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Rodney Crowell

Fate's Right Hand – 2003 (DMZ)

Reviewed by Rick Teverbaugh

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CDs by Rodney Crowell

If you don't recognize Rodney Crowell's name, you most certainly would the music. His list of hits for other singers includes "Ashes By Now," "Ain't Living Long Like This," "Leavin' Louisiana in the Broad Daylight, "Til I Gain Control Again" and more recently Tim McGraw's "Please Remember Me." Many of those songs were hits for Emmylou Harris as he cut his teeth in her Hot Band in the mid-'70s.

But the new "Fate's Right Hand" is his 11th solo effort, following up the critically acclaimed "Houston Kid." While that album was concerned mainly with dealing with the past, the new effort focuses on the here and now, posing as many questions as it answers. Like many enormously talented singer/songwriters, vocal work isn't what drives the disc. It's his writing and the conviction in his voice that will move the listeners rather than the quality of his pipes.

"Time to Go Inward" is about a person in mid-life, looking inside to find a new vitality for his being to avoid that well-documented crisis some experience. "Preaching to the Choir" is about Crowell making that inward journey himself. Crowell gets some good studio support for this effort though the instrumentation is background for a strong lyricist with something to say and unique method of saying it. Fans of meaningful songs will find many delights in this 12-song package.