Album: Lucinda Williams, Little Honey, (Lost Highway)
After the poised artfulness of last year's 'West', here's our favourite country-rock hard case getting back to brass tacks: small-group rock.
It's also the cheeriest thing she's ever done – there's a euphoria to the slashing Fenders and thumping drums, serving to underscore the self-conscious upfulness everywhere to be heard in the lyrics.
But then Lucinda has ever been self-conscious; that quality remains the axle on which her wheels turn. Elvis Costello's on board, by the way.
Pick of the album: 'Jailhouse Tears': Lucinda and Elvis do Shane and Kirsty, kind of