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Contemporary folk-country at its finest,
Rezension bezieht sich auf: Car Wheels On A Gravel Road (Audio CD)
Lucinda first began to make a name for herself in the late eighties, initially as a songwriter. Patty Loveless and Mary Chapin Carpenter were among the singers to record covers of her songs, but her own albums made only a limited impact until the release of this classic album in 1998. Lucinda's world-weary voice is ideally suited to the songs, which are mainly her own.
In her songs, Lucinda paints pictures of life in rural America - the everyday experiences of everyday people that most people can relate to, even if they don't live in the kind of place that Lucinda sings about. The title track is typical, being about a family setting off to visit people in the nearby town, but hinting how this is not simple when you've got children. She manages to slip in plugs for two of her heroes - Loretta and Hank - who, at different stages of the song, are singing on the radio. Another song here (Metal firecracker) plugs ZZ top - not really what I expected from Lucinda, but I'm pleased she has broad musical tastes.
Another great song is Concrete and barbed wire, about artificial divisions. The most famous such division (in Berlin) had already disappeared some years before this album was recorded, so doesn't get mentioned. Instead, the song begins with Algiers. After that, it becomes more localized, ending with a prison wall.
Quite apart from the songs, the music is also brilliant. Lucinda secured the services of some top-notch musicians for this project including Steve Earle and Buddy Miller.
There are so many great songs on this album, which must give hope to struggling singer-songwriters everywhere. Lucinda had been performing for two decades before this album made her a star. If you enjoy contemporary folk-country music, you will surely enjoy this masterpiece.