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July 13, 2024

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Lucinda Williams
Car Wheels On A Gravel Road (Mercury Records)

By: Paula M. Sherman

Twenty year singer/songwriter veteran, Lucinda Williams, gives us some more offerings of her unique style of rock music. Williams new release "Car Wheels On A Gravel Road" is an interesting sticky and sweet set of 13 songs. Swinging between the realms of rock and country, Williams portrays many tales in melodies that are great to listen to all the time. Doesn't matter if you're kicking your feet up to relax or ready to grab your partner to sway cheek to cheek or enjoy some dirty dancing. With a vocal approach much like Cheryl Crow and Tom Petty, and a musical range reminiscent of Bruce Springsteen and Dave Edmunds; Williams racks this compilation up and manages to hit every ball in the pocket. Consistently poetic lyrics drifting through a terrific set of arrangements, Williams and her band spread out a variety of sounds that are almost too good to be true. Songs like "Right In Time", "Lake Charles" and "Still I Long For Your Kiss" are passionate songs with elegant melodies that will tug at your heartstrings. Williams is a fine storyteller and a majority of her songs will ask you to follow her on sentimental journeys. The winsome title track "Car Wheels On A Gravel Road", along with "Too Cool To Be Forgotten", "Metal Firecracker" and "Greenville" are classic songs that radiate the warmth of a fireplace burning in the wintertime. Distinctively visual and powerful, " Drunken Angel" and "Concrete And Barbed Wire" are odes that reflect a moderate and pleasing country feel. Another sweet country ode is "Jackson", a tribute that emulates Williams feelings about the southern civil war towns. Williams songs are executed with extremely creative guitar playing and stimulating percussion. While all her songs have a soothing sensuality, "Can't Let Go", "I Lost It", and "Joy" are the most arousing and make this release as exciting as a the allure of a first kiss. "Car Wheels On A Gravel Road" is definitely one to add to your music collection and I give it a A.
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