Rodney Crowell

Rodney Crowell

Rodney Crowell

Close Ties

New West Records

Rodney Crowell has been one of country music’s elites since being discovered by Jerry Reed in 1972 and joining Emmylou Harris’s “Hot Band” in 1975. He’s penned some of the genre’s greatest moments on songs such “Ain’t Living Long Like This”, “Till I Gain Control Again” and “Bluebird Wine”, but rarely in his long career has he bared his soul so completely as he does on Close Ties.

Crowell was befriended by Texas songwriting legend Guy Clark and his wife Susanna when Crowell came to Nashville, and their relationship endured until her death in 2012 and Guy’s death in 2016. His look at “Life Without Susanna”, with the line “The most near perfect woman I’d ever seen” gives a glimpse as to their relationship, and it’s a raw look at the trio’s emotional core. Between that, and “Forgive Me Annabelle”, this is as personal as Crowell’s music gets, and is why you listen. He doesn’t sugarcoat the truth, spares no one – most of all himself, and creates moments that can make you smile – or grimace from the intensity.

The album opens with “East Houston Blues”, a look at his early days as a troublemaker on the streets of Texas, which features a beautiful guitar part from the legendary Tommy Emmanuel. As with all of Crowell’s music, reminiscence is a big part of the songs on Close Ties, such as his account of “Nashville 1972” where he namechecks everyone from Steve Earle to Townes Van Zandt and admitting to meeting Willie Nelson and getting stoned enough to “puke out in the yard”. “It Ain’t Over Yet” with John Paul White and Crowell’s ex Rosanne Cash on vocals is a wistful look back, and “I’m Tied To Ya”, with Sheryl Crow sounds, like a lot of his material, like a hit waiting to happen.

Close Ties continues Rodney Crowell’s remarkable string of memorable albums, unvarnished slices of life whose most intimate details are delivered with grace and humor and without pathos. Can’t wait to see what he does next.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *

Cancel reply

Recently on Ink 19...

  • Preservation Hall Jazz Band
    Preservation Hall Jazz Band

    So It Is (Legacy). Review by Bob Pomeroy.

  • From Montenegro to Moldova: The Best of SEEFest 2017
    From Montenegro to Moldova: The Best of SEEFest 2017

    For the twelfth year, the South East European Film Festival (SEEfest) in Los Angeles showcased an impressive lineup of new features and shorts. Lily and Generoso Fierro provide a festival wrap up and their picks for the films that you cannot miss.

  • Justin Townes Earle
    Justin Townes Earle

    Kids In The Street (New West Records). Review by James Mann.

  • Christian Scott
    Christian Scott

    Rebel Ruler (Ropeadope / Stretch Music). Review by Bob Pomeroy.

  • Kivanç Sezer
    Kivanç Sezer

    Turkish director Kivanç Sezer’s powerful debut feature, My Father’s Wings, puts the spotlight on the workplace safety crisis that is currently taking place in his homeland. Lily and Generoso Fierro spoke with Sezer at SEEFest 2017 about his film and his need to draw attention to this issue.

  • Temples

    Supporting their just-released sophomore record, UK synth-pop poster boys, Temples, attracted an SRO crowd to one of Orlando’s premier nightspots.

  • Rat Film
    Rat Film

    Baltimore. Rats. A match made in Maryland.

  • Bishop Briggs
    Bishop Briggs

    Bishop Briggs brings a stacked bill of up and comers to Orlando for a sold-out party at The Social. Jen Cray joins in the fun.

  • Rumble: The Indians Who Rocked The World
    Rumble: The Indians Who Rocked The World

    There’s more than black music influencing the evolution of Rock and Roll. Native American rhymes and ideas are every bit as significant, once you know to look for them.

  • Keith Morris
    Keith Morris

    Ink 19 slings a few questions to the punk rock pioneer Keith Morris on Trump, Calexit and looking back.

From the Archives