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.
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):
After signing a record deal with Rick Rubin’s American Recordings label, Williams began recording songs for Car Wheels on a Gravel Road in 1995. The album was originally made in collaboration with Williams’s long-time producer and guitar player Gurf Morlix. According to Morlix, the recordings (in Austin, Texas) were “90% done,” but Williams shelved them and redid them in Nashville. In the middle of the re-recordings, they “butted heads in the studio” and ended their partnership. She also worked with Steve Earle who said of the experience that it was “the least amount of fun I’ve had working on a record.”
The final version of Car Wheels on a Gravel Road was produced by Roy Bittan. Williams incorporated country and blues elements into her modern roots rock style for the album.
The master tapes for those “alternative” sessions were kept and have been making rounds through bootleg circles ever since. Not too hard to find online, and well worth the search even if the definitive album is the official one.
This is a masterpiece and one of the very best albums from the 90s no matter what genre you listen to.
Lucinda Williams – Joy (live, 2006?):
Car Wheels On A Gravel Road (deluxe edition):
– Hallgeir & Egil