LUCINDA WILLIAMS-LITTLE HONEY
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Top customer reviews
Word is out that the lady is in love.
There are those who might say ( and perhaps I should count myself among them )
"About Time Too !".
My dear friend Phil The Ferret has long been a fan. His mission to convert me has
until now fallen on deaf ears.
Some singer/songwriters have made a good life out of misery - Mr Cohen,
Ms Harvey and Mr Young to name but an illustrious three - but Ms Williams' muse
has always left me just a bit unconvinced. A little forced; a tad contrived perhaps.
That bourbon and nails voice conveying rather more affectation than affect.
The twelve new recordings in this collection come, therefore, as a very pleasant surprise.
From the grinding opening bars of 'Real Love' to the gritty rock and roll closure
of 'It's A Long Way To The Top' our lady really does seem to be having a good time.
In between, the wholesomely rugged blues of 'Tears Of Joy'; the warmly emotional delivery
of 'If Wishes Were Horses'; the stripped-down economy of 'Heaven Blues' and the sparse
aching beauty of 'Plan To Marry' are all entirely convincing.
The terrific band serves her well. The production is edgy and vivid.
The organ and brass contributions on the album's highpoint 'Knowing' are a particular joy.
I'm pleased to have had the chance to change my mind.
Many of the tracks have that same raw, lazy feel as 'Car wheels on a gravel road' but there is much more variety on this record. There are some real Stones-style heavy rockers like "Real Love", "Honey Bee" and even an AC/DC cover - "It's a Long Way to the Top" (backing band Buick 6 are fantastic throughout). Then we have beautiful laid-back ballads like "Knowing" and "If Wishes Were Horses" and also a straight country duet with old mate Elvis Costello on "Jailhouse Tears". Harking back to the start of Lucinda's career there are some nice, updated country blues "Circles and Xs" and "Heaven blues". If I had to pick a favourite I'd go for the slow, electric blues "Tears Of Joy", with Chet Lyster and Doug Pettibone's guitars sounding fantastic.
If you liked 'Car wheels on a gravel road' then I'm sure you'll like 'Little Honey', which has kept the same feel but added a rockier edge. I wouldn't say Lucinda had a great voice but it somehow seems to fit her blues/folk/country songs perfectly in a way that nobody else could match and on this record that distinctive voice is perfectly complemented by some great backing from Buick 6.
Lucinda was hot on the car cd playlist last year as I drove `Car wheels on a gravel road' in Texas (naming one of her best albums), literally, and I think this new album really compliments that record.
Highlights include Honey Bee, Long Way To The Top, If Wishes Were Horses, and Tears Of Joy has a great soul hook, while Rarity can be quite mesmorising. Apart from his greatness Elvis Costello (on Jailhouse Tears - another highlight), it's worth noting Bangles' vocals Susanna Hoffs makes an appearance on this album.
How many great female guitar players can you name? How many women can get themselves taken seriously in the alpha male music world?
Lucinda is an inspiration, clearly her own person for better or worse. It has taken her decades to get this far and she has resolutely stuck with it. That is the reason I grab her records whenever they come out.
They may not be perfect, but what is? Yes, "Car Wheels" was a high water mark (and where most of us came in), but every record since has had at least a few gems; the great "Out of Touch" on "Essence" is a personal favourite. Lucinda has the ability to decribe universal emotions in plain, simple language; a rare gift. Plus her voice is truly special - raw, emotional, weary, vulnerable.
She makes most male rockers of her age pale into insignificance.
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