Wednesday, September 28, 2011
The Singer-Songwriter Series ~ Episode 2
Do you know Rodney Crowell? Well, you damn sure should.
This guy is like some kind of savant. Which just proves my point; it's nature; not nurture.
I read Chinaberry Sidewalks, and I unequivocally recommend it! But how this guy, with this kind of childhood, became Rodney Crowell (okay, he always was Rodney Crowell, but you know what I mean) is utterly fascinating.
The first time I even became aware of Rodney was through Emmylou Harris's album, Elite Hotel. To wit:
And then this guy's name kept coming up.
And again, here:
And here, he popped up again!
But it really wasn't until 1988 that it began to sink in for me who Rodney Crowell really was. That's because my radio started playing songs such as these:
And, Lord, this one:
Do you remember when you got your first CD player? After all those years of messing around with LP's? And all the cursing and hair-pulling that went along with them?
Well, I do.
I guess that dates me, but so be it. I vaguely recall buying a CD player, but I distinctly recall getting a gift certificate from my sister for a free CD, and this is the one I bought (my very first CD):
Ah, Rodney. You hold an honored place in my memory of all things consequential, from buying the album, Elite Hotel, to buying my first ever CD.
That CD also had this one:
And now I don't even play CD's. Well, that shows you how time marches on. But that doesn't negate the fact that you have garnered an honored place in the history of my life.
But, CD players aside, Rodney kept keeping on.
I don't know how Rodney manages to break hearts, but he does.
THIS is what sets country apart. I don't really care if you like or don't like country music. Maybe it's too real for most people to handle. I don't know. But you know, life happens, whether one wants to deny it or not.
And it takes nothing less than a genius to deliver that to us.
Much like this:
And, finally, say what you will about Tim McGraw, but he knows how to pick good songs. This song is ultimately heartrending, as are the comments on the YouTube page. THIS is what makes a great songwriter. The comments on this page.
You really need to get to know Rodney Crowell.