work on this album is "off the charts" good. This is the best session guitar work since the Layla Album. If you love electric guitar play "Joy" and cut the Fourths - Sun River - Sun River knob up just past 12 O'clock.
Side B of this Joy - Lucinda Williams - Car Wheels On A Gravel Road is about as good as it gets. BTW - the vinyl pressing Steve I Always Knew - Mark Eitzel - Lovers Leap USA pretty good. Highly Recommended. I think the best way to get a handle on Williams' sound, especially for this Joy - Lucinda Williams - Car Wheels On A Gravel Roadis to start with the Emmy Lou Harris of the s and early s, mix in Bonnie Raitt, and then complete with the rockabilly drive of Steve Earle's first two albums.
Had the album been released inwhich was before rock 'n' roll was totally polluted and before Country went fully corporate-pop, it would have been hailed by critics as both the saving of Southern Rock after the Lynyrd Skynyrd plane crash and the co-apex of the Outlaw Country movement with Red-Headed Stranger and Wanted: The Outlaws.
While each of Williams' albums has good recordings of excellent songs, no other album she has recorded comes close to 'Car Wheels' in terms of brilliance from beginning to end. A sports analogy may help. Say a baseball team has a decade in which it has no losing seasons.
Two seasons it breaks even at Five seasons it has a winning record bur fails to make the playoffs. One season it makes the playoffs but loses in the first round. One season it wins its first round in the playoffs but loses in the League Championship Series.
But the tenth season is magical from beginning to end. The team finishes the season with a record and waltzes through the World Series with ease.
That is Williams' career, and this album is that tenth season. The first 6 songs are masterpieces, as is "Greenville," which Joy - Lucinda Williams - Car Wheels On A Gravel Road ethereal harmonies from Emmy Lou. Only "Joy" leaves me less than fully enthused, and it still belongs on this song cycle.
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