Eloquent Country Poet
Rodney Crowell, a Grammy-winning songwriter, producer, and artist, brings poetry and earthy tautness to the soundtrack of people in the cracks, carving out lives that matter – if only to themselves and the people they know.
Long known as a poet among songwriters, since Rodney Crowell moved from his native Texas to Nashville in the early 70s, he has cemented himself as one of the most influential and critically acclaimed names in country music. The strength of his writing, singing, and guitar playing first earned him a career-launching spot with Emmylou Harris in The Hot Band. Harris was the first to popularize Crowell as a tunesmith and he stayed with The Hot Band for three years before forming his own group, The Cherry Bombs, in 1977.
Crowell’s own albums established a benchmark of what was possible in the ground between Ray Price, Hank Williams and the Rolling Stones – Johnny Cash and Elvis. Crowell’s 1988 Diamonds & Dirt is considered the definitive album of the new traditionalist movement and was country’s first album to yield five #1’s, including “It’s Such a Small World” with Rosanne Cash, his wife and partner at the time. The album’s track “After All This time” won the 1989 Grammy Award for “Best Country Song.”
His acclaimed autobiographical album, The Houston Kid, was released in 2001 and marked yet another landmark for Crowell as he broke free from the constraints of writing songs for commercial radio – shifting his focus instead to crafting and recording music that reflected a new chapter in his life and career.
Over his forty-plus year career, Crowell has released 13 albums and won much critical praise. Crowell has provided hits for Bob Seger, the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Waylon Jennings, and Johnny Cash among others. As well as being an immensely talented songwriter and musician, Crowell has also proven to be a talented producer; in the 1980s he produced many of Rosanne Cash’s albums including her seminal work Seven Year Ache, which marked a new wave in country music.
Recent years have seen much musical activity from Crowell, proving his talent has not wavered. In 2004, Crowell re-formed The Notorious Cherry Bombs with Vince Gill and the band was nominated for the County Music Award’s “Top Vocal Group.” Crowell’s 2008 album, Sex and Gasoline, was nominated for a Grammy in the category of “Best Contemporary Folk/Americana Album.”
Today, Crowell continues to produce albums, perform, and write songs for artists such as Wynonna Judd and Chely Wright. In 2011, he released his memoir, Chinaberry Sidewalks, which the Wall Street Journal praised as “story-rich” and “penetrating.” In early June 2012, Crowell teamed up with New York Times best-selling author Mary Karr to release KIN, Songs By Mary Karr and Rodney Crowell.
What Other People Have Been Saying...
“…making the best music of his career.” -NY Daily News
“Haunted is a good word to describe “Kin,” which features a dazzling cross-section of vocal personalities, including Norah Jones…and his ex-wife Rosanne Cash.” –The Seattle Times
“An improbable collaboration between a poet (Mary Karr) and a songsmith (Rodney Crowell)…“Kin” yields a wealth of winking new country odes.” –NY Daily News