Sign up for newsletter
 

Crowell combines forces with Karr for CD

Thursday, February 9, 2012 – Rodney Crowell and author Mary Karr are scheduled to release "Kins, Songs by Mary Karr and Rodney Crowell" on Vanguard Records on June 5.

Produced by Joe Henry, "Kin" marks the first collaboration between the two writers and is Karr's entry into the world of music. The disc features vocals by a variety of guests, although Crowell also sings.

After reading Karr's memoirs, "Cherry and The Liar's Club," which spent over a year on the New York Times Bestsellers list, Crowell name-checked her in Earthbound, a track off "Fates' Right Hand."

"I called out to her in the darkness because she was a bona fide poet I knew could write songs," Crowell added, "and despite her professor's pedigree, she'd ridden a bike in a mosquito truck's fog." Karr has taught at Harvard and Syracuse University, where she still holds a chair in literature.

Upon hearing Crowell's songs, Karr recognized her own less than perfect family. "We grew up about 100 miles apart in the same stretch of east Texas Ringworm Belt." Karr said. She mentioned that both childhood homes had bullet holes in them from their parents' drunken rampages.

The disc contains one gospel number among their ballads and rock songs. In their most recent memoirs, Crowell's "Chinaberry Sidewalks" (Random House) and Karr's "Lit" (Harper), religion figures prominently.

"We settled down and raised a record," Crowell said. The lineup of vocalists include Norah Jones, Vince Gill, Lucinda Williams, Lee Ann Womack, Rosanne Cash, Chely Wright, Kris Kristofferson, Emmylou Harris and Crowell.

Asked to draw the source of their respective successes in literature and music, despite early hard knocks, Crowell said, "Neither of us was a crybaby, and we kept loving everybody we shared DNA with - no matter how crazy."

Karr said, "An outlaw pedigree isn't always a disadvantage for a poet," adding, "This record's about everybody."

More news for Rodney Crowell

CD reviews for Rodney Crowell

Tarpaper Sky CD review - Tarpaper Sky
Working with many of the same musicians who were on his record-breaking and highly influential "Diamonds & Dirt" album from 1988, Rodney Crowell returns with another fantastic solo effort that more than covers any tenure requirements put forth by the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame. It's incredibly unlikely, of course, this album - named for the badly roofed Houston house Crowell grew up in - will produce five number one singles or recalibrate his life and career like that one »»»
Sex & Gasoline CD review - Sex & Gasoline
Rodney Crowell is in phase three, maybe four depending how you break it down, of his distinguished career. And he seems quite comfortable in his role of elder(ish) statesman, if comfort is represented by having no problem eloquently sharing what's on his mind. This latest introspective outing finds Crowell working with Joe Henry, the singer/songwriter turned in-demand producer who's fresh off similar work with Loudon Wainwright III and Mary Gauthier. As massaged by Henry and constructed »»»
The Outsider CD review - The Outsider
After enjoying mainstream country success in the early Nineties with songs like "Lovin' All Night," Rodney Crowell fell out of the limelight for several years. When he returned to recording, with 2001's "The Houston Kid," he had redefined himself as a singer-songwriter - a little bit country, a little bit rock and blues and all his own voice. "The Outsider" continues in the same vein, with 11 great new songs, 10 written by Crowell. "Don't Get Me Started" is Crowell's statement song, railing »»»
Editorial: Walking the talk – When names like Hank Williams, Johnny Cash, Waylon and the Hag are invoked, you're talking hard core country. These are the touchstones of country , the guys who made country music what it was and still is (or maybe can be). When these folks would sing about being down-and-out and the rough-and-tumble, they knew of what they were singing about. Fast forward a few years to the country singers of today. »»»
Concert Review: Church grows with time – It's heartening to see the continual rise of Eric Church's career, as he is one of the best songwriters in contemporary mainstream country music. Church mentioned from the stage how he performed for - in his estimation - only six loyal fans at The Whiskey for his first tour trip through Las Angeles a decade ago. His headlining stop last time... »»»
Concert Review: Brooks fires it up – Garth Brooks may have stood outside of country music by and large for 17 years, but he is jumping back in with both feet and more. Brooks released "Man Against Machine" in November, his first disc of original music in 13 years. Last fall, he launched a world tour, which is rolling out with multiple dates in multiple cities, sometimes... »»»
Subscribe to Country News Digest Country News Digest      Follow Country Standard Time on twitter CST      Visit Country Standard Time on Facebook CST

Elsewhere in the news

Currently at the CST blogs

Brown becomes "In Style Again" Surely there is some irony in the title of Jim Ed Brown's new album - "In Style Again." At least it's a little ironic for his fans, for as far as they're concerned neither Brown nor his music have been out of style. His strong, mellow voice flows like liquid gold over and around any song he chooses to sing.... »»»
The "Beauty" of Price continues Before Ray Price died - just over one year ago, on Dec. 16, 2013 - he told his wife, Janie, that she would have to carry on his legacy by going out, promoting the album that he had just recorded, "Beauty Is...," and visiting with his legions of fans. He told me, Janie says, "you're gonna be the closest thing to me that people are going to want to reach out to."... »»»
Fullbright writes the "Songs" John Fullbright didn' grow up around musicians or like-minded songwriters in his little hometown of Bearden, Okla. You'd never know it, though, from his raw, stark, pure and honest songwriting that's drawn comparisons to Townes Van Zandt. His debut album, "From the Ground Up," was nominated for a 2013 Grammy as the Best Americana Album, catapulting him into the company of Bonnie Raitt, Mumford and Sons, The Lumineers and The Avett Brothers.... »»»
Fear & Saturday Night CD review - Fear & Saturday Night
Ryan Bingham's roughened voice gives added authenticity to the cowboy ballad "Island in the Sky" off his new "Saturday Night album." The project's title, "Saturday Night," suggests party music, but the accordion-colored "Adventures of You and Me" is one of only a few party anthems on this album. Even so, Bingham sure sounds happy singing to its Tex-Mex accordion groove.  »»»
Man of Constant Sorrow (2015) CD review - Man of Constant Sorrow (2015)

Dr. Ralph Stanley can't sit still; he tried to retire in 2013 and even went out on a farewell tour, but the three-time Grammy winner just wasn't ready to say farewell, yet. Making music for well over half a century, Stanley has been re-shaping music his entire career, riding firmly in the path of bluegrass tradition while helping shape that tradition with his iconic high lonesome sound. »»»

Absent Fathers CD review - Absent Fathers
Fans of the early Justin Townes Earle might be disappointed in the work that fills "Absent Fathers," his 2015 album that shows the once reckless outlaw-wannabe has grown up past the anger and found a home in therapeutic songwriting. For the rest of listeners, however, it's a cathartic and thought-provoking journey through his atonement, not with his muddy past, but instead with his own pain. »»»
Before the Sun Goes Down CD review - Before the Sun Goes Down
The first great album of 2015 has arrived, and it comes from a duo comprising a bluegrass master and an up-and-coming county vocalist. Dobro innovator Rob Ickes - 15 time IBMA Dobro Player of the Year and mainstay in Blue Highway, one of bluegrass music's venerable outfits - has paired his talents with the powerful voice of Trey Hensley, a relative unknown commodity »»»
Hard to See Trouble Coming CD review - Hard to See Trouble Coming
Remarkably prolific, even by most modern multi-tasker standards, bassist/guitarist/vocalist Victor Krummenacher has played a critical role in the Camper Van Beethoven hierarchy, not only as a crucial member of that essential combo, but also its various offshoots, Monks of Doom, Camper Van Chadbourne and the current incarnation of the new mother ship, Cracker.  »»»