June 30: Lucinda Williams released Car Wheels On A Gravel Road in 1998
Car Wheels on a Gravel Road is the fifth studio album by Lucinda Williams, released on June 30, 1998, by Mercury Records. It was recorded and co-produced by Williams in Nashville, Tennessee and Canoga Park, California. The album features guest appearances by Steve Earle and Emmylou Harris.
“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.” – Steve Huey (Allmusic)
Car Wheels on a Gravel Road won a Grammy Award for Best Contemporary Folk Album.
The Title track, Car Wheels On A Gravel Road (Live 2009):
The Band 06/23/96
Loreley, St. Goarshausen, Germany
This is from the tour in support of their album, High on the hog. It is one of the last concerts by The Band, they ended the tour in august 1996, and they played a few stand-alone gigs after that. I think this is the last filmed concert by The Band (correct me in the comments if I’m wrong).
“No one can penetrate me. They only see what’s in their own fancy, always.”
– Ray Davies
June 21: Ray Davies was born in 1944 Happy Birthday
Sir Raymond Douglas “Ray” Davies, CBE (born 21 June 1944) is an English musician. He was the lead vocalist, rhythm guitarist and main songwriter for The Kinks, which he led with his younger brother, Dave. He has also acted, directed and produced shows for theatre and television.
Ray Davies is one of my favorite british songwriters, he really is up there with Lennon/McCartney and Jagger/Richards. He is that good!
Ray Davies’ influence on british music is large and important. It really became visible during the brit-pop period, but I can hear his way of talking about the english way of live in today’s pop and rap/hip-hop also. They might not know why they do it the way the do, but we do, it is the way Ray Davies taught them through his songs .
While almost every other songwriter working in a rock band at the time was talking about altered states or sticking it to squares, Ray Davies developed a vocabulary of traditional English life, and even mocked Carnaby Street fashion on “Dedicated Follower of Fashion”. The Kinks were culture without the “counter” prefix, a rock band that anomalously acknowledged the dignity in the middle-aged woman who went out and bought a hat like the one Princess Marina wore, the one that adopted the mannerisms of music hall without pastiche or irony, the one that sang about tea and gooseberry tarts and favoring neighborhood life over new patterns of development.
A singular talent who passed almost unnoticed during his brief lifetime, Nick Drake produced several albums of chilling, somber beauty. With hindsight, these have come to be recognized as peak achievements of both the British folk-rock scene and the entire rock singer/songwriter genre.
~Richie Unterberger (allmusic.com)
I never felt magic crazy as this
I never saw moons knew the meaning of the sea
I never held emotion in the palm of my hand
Or felt sweet breezes in the top of a tree
But now you’re here
Brighten my northern sky.