Personnel includes: Victoria Williams (vocals, acoustic & electric guitars, banjo, dulcimer, piano, Fender Rhodes, calimba); Greg Leisz (acoustic & pedal steel guitars, bass); Doug Wieselman (electric guitar, e-flat & bass clarinets, organ, background vocals); Wendy Melvoin (electric guitar, bass, drums, percussion, background vocals); Joey Burns (cello, bass); Jon Birdsong (coronet, siouxsaphone, background vocals); Tim Ray (piano, Fender Rhodes); Lisa Coleman (Wurlitzer, Moog, synthesizer, background vocals); Patrick Warren (Chamberlin, background vocals); John Convertino (vibraphone, marimba, drums); Byron Hause, Greg Cohen (bass); Brian Blade (drums, loops, background vocals); Fred Drake (tambourine, background vocals).
Producers: Victoria Williams, Trina Shoemaker, Andrew Williams.
Engineers: Trina Shoemaker, Mark Howard, Ethan Johns.
Principally recorded at Rancho De La Luna, Joshua Tree, California and Teatro Studio, Oxnard, California.
Personnel: Victoria Williams (vocals, guitar, acoustic guitar, electric guitar, banjo, dulcimer, piano, Fender Rhodes piano, background vocals); Andrew Williams (acoustic guitar, background vocals); Greg Leisz (acoustic guitar); Doug Wieselman (electric guitar, clarinet, organ); Wendy Melvoin (electric guitar, drums, background vocals); Buddy Miller (electric guitar); Razz (viola); Joey Burns (cello); Patrick Warren (strings, flute, horns); Tim Ray (piano, Fender Rhodes piano); Lisa Coleman (Wurlitzer organ, synthesizer, background vocals); John Convertino (vibraphone, marimba, drums); Danny Frankel (drums, tambourine); Brian Blade (drums); Fred Drake (tambourine, background vocals); Billy Bizeau, J.C. Hopkins, Julie Miller, Mark Olson (background vocals).
Audio Mixer: Mark Howard.
Recording information: Chapparel Bottom Studio; Rancho De La Luna, Joshua Tree, CA; Teatro Tree, Oxnard, CA.
Photographers: Jennifer Barbato; Victoria Williams.
Victoria Williams's dreamily melancholic folk-pop and her high-pitched, oddball voice have always made her sound like a Southern version of Joni Mitchell or Neil Young. On MUSINGS OF A CREEKDIPPER, a loose cycle of songs about illness, death and the hallucinations in-between, she finally justifies those lofty comparisons. It's as strange and anachronistic as all of Williams's albums. With one song that's unabashedly nostalgic for the days when trains crossed the countryside and another that suggests the daily newspaper as a modern evil, MUSINGS registers as a vote to preserve the village green and its old ways of living and old ways of dying.
The opener, "Periwinkle Sky," is a musing on the opposite attractions of the country and the city, and for most of the album, while staying somewhere in a rural zone, Williams balances soft, pillowy acoustic arrangements with urbane touches like trumpet solos and cello lines. They add just a hint of modern color to a timeless album whose characters seem to be biding their time awaiting, heavenly salvation while dealing with the drudgeries of daily life.
Rolling Stone (2/5/98, p.58) - 4 Stars (out of 5) - "...There's a kind of magical realism here: Think Gabriel Garcia Marquez stories illustrated by Howard Finster....yet another treasure along Williams' road less traveled."
Spin (2/98, p.104) - 7 (out of 10) - "...She remains on the lookout for everyday magic, and this album runneth over with appreciation for nature's simple gifts....She's unapologetic about her lazy pace and sappy disposition, spinning take-it-or-leave-it tales of cozy cabins and pretty clouds..."
Entertainment Weekly (1/23/98, p.62) - "...On her fourth studio album, the singer-songwriter strips her music down to the bare elements: It's all about the sun, rain, food, and hummingbirds. What's truly remarkable about these songs is how they manage to radiate a sense of wonder without sounding cloyingly precious." - Rating: A-