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: For The Jayhawks, no reissues needed – The Jayhawks have not released any new music since 2011's "Mockingbird Time," but, well actually, there are reasons for one of the key contributors to the alt.-country music. In July, "Sounds of Lies" (1997), "Smile" (2000) and "Rainy Day Music" (2003) saw the light of day again in expanded reissue versions.... »»»
Concert Review: Church works it from the outside – Eric Church starts his excellent new release, "The Outsiders," with the spoken words "They're the in-crowd, we're the other ones." And that's true in more ways than one for Church's new tour, which also features much praised, up-and-coming songwriter Brandy Clark and veteran honky tonker Dwight Yoakam.... »»»
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

Book dishes on guys writing the songs Jake Brown can't stop writing about music. Over the past 10 years, he's published 35 books, ranging from "Rick Rubin: In the Studio" and "Suge Knight: The Rise, Fall and Rise of Death Row Records" to "Heart: In the Studio." In 2012, he won the Association for Recorded Sound Collections Awards in the category of Excellence in Historical Recorded Sound Research.... »»»
Finally, Skaggs and White duet Perhaps there are few more beloved names in the world of country and bluegrass music than Ricky Skaggs and his wife Sharon of the country music family act The Whites. The two have been close friends since their teenage years through music, first meeting at a festival where White was performing with her father Buck White and sister Cheryl, and Skaggs was playing with Keith Whitley.... »»»
Douglas dreams on Taking a second look at the two-album deal he had recently signed with the Rounder/Concord group, and then at his busy upcoming touring schedule, Jerry Douglas suddenly realized he didn't have a lot of time to waste. The first album, "Three Bells," a collaboration with fellow resophonic guitar (aka "Dobro") titans Rob Ickes of Blue Highway and the late Mike Auldridge was pretty much ready to go, the sessions having been completed shortly before Auldridge's passing in December 2012 following a lengthy struggle with cancer.... »»»
Rock & Roll Time CD review - Rock & Roll Time
One of the seminal figures in the development - some would say, the assault - of early rock 'n' roll, Jerry Lewis always possessed pure country credence as well. His initial outings mined the full spectrum of his rural Louisiana roots, bringing them to bear in a daring, often outrageous display of unrepentant madness and machismo that rivalled Little Richard and even Elvis himself in terms of sheer bravado. »»»
Anything Goes CD review - Anything Goes
The title of Florida Georgia's second full length is accurate. For the duo of Tyler Hubbard and Brian Kelly, that means girls, girls and more girls plus an ultra dose of partying. That is evident from the refrain of the title track, which, of course, focuses on Friday night activities. "I brought the songs and you brought the party/Only one way to do it up right..."  »»»
Old Boots, New Dirt CD review - Old Boots, New Dirt
Arguing whether or not Jason Aldean's kinda (country) party is, in fact, anything remotely related to true country music is pointless. Aldean is so entrenched in the mainstream country marketplace now, we just need to accept him as he is, the same way we reluctantly accept Taylor Swift as "country." It's mighty tempting to subtitle a review of Aldean's new "Old Boots, New Dirt" release as 'Pickup Trucks & Pickup Lines," »»»
Going Down to the River CD review - Going Down to the River
You have to feel a pang of pride when you hear the story of Doug Seegers. In fact, it's not a stretch to say you could have seen him live and didn't even know it. At 62, he's a guy who basically opened his guitar case and played the street corners of Nashville, New York, Austin and probably most every city he's traveled through. Seegers also is now the darling of Sweden's country music crowd... »»»