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

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 »»»
Diamonds & Dirt - Expanded Edition
Rodney Crowell was not a star in the early '80's, but he was well known. He had several moderately successful solo albums with a few minor hit singles. His songs became smashes for the likes of Emmylou Harris, Waylon Jennings and even The Oak Ridge Boys. He was a successful producer as well. But not until "Diamonds & Dirt" was released in 1988 did he become a star in his own right, albeit briefly. That album yielded an unprecedented five number one singles, beginning with "It's Such A Small »»»
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: 19 years later, Harris returns with "Wrecking Ball" – At one point, Emmylou Harris told the crowd that she could not believe it had been 19 years since she released "Wrecking Ball." That was most understandable because based on this concert tour devoted towards playing the left of center atmospheric disc, the song bird has hardly missed a beat. Harris' label, Nonesuch, just released a... »»»
Concert Review: Hurray for the Riff: more than just a great name – Hurray for the Riff Raff is one well-named group. Not that it signifies all that much musically, but at least it's catchy and makes you want to root for the underdog. With a lot to live up moniker wise, the band in concert - which, in reality, is lead singer Alynda Lee Segarra from New Orleans and her backing mates - more than lived up to the "pressure.... »»»
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

Gerry House comes out (from behind the mic) For 25 years, Gerry House spent every weekday morning in people's living rooms. As the host of the much-loved and much-acclaimed morning show, Gerry House and the House Foundation, House reigned on the airwaves on Nashville's WSIX-FM from 1983-2010, taking a brief hiatus to work for WSM-AM in Nashville and for KLAC in Los Angeles.... »»»
Once a Carter Girl, always a Carter Girl Expectations of being a "Carter Girl" - the way Carlene Carter refers to herself with her latest album title - must be extremely daunting at times. "It's as difficult as you want to make it," Carter explains. "I've always just embraced the fact that I was born into this family and very proud to be part of it." However, much like her mother, June Carter Cash, Carlene has always been a free spirit and fiercely individualistic. ... »»»
Loveless goes "Somewhere Else" To take a page from Judy Collins' notebook, Lydia Loveless has seen life from both sides now. After a childhood in tiny Coshocton, Ohio, a move to Columbus and a gig playing bass in her family's new wave/rock band as a teenager, Loveless set out on her own musical path at the age of 17. In 2010, the 20-year-old Loveless released her debut album, "The Only Man," which was critically acclaimed but just barely heard by the general public.... »»»
Carter Girl CD review - Carter Girl

It might have been easier, and certainly less emotionally taxing, had Carlene Carter just recorded a batch of Carter Family songs using vocal muscle memory alone. However, as soon as you hear Carter describing the losses of loved ones during "Lonesome Valley," you realize right away this is not just some sort of capitalization on a revered family name. It's a personal testimony. »»»

Turn It Up CD review - Turn It Up
Josh Thompson's sophomore release, "Turn It Up" is his first on Toby Keith's Show Dog label. It seems to be a good match because both artists are cut from the same cloth. Thompson is also known as a champion of the everyman. Turns out they both have the same tendency to go over the top. Thompson excessively showcases the blue collar lifestyle the way Keith champions patriotism. »»»
High Noon CD review - High Noon
Jerrod Niemann's new "High Noon" album is better than the annoying single, "Drink to That All Night," might lead you to believe. Fortunately, the album is not completely a Luke Bryan sound-alike. Even so, there are moments where Niemann sometimes sounds a little too much like his musical contemporaries. »»»
Out Among the Stars CD review - Out Among the Stars
One would think that with all the archival music, reissues and postmortem tributes released on Johnny Cash's behalf, the vaults would have been scraped pretty clean by now, with only scraps left for dedicated completists to feast upon. So it comes as no small surprise to find that the Cash archivists actually uncovered some entire sessions that haven't been unearthed until now. »»»
Summer Number Seventeen CD review - Summer Number Seventeen
Quick, what guy compiled 40 number one country singles, recorded with everybody from Ray Charles to Elvis, but has yet to be enshrined in the Country Music Hall of Fame? Yes, it's Ronnie Milsap, now in his 70s, just like Merle Haggard (who was inducted 20 years ago). Clearly, the ornery outlaws get more attention than the nice guy romantics. And it doesn't help that Milsap has always been interested in many different flavors of music »»»