Lucinda Williams
Barbican, London, UK

Recorded and mastered by Pike1957
Recorded from about eight rows from stage, pretty central.
Church Audio CA-11C Cardioids ->
Church Audio ST-9000 Preamp ->
Sony PCM-M10 (48khz, 24 bit) ->
Audacity (level adjustments, no eq, track splits, resampling) ->
FLAC (level 8, 44.1khz, 16bit, tagged) -> you

01 - [intro]
02 - Right In Time
03 - [chat]
04 - Car Wheels On A Gravel Drive
05 - [chat]
06 - 2 Kool 2 Be 4-Gotten
07 - [chat]
08 - Drunken Angel
09 - [chat]
10 - Concrete And Barbed Wire
11 - [chat]
12 - Lake Charles
13 - [chat]
14 - Can't Let Go
15 - [chat]
16 - I Lost It
17 - [chat]
18 - Metal Firecracker
19 - Greenville
20 - Still I Long For Your Kiss
21 - [chat]
22 - Joy
23 - [chat]
24 - Jackson
25 - [chat]
26 - Ghosts Of Highway 20
27 - Fruits Of My Labour
28 - Steal Your Love
29 - Changed The Locks
30 - Honey Bee
31 - Foolishness
32 - Faith And Grace
33 - Get Right With God

Lucinda Williams - vocals, acoustic & electric guitars
Stuart Mathis - electric guitars, harmonica
David Sutton - electric & upright basses
Butch Norton - drums, percussion

Twenty years after the release of her Southern Gothic masterpiece Car Wheels On A Gravel Road, country-folk singer Lucinda Williams performs the album in its entirety, followed by a selection of hits.

Lucinda’s Car Wheels crisscross the American South, embracing the sounds of the region – Memphis soul, Delta blues, Georgia on her mind. The music is the perfect vehicle for her lyrics, which are novelistic in detail, telling stories of bar brawls, broken hearts and even more broken men. It’s a journey of an album – and Lucinda takes us on that journey once more tonight.

A key theme on the record is the search for a sense of belonging, reflecting a life rich in upheaval. Growing up, Lucinda’s family moved a lot, and when it came to record labels, she couldn’t find a home, either – though she’d had her successes, winning a Grammy for penning Mary Chapin-Carpenter’s ‘Passionate Kisses’. Originally recorded for Rick Rubin’s American Records and finally released in 1998 on Mercury, Car Wheels is an ode to that sense of always moving on.

Rewview of concert in the Guardian:

Lucinda Williams review – battle-scarred star burns bright
4 / 5 stars 4 out of 5 stars.
Barbican, London

The singer brings poignancy and raw feeling to this revealing celebration of her defining album Car Wheels on a Gravel Road

Review: Betty Clarke

Singer-songwriter Lucinda Williams is celebrating last year’s 20th anniversary of her career-making, genre-spawning album, Car Wheels on a Gravel Road, yet the years of being misunderstood and deemed unmarketable still rankle. “It took an English punk-rock label to get me,” she muses. Rough Trade took a chance on Williams’s devastatingly direct tales of the American south and finely wrought roots, blues, rock, and folk and her success birthed the scene.

For this reappraisal, Williams is keeping things personal. Behind her black-clad frame, a huge screen plays home movies of the 66-year-old artist as a fresh-faced young woman and she shares photos, memories and insights while winding her way through each track of the seminal release.

Right in Time is accompanied by the image of a poster from 1998 with the tagline: “She sings like an angel with a broke [sic] heart – fact.” and Williams’s vocals are now battle-scarred, their past smooth levity broken by brutal experience. This rich difference gives gems such as Concrete and Barbed Wire, Lake Charles and Drunken Angel a harsh new poignancy, while Joy and I Lost It burn with a fiery potency enlivened by her dexterous backing band, Buick 6. Her banter about lost loves, cherished landscapes and lyrical inspiration are just as entertaining. We learn she’s no fan of Trump or Johnson and only ever “made out” on a tour bus – although she is more stoical raconteur than entertainer.

For the second half of the two and-a-half hour show, she explores more of her multifaceted sound, from the acapella spiritual Faith and Grace to playful stomper HoneyBee. “How could I not want to play rock and roll?” she grins. “It’s so much fun!” It’s 2016’s haunting Ghosts of Highway 20, however, that proves a perfect bookend to this revealing trip down memory lane, with Williams revisiting her past with maturity and concluding: “Who I am now is who I was then.”

Original album review in the Guardian:

Review: Elizabeth Wurtzel 05-Jan-1999

Thank God for country rocker Lucinda Williams, who took six years to release her latest album, Car Wheels On A Gravel Road, and who made ample use of all that time. Ms Williams has a cool coolness that makes her the ideal image of the outlaw poet with guitar, the sort of recording artist who is always photographed in black and white, in well-worn boots, against the backdrop of the American Southwest. Her voice is raspy, which suggests too many cigarettes and much too much whiskey, and over the years she has managed to give a specificity to loneliness and loss such that it becomes universal.

She also sings about just wanting to see some guy so bad, or just wanting to jump out of her own skin so much that she might just run a thousand miles to get rid of the burning desire. But there are some songs that attempt a reconciliation with the world: the title track from her last album, Sweet Old World, tells a suicide all the things he left behind and Passionate Kisses, a big hit for Mary-Chapin Carpenter, gives an itemised list of ingredients for happiness.

Ms Williams has only ever had a cult following in the US, but it seemed Car Wheels might drive her to the big time. Rolling Stone gave it a four and a half star review and she was profiled in the New York Times Magazine, a coup for a musician. But their interest in her, and mine, is precisely the problem with her career. For some strange reason, to succeed in Nashville, authenticity of the soul matters less than working with the right producers and allowing oneself to be processed through the assembly line like Kraft cheese. What most people think of as real country music is all sequins and hair falls and Viva Las Vegas, while the people with dirt under their nails are apparently not a category. So it's unlikely you'll hear Lucinda Williams' new album, but I hope you will take it on faith: it's a masterwork.