Track Listing — 1 ? Pineola — 2 ? Metal Firecracker — 3 ? Car Wheels On A Gravel Road — 4 ? Right In Time — 5 ? Drunken Angel — 6 ? Greenville — 7 ? Lake Charles — 8 ? Changed The Locks — 9 ? Joy — 10 ? Disgusted — 11 ? Jackson — 12 ?... more » Sweet Old World
Outstanding live set from a unique country-folk-rock voice
hyperbolium | Earth, USA | 09/19/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Williams' folk-country cult status expanded into the mainstream with Patty Loveless' 1990 cover of "The Night's Too Long," and her back catalog became highly sought after when Mary Chapin Carpenter's 1993 cover of "Passionate Kisses" hit the top five, and won the songwriter a Grammy. But it was another five years before Williams finished and issued her followup, "Car Wheels on a Gravel Road," and it's at the point of that 1998 re-emergence that she made this appearance, her third, on Austin City Limits.
After all the misfires and arguments with her labels, Williams launched into this tour with a lot of pent-up artistic energy, and she pulled together a tremendous band that featured a guitar army augmenting her own acoustic, with Kenny Vaughn and John Jackson on electrics and Jim Lauderdale on second acoustic. The stereo and multichannel mixes winningly separate the players so that the contribution of each (particularly Vaughn and Jackson's array of unusual axes) can be heard distinctly. With bass, drums, organ and accordion, there's still a surprising amount of room for Williams' vocals and Lauderdale's harmonies.
The song list draws heavily from "Car Wheels," including all but three of the album's titles. The set is filled out with tracks from "Lucinda Williams" and "Sweet Old World," as well as a cover of Lil' Son Jackson's "Disgusted" that dates back to Williams' 1979 Smithsonian Folkways album, "Ramblin'." It's a balanced portrait of the sweet, sad and sandpaper sides of Williams' catalog, and a deep helping of her Southern-grounded songwriting.
Williams is visually transported throughout the performance. The close-ups of her at the microphone find her gazing without focus, lost in the stories of her lyrics. Terse song introductions and a quick round of band introductions are her only interaction with the audience. Her interplay with the band is purely musical, as she never seems to engage them visually; Jim Lauderdale can often be seen in the background singing harmony, watching Williams as she looks straight ahead.
"This is perhaps one of the very best live concerts I've seen on DVD. Sound and picture are perfect. And the intense professionalism of Williams and her band makes for a crisp, hot concert that's 99% music. But underscoring the fine performance is Williams' own growing reputation as a songwriter and singer. She's not prolific, but you will be struck how each one of the songs on this DVD is gold. And if you are familiar with her albums -- you know this high standard is the norm. Williams sings about real people in an American geography that is both familiar and intimate. Memphis, Lake Charles, Greenfield, and car wheels on a gravel road. Whew. You can practically hear the laughter, see the beer bottles rolling on the floorboard, feel the summer night breeze on your face, and the tender kiss may come with it. Williams is an American mythmaker much like Twain, Faulkner, Cormac McCarthy, Dylan, Springsteen, or the late great Larry Brown, but with a woman's southern contemporary eye."
As good as sex (very nearly)
William Stein | Abingdon, Va. | 03/22/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Watching Lucinda Williams perform is a paradoxical experience. You can't call her polished, exactly; she growls, uses words like "stuff" and in every way represents the outlaw type of musician that calls Texas home. But her performances, both live and recorded, are very polished. I had the good fortune to see her in concert last October at the beautifully restored Tennessee Theater in Knoxville and was wowed by her perfomance. Her sets are tight, her band exceptional. And, guess what? She really has a sweet voice! All that comes through on this performance, recorded live a UT for Austin City Limits. The performance, following the release of "Car Wheels on a Gravel Road," was influenced by the sound of that record just as the show last year bore the marks of her latest release, "World Without Tears." On both sets her backup band is stellar. Her sweetness comes through on "Right in Time," "Still I Long for Your Kiss," "Jackson," and "Lake Charles." "Metal Firecracker" and "Changed the Locks" are straight ahead rockers. But "Joy" gives me the most joy. Guitarists Kenny Vaughan and John Jackson come off like the Allman Brothers and Lucinda bobs and weaves like a prizefighter. Maybe better than sex."
Lucinda showcases her great talent
tree huggin hippie | madison Wis. | 03/07/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I have a few of Lucinda's CD's with "Car Wheels on a gravel road" being my favorite. Those songs are showcased here along with some others. Her live performance is just fantastic - I actually would tell people who haven't heard her to start with this DVD. Her voice is strong and the band behind her is incredible and brings out the full spectrum of her songs. I usually am dissapointed in live performances - but not this one. If you like Lucinda's music - this will not disappoint. If your new to her, it's a great place to start your introduction."
Thomas Tracy | Northern GA, United States | 05/20/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
""The female Bob Dylan". "A Modern Day Hank Williams". Like me, you've probably heard and read the comparisons before.
But, while the honor of being mentioned in the same breath as these musical geniuses cannot be denied, I truly believe Lucinda is all this and more. Lucinda is Lucinda. She stands alone in my mind. An amazing songwriter, performer, singer and musician. A women who literally brings tears to my eyes every time I hear her sing the chorus of "Lake Charles" (for Clyde). A songwriter whose lyrics are so evocative of the Deep South, that she can paint a picture of a thousand brush strokes with simple phrases like "June bug versus hurricane" or "There goes the screen door slamming shut" and "Set of keys and a dusty suitcase". Misty memories of hot summer days in the South from my childhood flash before my mind's eye each time I hear Lucinda sing. The achingly beautiful timbre of her voice with the "been there, done that" edge of painful experience that I love & admire so much.
This DVD captures all this in Lucinda's music & live performances and more. Filmed during her third appearance on "Austin City Limits" in 1998, on the heals of the release of her amazing album "Car Wheels On a Gravel Road", this is Lucinda at her brilliant best. Being prior to the release of her subsequent albums "Essence" and "World Without Tears", this performance has more of her "crooners" (as my good friend John calls them) than some of the more rockin' songs from these latter two albums (I love them all, however, so I am always pleased). One notable exception here (not the only one) is the next to the last track, "Joy" which has the crowd on their feet hootin' & hollerin' during some amazing guitar work from Kenny Vaughn and John Jackson.
Speaking of the band, they are tight, they are talented, they are incredible. And technically speaking, the video is crisp, the transitions smooth, the close-ups of the guitar work timely & plentiful (what you would expect from an "Austin City Limits" production). Finally, the DTS mix is outstanding. I was in awe during my entire first viewing, and left wanting for more (MUCH more) at the end.
In short, an absolute must-have for any Lucinda Williams fan. Run, don't walk, to your nearest store to buy this DVD. You won't regret it.
Oh yeah, while you're there, pick up her new live album, "Live @ the Fillmore". More durn good stuff..."