For the first time since 1998's Grammy-winning “Car Wheels on a Gravel Road,” Lucinda Williams balances her bluesy rock side with pain and heartbreak. It's her most cohesive and stylistically diverse record in years, with wild near-garage rockers, dirty blues, Stones-like soul, and aching folk.
She sounds as giddy as her weary Louisiana/Arkansas drawl will allow her to on the downright uplifting opener “Real Love,” which suggests the 55-year-old finally realized true love is found in music.
On the flip side, the blues-guitar-filled “Tears of Joy,” “Plan to Marry,” and “Rarity” feature the slow vein-opening intimacy and reflection fans expect. The duet “Jailhouse Tears” finds Williams and Elvis Costello making strange, distinctive vocal bedfellows.
“Little Honey” hits stores Oct. 14.