I have read so much about Lucinda Williams that by the time I heard her I was like “This is what she sounds like?”
(I have had the same experience with numerous musicians and singer-songwriters, some of whom have later come to be favourite. Fred Eaglesmith comes to mind as someone who, after reading about him too much, I was initially very disappointed and then came to like him a lot.)
On first listen, I wasn’t really impressed. Williams has a good voice but she isn’t the most engaging performer – she’s fine but she’s not some kind of dynamo. Moreover, the songs didn’t really register as “above average” to me.
After a few listens, I think the songs are mostly better than I gave her credit for. She’s a pretty traditional songwriter – as befits her chosen genre – but she’s got a good sense of melody. I don’t love her lyrics a lot of the time, but sometimes they’re. I guess I find them a little too straightforward for my liking.
And that’s sort of where I get stuck here; the aesthetic works and the songs are fine but I either need better lyrics or a slightly more engaging performance for me to get really excited about her.
Maybe I’ll change my mind whenever I get around to other albums. We’ll see.
All tracks by Lucinda Williams except where noted.
- “Right in Time” – 4:35
- “Car Wheels on a Gravel Road” – 4:44
- “2 Kool 2 Be 4-gotten” – 4:42
- “Drunken Angel” – 3:20
- “Concrete and Barbed Wire” – 3:08
- “Lake Charles” – 5:27
- “Can’t Let Go” (Randy Weeks) – 3:28
- “I Lost It” – 3:31
- “Metal Firecracker” – 3:30
- “Greenville” – 3:23
- “Still I Long For Your Kiss” (Williams, Duane Jarvis) – 4:09
- “Joy” – 4:01
- “Jackson” – 3:42
- Lucinda Williams – Vocals, acoustic guitar, Dobro guitar
- Gurf Morlix – electric guitar, 12 string electric guitar, electric slide guitar, harmony vocal, acoustic slide guitar
- John Ciambotti – bass guitar, upright bass
- Donald Lindley – drums, percussion
- Buddy Miller – acoustic guitar, mando guitar, harmony vocal, electric guitar
- Ray Kennedy – 12 string electric guitar
- Greg Leisz – 12 string electric guitar, mandolin
- Roy Bittan – Hammond B3 organ, accordion, organ
- Jim Lauderdale – harmony vocal
- Charlie Sexton – electric guitar, Dobro guitar
- Steve Earle – acoustic guitar, harmonica, harmony vocal, resonator guitar
- Johnny Lee Schell – electric guitar, electric slide guitar, Dobro guitar
- Bo Ramsey – electric guitar, slide guitar
- Micheal Smotherman – B-3 organ
- Richard “Hombre” Price – Dobro guitar
- Emmylou Harris – harmony vocal