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The ‘Houston Kid’ Comes Home

Rodney Crowell
Photo: © 2014 by Skeeter Nash

Singer/songwriter Rodney Crowell hasn’t had a hit song on the Country charts since the summer of 1992. At least, not as an artist. As a writer, several of his songs have been hits since then, with the most recent one being “Making Memories of Us,” which Keith Urban took to the top of the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart, where it stayed for five weeks! His songs have been recorded by Waylon Jennings (“I Ain’t Livin’ Long Like This”), The Oak Ridge Boys (“Leavin’ Louisiana In The Broad Daylight”), numerous cuts by Emmylou Harris (for whom he played guitar in her infamous Hot Band before starting his solo career), Bob Seger (“Shame On The Moon”) and a list way too long to continue here. He scored five consecutive Number One hit singles from his 1988 watershed album, Diamonds And Dirt, (something no one else had done before!) and has become one of the most respected artists and songwriters in any musical genre.

Rodney was born in the Houston suburb of Crosby. So, his performance this past Saturday night at the Firehouse Saloon was a bit of a “homecoming.” With his stripped-down sounding band (just upright bass, drums/percussion, lead guitar and Crowell playing acoustic rhythm guitar), he played a mixture of familiar songs, plus several from his upcoming album, Tarpaper Sky, which is set for release on April 15, 2014. The new material fit right alongside his many, many great songs. Advance copies of Tarpaper Sky were on sale at his merchandise table, and I bought one. It is truly a marvelous album, full of songs that are so well-crafted, combining vivid lyrical imagery with incredible melodies. Crowell truly is a “songwriter’s songwriter.”

If you’d like to learn more about Rodney Crowell, you can read the Wikipedia article on him here. You can also check out his official website here. And by all means, if you have an opportunity to see him live, don’t miss it! In the meantime, go get some of his music, and you’ll understand why I’ve been fan of his since the early-1980′s!

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