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Lucinda Williams — Car Wheels on a Gravel Road
Album: Car Wheels on a Gravel Road
Avg rating:
6.5

Your rating:
Total ratings: 875









Released: 1998
Length: 4:40
Plays (last 30 days): 1
sittin' in the kitchen, a house in Macon
Loretta's singing on the radio
smell of coffee, eggs, and bacon
car wheels on a gravel road
pull the curtains back and look outside
somebody somewhere i don't know
come on now child we're gonna go for a ride

car wheels on a gravel road
car wheels on a gravel road
car wheels on a gravel road

can't find a damn thing in this place
nothing's where i left it before
set of keys and a dusty suitcase
car wheels on a gravel road
There goes the screen door slamming shut
you better do what you're told
when i get back this room better be picked-up

car wheels on a gravel road
car wheels on a gravel road
car wheels on a gravel road

low hum of voices in the front seat
stories nobody knows
got folks in Jackson we're going to meet
car wheels on a gravel road
cotton fields stretching miles and miles
hank's voice on the radio
telephone poles trees and wires fly on by

car wheels on a gravel road
car wheels on a gravel road
car wheels on a gravel road

broken down shacks engine parts
could tell a lie but my heart would know
listen to the dogs barkin' in the yard
car wheels on a gravel road
child in the backseat about four or five years
lookin' out the window
little bit of dirt mixed with tears

car wheels on a gravel road
car wheels on a gravel road
car wheels on a gravel road
car wheels on a gravel road
car wheels on a gravel road
Comments (113)add comment
Grinding to the mind, sounds like someone slapped the sound mixer.
Fun to jam along with on guitar.
A nice song. The bridge isn't great, but the rest of it makes up for it.
 buddy wrote:

Pretty much sounds like Sheryl Crow on a bad day. I give it a 'meh'.




Buddy, we all like Sheryl but Lucinda don't sound anything like her.  Go deeper into the other songs....
Great songwriter and singer!
 buddy wrote:

Pretty much sounds like Sheryl Crow on a bad day. I give it a 'meh'.



I think it's the overly breathiness of her style all too often that can turn me off. 'Meh' here too.
Despite being the title track IMHO this is the weakest song on the album.  
Pretty much sounds like Sheryl Crow on a bad day. I give it a 'meh'.
 d-don wrote:

I like the storytelling nature of the song in the colloquial fashion. 8



 
10 for me, the extra 2 is for the very real feeling that I lived those lyrics

 



I don't know why this song keeps getting played.
 fredriley wrote:
This started off a 5, but the sheer monotony of the 3-note verses  overwhelmed my patience ...
 

Uhhh - that's what the song is about and captures well

I like the storytelling nature of the song in the colloquial fashion. 8


Abysmal.
 fredriley wrote:
...sheer monotony...
Yet it is so complex, fresh, evocative and soulful to me - even after all these years and miles. Maybe because I was that baby in the backseat. The mandolin behind the chorus sings like a telegraph full of DNA. Different lives, different tastes. A sweet mystery.

I've always felt this song painted such a clear picture with just so few words. You can easily put yourself in that kitchen or in that yard and completely visualize it from the simple lyrics. Genius!
roulleau wrote:

I take comfort in the fact that there are currently at least 18 other listeners out there who agree with me that this song is a 10 all the way.

add another. You'd have to be pretty low on soul or maybe born somewhere that doesn't relate not to see and feel what's going on here. Everybody has different tastes, but some of the comments miss the point of this song so badly that you wonder if they have listened and disliked, or just rejected it as a reflex to stereotypes. Stereotypes so old and ingrained that they are not really certain where they came from.

Love Lucinda Williams, but that was too close to country for me, like some of her other stuff....
Ouch! Cartwheels on a gravel road? That sounds like it would really be hard on the hands.
(Disclaimer: Just kidding. I know it's "car wheels.")

I take comfort in the fact that there are currently at least 18 other listeners out there who agree with me that this song is a 10 all the way.


cute driving song {#Roflol}
This is very tedious.  Car Wheels on a Gravel Road is the new fingernails on a chalkboard.

 fredriley wrote:
This started off a 5, but the sheer monotony of the 3-note verses  ... 


You nailed it.
This started off a 5, but the sheer monotony of the 3-note verses  overwhelmed my patience and I had to hit the mute before I threw something at the monitor. 3 from the Nottingham jury, which really would rather hear the sound of car wheels on gravel than this again. Perhaps if it were a few verses shorter it might be tolerable. A shame, as Lucinda Williams other stuff on RP is quite good.
Love the guitar and the vocals.
 wenatchee wrote:
Car Whee-oh-ls on a grevel row . . .
 
Hehehe...{#Roflol}

Really surprised this is on the playlist and not Lake Charles or Drunken Angel.  Car Wheels is a great album, but this is its weakest moment. 
Is this over yet?
 huebdoo wrote:
is it me or is her twang in her voice fake? It sounds forced
 
She hales from Tennessee by way of Louisiana, Mississippi, and Arkansas—so I'm guessing that twang's for real. {#Cowboy}

As to the evocative quality of her lyrics, turns out her dad is the poet Miller Williams.

huebdoo wrote:
is it me or is her twang in her voice fake? It sounds forced
Too much time in the city, huebdoo. Treat yourself! Get in the car and drive across the USA. Lots of hidden treasures in this country for those with the heart and mind to listen and learn.

Thanks for painting these beautiful vignettes of time and place, Lucinda. If you had not chosen music, you could have been a great novelist.


A little more Lucinda on RP would be nice. {#Notworthy}

The 56-year-old singer marries her manager Tom Overby during an on-stage performance at the First Avenue in Minneapolis, Minn.


 

Grammy-winning singer Lucinda Williams got married to her manager Tom Overby during her performance at the First Avenue in Minneapolis, Minn., on Friday, September 18. Bringing the wedding report to the surface for the very first time was NPR. "Friends, family and fans were all in attendance to witness the nuptials, as the show was open to the public," the site reported.

While no further details were shared about the wedding, two pictures were posted, one of which witnessed Lucinda and Tom, who wore matching black outfits, standing next to each other with the companion of a priest. The other shot, meanwhile, showed the bride and groom sharing a kiss on stage as the other people watched.



Lucinda Williams announced her engagement to Tom Overby, who is a former Best Buy music executive, in 2006. The nuptials is the first for Tom and the second one for Lucinda. She was previously married to drummer Greg Sowders.

Lucinda has been hitting the road on her 30th Anniversary Tour to celebrate three decades as a recording artist.


 themotion wrote:


What would a rats ass look like? ... No rat, just the ass.
If someone handed me a rat's ass, i would be like 'WTF is this?!'
  
I'm pretty sure it would be very small. {#Cool}

I like most songs from Lucinda almost at first listen. This one however, took a few listens for me to get it. I now think it is one of the highlights of the album. A solid 8.

{#Dancingbanana_2}
I bought this CD just before a road trip up the California coast to Cambria. By the time I was on the way home this entire CD was a staple in the CD player. Brings back great memories of good company, mountains and oceans.


Such vitriol for a song. Holy smokes. Can't you guys just chill out for 4:44? It's not my favorite song, either, but something better's coming up soon ..
The smell of Lucinda...someone left her out again.
 bugslovertoo wrote:

One song people don't like.  One song.  I personally hate it, but I like most of what Lucinda does.  This one I find annoying, repetitive, and grating.  That doesn't mean I don't like "America's" pearls.  Geez.  Got a bigger paint brush?

 
I agree with you about this song. Lake Charles and others are much better tunes.

volume down to zero
 bobcat1963 wrote:
Judging from the comments here, I guess Americans don't appreciate there own pearls
{#Stupid}

 
One song people don't like.  One song.  I personally hate it, but I like most of what Lucinda does.  This one I find annoying, repetitive, and grating.  That doesn't mean I don't like "America's" pearls.  Geez.  Got a bigger paint brush?

Lyrically one of the most annoying songs I have ever heard, and I run to turn off RP when it is played.  I like Lucinda, but I really do not like this song.  It would not bother me one bit if it was removed from the play list and immersed into cement and then dropped into the Mariana trench, secretly, at night, so no one could ever find it again.
Car wheeeeeeeeels on a gravel road
car wheeeeeeeeels on a gravel road
car wheeeeeeeeels on a gravel road
ARGH!
 {#Puke}

Yikes! Such a sweet song and such grumpy opinions...Perhaps it's nap time... 
 bobcat1963 wrote:
Judging from the comments here, I guess Americans don't appreciate there own pearls
{#Stupid}
 Naw, just a few of them don't.


Judging from the comments here, I guess Americans don't appreciate there own pearls
{#Stupid}

I never undserstood the appeal of this song. It's just annoying.......
And I am in Austin Texas and I have met Gurf Morlix (nice guy)

Car Whee-oh-ls on a grevel row . . .
 ala_frosty wrote:
This song made me angry! I became angry that i was listening to it. Not like a Nine Inch Nails or Husker Du kind of angry .. more like "If this doesn't end soon, I'm going to have to stick the speakers in a burning ring of fire and let them burn, baby, BURN!!!!"

I have a hard time thinking back to the mid 80's to pick out a song that made me feel quite like this. If I hadn't been in the middle of a high intensity aerobic set, I'd have probably deleted my RP link.

Please do not do this to me again! Please, please, please .. I think I'm going to have to take a nice long sooothing bath now .. with scented candles .. and I'm a GUY!

Ugh.

Stephen

 
Gee whiz, son, it's just rock'n'roll. Relax.

 jjbix wrote:
i really like Lucinda, . . .  however, this song is a sleeper.  .. .
 

Ditto.
Sittin in the kitchen
a house in Macon
Smell-uh kowfee,
aygs 'n' bakin

Oh Lucinda, how I love thee.
There seem to be some haters for this song. I am not one of them, I love Lucinda and this song in particular.
This song made me angry! I became angry that i was listening to it. Not like a Nine Inch Nails or Husker Du kind of angry .. more like "If this doesn't end soon, I'm going to have to stick the speakers in a burning ring of fire and let them burn, baby, BURN!!!!"

I have a hard time thinking back to the mid 80's to pick out a song that made me feel quite like this. If I hadn't been in the middle of a high intensity aerobic set, I'd have probably deleted my RP link.

Please do not do this to me again! Please, please, please .. I think I'm going to have to take a nice long sooothing bath now .. with scented candles .. and I'm a GUY!

Ugh.

Stephen

 drictor wrote:
Judging from the comments here, I guess she's one of those musicians you either really like or don't like. Personally I think her music ranks up there with some of the best floating around the last couple of years. See her live if you can — her guitar player rocks!

 

I believe her current guitarist is not the one on this album.  The one on this album is the most admirable Mr. Gurf Morlix.  Check out his album "Toad of Titcaca" if you haven't already. 
i really like Lucinda, . . .  however, this song is a sleeper.  .. .
huebdoo wrote:
is it me or is her twang in her voice fake? It sounds forced
No, it's a real accent. I've heard interviews with her and she talks just like she sings. She's from Lake Charles, Louisiana, and her accent is pretty authentic to there.
i really like lucinda. except for this song. it grates on the one nerve i have left. everything else she does, i really, really enjoy. i also find it funny that someone in the forum threads called this song: Cartwheels on a Gravel Road. ouch :headache:
I love lucinda. her voice has changed so much over the years, i'd say its gotten even better. great album, great song.
The phrase "adult contemporary" comes to mind. 3.
is it me or is her twang in her voice fake? It sounds forced
One of my all time favorite albums by Lucinda, 2cool2B4gotten is a great cut on this one.
jjbix wrote:
i like lucinda but this song grates like a gravel road . . ..
I just came to post a comment - and saw this, which is sums up my thoughts even better than I could.
i like lucinda but this song grates like a gravel road . . ..
very creative cover photo. and the music has rhythm of country songs.
deadmessengers wrote:
Car Wheels on a Gravel Road? More like Nails on a Chalkboard.
Oye, that hears my ears. I don't agree, but funny.
RobK wrote:
I can't answer that but if you're looking to buy one Tom Waits knows a guy.
F'in hilarious.
Boring! Lucinda has done so much better.
MissAmy wrote:
The most over played song in the entire KGSR, Austin, Tx catalogue, and that's saying a lot. Ugh. Why, Bill, why?!
Because I like it.
I'm glad to hear Lucinda here. I have to say, when I first heard her, I hated her music, but the more I hear her, the more I love her stuff now.
My 4 year old son makes me play this TWICE every time it comes on the player in the car. He thinks it's cool someone would write a song about car wheels on a gravel road. Me too. Really like the imagery she can portray in a song.
themotion wrote:
What would a rats ass look like? ... No rat, just the ass. If someone handed me a rat's ass, i would be like 'WTF is this?!' :eek:
I can't answer that but if you're looking to buy one Tom Waits knows a guy.
Cartwheels on a gravel road? Ouch!
Nice groove. I'm digging this song.
lionirons wrote:
You wouldn't know a rat's ass if Lucinda handed one to you personally...
What would a rats ass look like? ... No rat, just the ass. If someone handed me a rat's ass, i would be like 'WTF is this?!' :eek:
drictor wrote:
Judging from the comments here, I guess she's one of those musicians you either really like or don't like. Personally I think her music ranks up there with some of the best floating around the last couple of years. See her live if you can -- her guitar player rocks!
:yes:
Judging from the comments here, I guess she's one of those musicians you either really like or don't like. Personally I think her music ranks up there with some of the best floating around the last couple of years. See her live if you can -- her guitar player rocks!
hanssachs wrote:
... bu this Lucinda Williams, here -- I kept hearing big things about her, but the more I hear, the less I like. There's a subtle difference between performing the role of a burned-out musician who doesn't give a rat's ass what anybody thinks, and being a burned-out musician who doesn't give a rat's ass what anybody thinks, and I can't help but hear more of the second than the first.
You wouldn't know a rat's ass if Lucinda handed one to you personally...
hanssachs wrote:
... bu this Lucinda Williams, here -- I kept hearing big things about her, but the more I hear, the less I like. There's a subtle difference between performing the role of a burned-out musician who doesn't give a rat's ass what anybody thinks, and being a burned-out musician who doesn't give a rat's ass what anybody thinks, and I can't help but hear more of the second than the first.
Okay...so she's got a little brain burn from some heroin abuse. No one holds that against Keith Richards.
... bu this Lucinda Williams, here -- I kept hearing big things about her, but the more I hear, the less I like. There's a subtle difference between performing the role of a burned-out musician who doesn't give a rat's ass what anybody thinks, and being a burned-out musician who doesn't give a rat's ass what anybody thinks, and I can't help but hear more of the second than the first.
jojo wrote:
I wonder, did she also sing a song about cowgirls? There is this one song I can't place, it goes "I wish I was a cowgirl, out on the western range...oh I wander down the neon streets with noone left to blame...home on the range." Anybody remember that song?
Two years later, a voice from the back says, "That was Mary McCaslin, "Oh Hollywood" on Way Out West" https://www.rounder.com/?id=album.php&catalog_id=5698
Agent510 wrote:
Head On...Apply Directly To The Forehead. (repeat 100x). That's almost what this reminded me of.
Jeez kids, get over it!!! It's called 'the chorus', keep tyour ears open and you'll find it in many songs.
kazuma wrote:
I can't decide if this song is about car wheels on a gravel road, or car wheels on a gravel road. :think:
Have you considered CARTwheels on a gravel road? That's how my neighbor hears it. I love it. And I don't live in Austin.
Head On...Apply Directly To The Forehead. (repeat 100x). That's almost what this reminded me of.
laprincessa wrote:
She's AWESOME. See her live if you haven't -- well worth the ticket.
I did...she is.
masterhead wrote:
Now forget that is Lucinda, listen to the song...No, you see, it is NOT a ten...
Now forget that your opinion is not anyone else's...No, you see, they can rate it WHATEVER they want.
The most over played song in the entire KGSR, Austin, Tx catalogue, and that's saying a lot. Ugh. Why, Bill, why?!
I can't decide if this song is about car wheels on a gravel road, or car wheels on a gravel road. :think:
I wasn't noticing this song much (textbook 3) and then the repetition of the "car wheels..." line ripped me out of my work induced daze...in a bad way. It's a 2.
Sheesh, first we hear Shannon McNally - Pale Moon, and now the fantastic Lucinda off of a stellar album. Both by the way produced by Charlie Sexton (hint, hint). C'mon Bill, keep the string going!
jnhashmi wrote:
This song is lodged firmly in the "please make it stop!" category. Annoying. I almost clicked off RP. But I made it through.
No way I can stomach anything this voice puts out...curious lyrics or not.
Lucinda Williams Sister Double Happiness Norah Jones Michelle Shocked Girls girls girls! (I'm glad I was away from my desk. ) :wink:
I never miss Lucinda when she comes to Austin. She's the real deal. A gritty voice from the Janice Joplin school with the soul of a poet. Great.
laprincessa wrote:
I gave the song a 9, but I agree - the album is a 10. She's AWESOME. See her live if you haven't -- well worth the ticket.
I agree with the agreement. This is an Excellent album. Every tune an 8 or better!
xkolibuul wrote:
Sorry, but you all are just nuts. This is a 10. The whole album is a 10.
I gave the song a 9, but I agree - the album is a 10. She's AWESOME. See her live if you haven't -- well worth the ticket.
beetnose wrote:
Being a Joni Mitchell/Laura Nyro freak....
I'm crazy about Laura Nyro too, and I find her complete absence on RP very strange considering her influence and amazing talent. Have you tried uploading any of her music? My copies are all purchased MP3 and apparently don't meet RP upload standards. We need to get this station on track and properly educate the rest of these folks!
deadmessengers wrote:
Car Wheels on a Gravel Road? More like Nails on a Chalkboard.
Even though I don't agree, this comment still cracked me up. :D
Car Wheels on a Gravel Road? More like Nails on a Chalkboard.
I saw her play this song live and she explained it a little. Something about being a kid and being taken to live with relatives for an extended stay for some reason. I had an similar experience and for some reason, even before this song, I always remember the sound of the car wheels as we got close to my grandmothers and the road turned to gravel. The feeling of that... is perfectly captured in this song. I just love it.
Okay. I get it. There are some car wheels on a gravel road. Thanks for the info. Just let me know when those wheels aren't on that gravel road any more.
Being a Joni Mitchell/Laura Nyro freak, and having heard that Lucinda is the best singer/songwriter today, I bought "Car Wheels" and was underimpressed. A friend urged me to listen again and it grew like kudzu on me although the title cut has never been my favorite. "Essence" has some memorable cuts, but "World Without Tears" lives up to the hype. If given the chance, go to see her show: the band is tight, her voice is amazingly raw and fresh, and she is a gracious performer.
This song is lodged firmly in the "please make it stop!" category. Annoying. I almost clicked off RP. But I made it through.
Everbody sing along now: "Annoying sooooonggg on the radioOOO!"
How boring is this?
I wonder, did she also sing a song about cowgirls? There is this one song I can't place, it goes "I wish I was a cowgirl, out on the western range...oh I wander down the neon streets with noone left to blame...home on the range." Anybody remember that song?
Come on, Lucinda - you can sing better than this. Or at least pretend you find the song interesting... <-X
I once rated this song a 2--Strange phenomenon here @ RP--One day--A song drags its nails on your chalkboard--another day, your clicking the checkout icon @ Amazon.com--
Somewhat monotonous, but Lucinda can get away with it.
I have a private message from RP, I don't know how to open it. !PLEH
xkolibuul wrote:
Sorry, but you all are just nuts. This is a 10. The whole album is a 10.
Now forget that is Lucinda, listen to the song...No, you see, it is NOT a ten...
weird how i'm generally a lucinda hater, and yet i actually LIKE this one, while lucinda fans don't. regardless, i'm glad i've found something of hers that i like. makes me feel better, for some reason.
Sorry, but you all are just nuts. This is a 10. The whole album is a 10.
i really like lucinda...but i HATE this song. man, when it first came out, i couldn\'t turn on NPR without hearing it a million times a day. its the only tune on her album that i dislike. joy is probably my favorite. or that one that she has in common with tom petty. \"changed the car i drive...\" etc. you know the one. ;)
Not my favorite song on the album (that would be Joy ) but she did a great concert that made it better for me. She said when her father heard this song, he apologized to her. Evidently an accurate portrayal of moments from her childhood.
Just so I\'m clear, is this song about car wheels on a gravel road? dot
Love the instrumentation . . . undecided about her voice . . . would be great followed by \"Little Road and a Stone To Roll\"! ;)