Rodney Crowell: The Houston Kid (Sugar Hill)

 |   |  1 min read

Rodney Crowell: Why Don't We Talk About It
Rodney Crowell: The Houston Kid (Sugar Hill)

Rodney Crowell's star has been in steady decline since the 80s and now the former son-in-law of Johnny Cash and rockin' country singer-songwriter is on the same minor label as Dolly Parton who also seems to prefer a smaller label.

On first hearing, the quasi-autobiographical The Houston Kid sounds uneven, but after a few plays its power as a series of narratives kicks in.

Crowell has dropped the rock attack of earlier years and with a small band places emphasis on stories which bristle with images and a sense of place ("in the shadow of the Astrodome with a hurricane coming on strong").

There are a few workmanlike songs (Why Don't We Talk About It, and U Don't Know How Much I Hate U which isn't hip-hop despite the title) but the melancholy first-person stories are moving: The Rock of My Soul is about the soul trap of "another Houston kid on a downhill skid, like father like son" and I Wish it Would Rain is a "cracker gigolo dressed up like trick or treat" living in LA with "the virus flowing way down in my veins."

He pays homage to his former father-in-law on I Walk the Line (Revisited) with Cash guesting and Highway 17 is a spoken word story of irony and bad luck.

Crowell was one of those promising country-to-rock singer-songwriters who was always going to be big tomorrow.

That won't happen this far into his career, but this is a very good tomorrow for him, and us, to be enjoying.

Share It

Your Comments

post a comment

More from this section   Music articles index

Kelly Flint: Drive All Night (BePop)

Kelly Flint: Drive All Night (BePop)

It probably means nothing to most of us -- it certainly doesn't to me -- to know that Kelly Flint was the singer with Dave's True Story. DTS was a New York band various described as... > Read more

Farmer Pimp: Sweet Hot Pepper Pop (Family Farm)

Farmer Pimp: Sweet Hot Pepper Pop (Family Farm)

In a recent interview New Zealand singer/songwriter Claire Holmes from Farmer Pimp noted, "Other people worry more about what our genre might be than we do. That's actually why we called the... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

THE UNIVERSE OF KEITH HARING by CHRISTINA CLAUSEN (Madman DVD)

THE UNIVERSE OF KEITH HARING by CHRISTINA CLAUSEN (Madman DVD)

By the time I got to see the work of New York-based artist Keith Haring in the early Nineties there was little to "see": he was everywhere. The originality of Haring's work -- as... > Read more

PAUL SIMON INTERVIEWED (2000) The Attraction of Opposites

PAUL SIMON INTERVIEWED (2000) The Attraction of Opposites

Paul Simon calls from New York 15 minutes early, polite and apologetic. He needs to put the kids to bed -- his three children aged 7, 5 and 2 with his third wife, 34-year-old singer-songwriter Edie... > Read more