Personnel: Jimmie Dale Gilmore (vocals, acoustic guitar); Lucinda Williams (vocals); Biff Watson (acoustic guitar); Richard Bennett, Gary Nicholson, James Burton, Steve Gibson, Chris Leuzinger (guitar); Stuart Duncan, Glen Duncan (fiddle, mandolin); Al Perkins (dobro); Paul Franklin, Kayton Roberts, Sonny Garrish, Steve Fishell (steel guitar); Glen D. Hardin (piano, keyboards); Pete Wasner (keyboards); Emory Gordy Jr. (bass); Harry Stinson (drums, background vocals); Wes Starr (drums); Joe Ely, Carmella Ramsey (background vocals).
Recorded at Woodland Digital and Groundstar Laboratories, Nashville, Tennessee.
From the riveting opening of "Where You Going," the listener is acutely aware that SPINNING AROUND THE SUN is a unique recording experience...and that's before Jimmie Dale's initial vocal appearence! This Austin singer/songwriter has an impossibly plaintive cry, complete with a thick Texas twang. Sounding and writing like a cross between Townes Van Zandt and Willie Nelson, Gilmore comes through as a pure original. There's a bluesy edge to his progressive country/folk sound which is reminiscent of Lucinda Williams, who actually shares duet duties on "Reunion."
Jimmie Dale's originals are consistently interesting and accessible. Though the instrumentation is modern, there is an undeniable bow to traditional country. The steel guitar-laden "So I'll Run," for instance, embraces many musical styles, but this soaring mid-tempo ballad flies straight out of Nashville. Gilmore's mournful rendition of Hank Williams' "I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry" seems even better than the original, if that can be possible. Country fashions aside, the album also features blistering guitar-work that hints at an understanding of the rock & roll sensibility.
Produced by one of the most finely-tuned of Nasville's music men, Emory Gordy, Jr., SPINNING AROUND THE SUN is trim and focused, which seems to be the perfect way to showcase a singular talent like Jimmie Dale Gilmore.
Rolling Stone (10/14/93, p.114) - Good Plus - "...SPINNING AROUND THE SUN certainly boasts the instrumental trappings of classic country, the virtuoso sheen of its steel guitars and string-band adornments doesn't prevent Gilmore from continuing to define his own musical turf...."
Spin (9/93, p.116) - Highly Recommended - "...SPINNING AROUND THE SUN is the album Jimmie Dale Gilmore was born to record....Gilmore's thin, supple voice is as distinctive as Hank Williams', George Jones' or Roy Orbison's; his singing carries, and transforms everything he performs..."
Entertainment Weekly (8/20/93, p.63) - "...Nobody does lonesome better than Gilmore, whose wide-open yearning is utterly devoid of Nashville sentiment..." - Rating: A-
Village Voice (3/1/94, p.5) - Ranked #7 in the Village Voice's 1993 Pazz & Jop Critics Poll.