Can't Let Go

Album: Car Wheels on a Gravel Road (1998)
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Songfacts®:

  • While Car Wheels on a Gravel Road is considered Lucinda Williams' breakthrough album, recording it wasn't a picnic for everybody involved. Williams, known to be a perfectionist, was unhappy with the record in the hands of longtime producer and guitar player Gurf Morlix, who apparently didn't take her criticisms seriously enough. With this song, she recalls: "I was playing Steve Earle's dobro, which had a really wide neck, and my fingers kinda slipped on it. But the track was so brilliant that everyone went, No, no, it's great! I agonized over it for weeks and weeks, and they all kept saying, It's great. But see, there've been other things where I've gone in and said, 'I think we should redo this track because it's not in the pocket or it's too fast,' and I've been right. I usually am right, that's the thing. I'm right a lot of the time." (Mojo, 1999)
  • According to Salon, Steve Earle, who also co-produced and played guitar on the album, said it was "the least amount of fun I've had working on a record."
  • This was the only song on the album not written by Lucinda, but by Randy Weeks. With the exception of "Still I Long For Your Kiss," which was co-written by Duane Jarvis and featured on The Horse Whisperer soundtrack, she was the sole writer on the rest of the tracks.
  • Rock star Robert Plant and bluegrass legend Alison Krauss covered "Can't Let Go" on their second joint album, Raise The Roof. They released their version on August 12, 2021 as the first preview of their collaborative record.

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