Monday, March 31, 2014

My Music Monday

I am in a Rodney Crowell mood today.

Mr. Crowell, for those who don't know him, came to be as a member of Emmylou Harris' "Hot Band" back in the '70s.

From there he established himself as a songwriter (for Johnny Cash, Waylon Jennings, the Oak Ridge Boys, Bob Seger and eventually Tim McGraw) and record producer.

Crowell married Cash's daughter, Rosanne and produced (or co-produced) her first five albums.

But he is a recording artist in his own right, just not with the success as some of the artists he's worked with, though two years ago he and Emmylou Harris put out a record together - which unfortunately, I did not care for.

It was actually have he got dropped from the major labels that Crowell was able to do some of his best work - as if he'd been freed up by the big corporate wheel.

After getting bumped down from Sony to an independent and then back to Epic - which really doesn't have much of a country presence - Crowell released Fate's Right Hand in 2003.

The album is pretty great. And Crowell has always had a way with songwriting - as his phrasing and use of words rises above the moon-june-spoon stuff that can make-up Nashville music.

My first thought was to use the title track from Fate's Right Hand, but then I opted for "Earthbound". And then I went back, then forth and back again.

Then I decided it was my fucking blog and could do anything I please. So I'm doing both.

"Earthbound" has a video.  "Fate" does not. So now we have mixed mediums.

But with both songs, you get subjects, words, or people rarely mentioned in a sung verse.

When do you hear Seamus Heaney or Mary Karr in a song ("Earthbound")?  Or in one line do you get direct or indirect references about Ken Starr, Bill and Hillary and AIDS?  and then later on - the word 'poontang' ("Fate's Right Hand")?

(side note: Crowell has a disk out of his music to the words of Karr, sung by many vocalists - including Cash, Harris and Lucinda Williams.  He also mentions his nickname and 2001 album the Houston Kid on "Fate's Right Hand").

Fate's Right Hand

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