Rodney Crowell Continues Quest for "Timelessness"

My favorite of his albums is Diamonds & Dirt's follow up Keys To The Highway. Many of the songs are about his dad's (I believe), recent passing. It came out in 1989. It was supposed to be the commercial follow up to Diamonds & Dirt, but stiffed. However, some of Rodney's best songs and definitely underrated.

Loved the videos with this interview of Rodney Crowell. His ex father-in-law called Rodney "the most honest man I know"! What a compliment! I know h is because I once asked him a question which he really could have not answered, but he did, and answered it honestly, I know!! He never even questioned why I was asking him such a personal question, he just very calmly answered. Love Rodney, if he is ever single again, I want to marry him!! An honest man is what I am looking for, and I know he is an honest man!!

Jim Rockford, a role not just for our time, but for all time. Nice piece; I particularly liked the part where Rodney talked about rebelling against the role he felt he was obliged to play as a rising country star, with the attendant baggage...

Thanks, Jack, and everybody for the kind words. 

This is a great interview with lots of video support. thanks. I started to listening to Crowell when he was married to R. Cash and i thought he was a Nashville made country star. the hair, the outfits. I have listened to his last few albums and his work with Emmylou Harris and he is a bona fide real country man. this interview kind of explains it. It begins the right way as well with him chasing the blues. After a great career, he is trying to capture the real music of america. He is getting there. 

Barry, thanks for the reply, good interview.  "Too intellectual for his own britches" would be my way to characterize some of his writing.  While I do appreciate that Rodney is highly intelligent and well read and culturally aware, it feels to me like sometimes he  is operating from an excess of "cleverness" and building songs from blueprints, rather than from emotion.

Hmmm, I'm stating to sound a mite "precious " myself.  I'd better stop before I throw in a Flannery O'connor or William Faulkner Southern Gothic reference. ;)    

What I am trying to describe is maybe "catching him writing".    

And despite my critique, I still consider him one of the greats, and he is unquestionably universes above current country radio in craft, emotion, reality and art,  museum quality, or no. And I'll defintely check "Tarpaper Sky" . I have a guitar student who is currently on a Rodney kick, so we have been exploring and dissecting  a lot of his songs.   

Paul, that what I was getting at with my James Garner analogy.  I thought a long time on how to ask that question without it sounding insulting somehow. I mean, how do you criticize somebody for always trying to do their best, right? I sometimes think he tries too hard for "museum quality art" and it shows. That's why Tarpaper Sky works so well; it doesn't show. I was astonished when he picked up on the question.

Rodney has always had that brooding  "loner" stance as a part of  his writing , and has always written great songs, beginning with the first LP, circa 1978, wasn't it?  

"'Til I Can Gain Control Again" has long been a favorite with me.  He is always an interesting character, even when I am not enamored with whatever the latest CD holds.  Methinks the "Museum Quality" designation might be little "precious", though.  Those with responsible opposing opinions may disagree. ;)


Nice to see him give props to one of the greatest, the sometimes overlooked Mickey Newbury.

Rodney's ' "Song For The Life" should be required listening and is a 5 star classic no if and's and but's!!!!!!!

I guess you can say it's got my vote  also and it ain't easy with Rodney's song-writing body of work.

Rodney is definitely a poet, and you can almost taste the flavor of each word, as it speaks to the poet in all of us...great interview...I DO like his earliest stuff, too, hits notwithstanding...favorite?...probably Song For Life...

This interview reminds me of just why I'm such a big fan of Rodney's music, and the man. For me, all his albums since Houston Kid (2001) to the present, are way better than anything that came before. Big hits included. I'm so thankful that he had the good sense to walk away from the Music Row and corporate country radio crowd. He could have never written the incredible songs that he's written in the last 14 years. Tarpaper Sky is yet another great album and should be required listening.