Rodney Crowell Returns With Close Ties
“T for Texas, T for Tennessee”.
They Came To Nashville.
I have been reading Without Getting Killed Or Caught – the engrossing biography of Guy Clark by Tamara Saviano. When Clark and his wife Susanna moved from Texas to Nashville, it was the start of something so significant that the singer-songwriter scene would never be the same. Lured by the success of Kris Kristofferson, two pivotal Bob Dylan releases and the ultimate outbreak of the Outlaw Country movement, the Clarks drew friends and artists like a magnet. Townes Van Zandt, Mickey Newbury, Jerry Jeff Walker, Rosanne Cash and Steve Earle, many of whom were Texans.
Another key figure was a young Houston native Rodney Crowell, then the beau of Cash, who moved to Music City in 1972.
A lot has happened since those days.
Over a dozen solo albums, plus many recorded collaborations, his songs have been recorded by Johnny Cash, Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson, George Strait, Tim McGraw, Keith Urban, Etta James, Van Morrison and Bob Seger. He is a Grammy award winner, a member of the Nashville Songwriters’ Hall of Fame, recipient of the 2009 Lifetime Achievement Award for Songwriting from the Americana Music Association and an autobiography (Chinaberry Sidewalks).
Now an acclaimed troubadour, Crowell is set to release Close Ties on March 31 2017 (via New West Records). It will be a ten-song collection and his first solo album in over three years, following Tarpaper Sky (The Traveling Kind, his second acclaimed collection of duets with longtime collaborator Emmylou Harris, was issued in 2015).
Co-produced by Jordan Lehning and Kim Buie, the album features a duet with Sheryl Crow (‘I’m Tied To Ya’) and ‘It Ain’t Over Yet’, a vocal collaboration with Cash and John Paul White. It is the first time Crowell and Cash have appeared on record together since their 1988 duet ‘It’s Such A Small World’ which was also Crowell’s first hit.
The subject matter in Close Ties ranges from songs about Crowell’s childhood in Texas (‘East Houston Blues’) to songs about arriving in Nashville as a young songwriter (‘Nashville 1972’) to songs about friends (‘Life Without Susanna’) and lovers lost (‘Forgive Me, Annabelle’).
Here’s the video for ‘It Ain’t Over Yet’ which also features legendary harmonica player Mickey Raphael:
According to Crowell:
“I have declared my loyalty to Americana. It’s a hard category for people to get their heads around, or at least the terminology is. But all the people who represent it – Townes Van Zandt, Guy Clark, Lucinda Williams, Steve Earle and more recent stars like John Paul White and Jason Isbell – share a common thread, and that thread is poet. Whether they are actual poets or their music exemplifies a poetic sensibility, generally speaking, the Americana artist shuns commercial compromise in favor of a singular vision. Which resonates with me.”
Close Ties will be available on CD, vinyl and is now available for digital pre-order HERE.
Close Ties Track Listing:
1. East Houston Blues
3. Life Without Susanna
4. It Ain’t Over Yet (featuring Rosanne Cash & John Paul White)
5. I Don’t Care Anymore
6. I’m Tied To Ya (featuring Sheryl Crow)
7. Forgive Me Annabelle
8. Forty Miles From Nowhere
9. Storm Warning
10. Nashville 1972