Opening the iTunes Store…If iTunes doesn’t open, click the iTunes application icon in your Dock or on your Windows desktop.Progress Indicator
Opening the iBooks Store.If iBooks doesn't open, click the iBooks app in your Dock.Progress Indicator

iTunes is the world's easiest way to organize and add to your digital media collection.

We are unable to find iTunes on your computer. To preview and buy music from Car Wheels On a Gravel Road by Lucinda Williams, download iTunes now.

Already have iTunes? Click I have iTunes to open it now.

I Have iTunes Free Download
iTunes for Mac + PC

Car Wheels On a Gravel Road

Open iTunes to preview, buy, and download music.

Album Review

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.

Customer Reviews

Lucinda proves her mettle - with great songs.

The hardest thing to find is a great tune. I was hooked on this smooth set - with the opening track - "Right in Time". This lady sounds a little like Emmy Lou Harris - and with the muscular open feel to the fine production, this is the kind of music that really blurs Country and Folk, in the best possible way. Lucinda is a writers dream - and "Greenville", "Lake Charles" and the slippery "Jackson" are highlights. Sweet and memorable. Get it.


Lucinda Williams is a genius. I had never heard of her but I do listen to CBC radio from time to time. I was driving around in my car and they played Car Wheels on a Gravel Road...I immediately hauled myself over to the local record store and purchased it. I've never regretted it. It was the start of a love affair with her music that has continued over the past 12 years. Her evocative lyrics, with the universal subjects of death, love and sexual obsession often seem to mirror the pages of my own life. This ladies' music is wonderful.

Not enough reviews ? Are we kidding ??

All right, first off, BUY THIS !! Seriously,this is one of those recordings which, on first listen sounds pleasant enough but you may wonder "what's so great ? " However when you have listened to it for ,Oh....the hundredth time or so, you'll wonder how you didn't "get" it in the beginning. O.K., For me the tracks- 2 Kool 2 Be 4-Gotten ,Drunken Angel,Can't Let Go ,and Joy are pure bliss.-YMMV


Born: January 26, 1953 in Lake Charles, LA

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

The object of cultish adoration for years, singer/songwriter Lucinda Williams was universally hailed as a major talent by both critics and fellow musicians, but it took quite some time for her to parlay that respect into a measure of attention from the general public. Part of the reason was her legendary perfectionism: Williams released records only infrequently, often taking years to hone both the material and the recordings thereof. Plus, her early catalog was issued on smaller labels that agreed...
Full bio