Rodney Crowell - Close Ties
In his fortieth year as a recording artist Rodney Crowell releases his 17th studio album - Close Ties. What a superb collection of self penned songs awaits your delectation.
It is hard not to approach releases by latter day luminaries with some trepidation. We are all prepared for genuflection but worry that our homage is based on earlier offerings. Relax - not so here.
This latest record features songs he penned about his Texas upbringing and his start as a Nashville songwriter, as well as tracks that pay homage to friends and former lovers. The subject matters are always lyrically interesting, revealing, reflective and beautifully constructed. It is a major feature and attraction of this record.
The musicianship is flawless. Guitars (electric, slide and acoustic), bass, keyboards and percussion. Sumptuous but discreet and wistful strings are often employed. Crowell is not a stranger to a tune or compelling rhythm and this is where the album starts with East Houston Blues with its J J Cale feel. Throughout there is much atmosphere created by the backing, words and pace with Reckless an illustration and treat. Crowell could carry off a solo album without friends but where he does invite others then the album highlights occur such as on It Ain’t Over Yet with John Paul White, of the Civil Wars, and his former wife Rosanne Cash. This writer is wary of Sheryl Crow’s dabble with Country but she completely lifts I’m Tied To Ya.
Stream or invest with confidence. I predict that this’ll be on the Best of Americana lists come December. As they say then, form is temporary but class is permanent.