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: Lowe gets on with tour – Nick Lowe made reference to the downer that's been a most unfortunate part of his Quality Holiday Revenue, not exactly the time of year when music, particularly of the holiday variety, should be sad. But veteran British keyboardist Ian McLagan, who was slated to open the tour, died of a stroke as the tour was opening two weeks ago.... »»»
Concert Review: Romano makes sad songs sound good – Daniel Romano perhaps couldn't help himself in commanding the stage. After all, he was only up on the small stage accompanied by his backing band, The Trilliums, consisting of a fellow acoustic guitarist and a pedal steel player. So, you knew this was not going to be an ear splitting gig unless the band was pounding it - and they did not.... »»»
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

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.... »»»
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.... »»»
The Music Of Nashville: Original Soundtrack Season 3 Volume 1 CD review - The Music Of Nashville: Original Soundtrack Season 3 Volume 1
As the winter finale of ABC's "Nashville" draws closer, the plot lines grow thinner and this scant 10-song soundtrack follows suit. Domestic turmoil is the major theme this season as diva Juliette Barnes (Hayden Panettiere) becomes unexpectedly pregnant before the filming of a Patsy Cline biopic. Unfortunately, Panettiere's excellent rendition of "Crazy" is omitted on the album. »»»
December Day (Willie's Stash Vol. 1) CD review - December Day (Willie's Stash Vol. 1)
A multi-tasker by nature - at age 81, Willie Nelson's constant output and frequent touring schedule puts any number of younger performers to shame - "December Day" offers another example of his ability to reinvent himself while shifting into the same melodic mode that made his original standards set "Stardust" so tempting and timeless. »»»
Chasing the Sun CD review - Chasing the Sun
You have to hand it to The Sweet Lowdown. They certainly know a thing or two about truth in advertising. On their lovely new album - their third to date - this Canadian trio live up to their collective handle by presenting a set of songs that's so sweet, so lovely and so enticing, it's akin to love at first listen. Making do with little more than their collective harmonies... »»»
While No One Was Watching: Toasting 20 Years of Bloodshot Records CD review - While No One Was Watching: Toasting 20 Years of Bloodshot Records
It's a magnanimous record company indeed that celebrates its own 20th anniversary by inviting artists from other labels to join in the festivities. Then again, this is Chicago's Bloodshot Records after all, the insurgent outfit out of Chicago that's made its mark by booting tradition up the backside. Consequently, the 2-disc, 38-song set "While No One Was Watching: Toasting 20 Years of Bloodshot Records" puts a new spin on the usual catalogue compilation... »»»